Tabbouleh salad is what I practically grew up on. We always had our Lebanese tabouli salad the traditional way- with bulgar wheat. However, both of my brothers have a gluten intolerance, so we had to find another way to make it. I give you the BEST Lebanese tabouli with quinoa salad recipe.
Honestly, I can’t tell a difference using quinoa in lieu of bulgar wheat. If you would like to make your tabouli salad recipe gluten free, you should try this recipe.
There is really no increase in time when preparing this tabouli salad recipe. The only difference is that it’s gluten-free.
Also, it just so happened that my new camera lens arrived the day after I made this recipe. So, I took some more shots of the tabouli with quinoa salad recipe with my handy dandy new camera lens. You also might notice that the parsley leaves are slightly darker the next day. That is perfectly normal and what to expect if you eat tabouli the following day.
Ingredients Needed to Make Tabouli with Quinoa
- Quinoa: Duh! The quinoa needs to be cooked ahead of time and cooled off a bit, so I start with making the quinoa. I use white quinoa because it’s the closest color to bulgar wheat.
- Italian parsley: There are two types of parsley you find in the grocery store normally. The one you want to use is Italian parsley. It resembles cilantro (coriander) in looks, but it is definitely NOT like cilantro in taste. Be careful not to buy cilantro because you will end up with pico de gallo instead of tabouli.
- Fresh mint: This is a really important ingredient in this recipe. Actually, it’s the secret ingredient, and only a privileged few know about this secret ingredient.
- Onion: You can go a few different ways here. I normally make my tabbouleh with half spring onion and half white onion. However, you can choose to use only spring onion or only white onion. Either way, the quantity will be the same.
- Tomatoes: I use tomatoes on the vine for my tabouli recipe. Tomato quality does make a difference, and you want to splurge a little on some good red and juicy tomatoes.
- Lemons: You will need fresh lemons for this recipe. Bottled lemon juice just doesn’t taste the same.
- Olive Oil: I use high-quality extra virgin olive oil, which in my book means that the olive oil is not blended with any other oils. I want that EVOO to be 100%.
- Salt and Pepper: You can use pink Himalayan sea salt, sea salt, flaked sea salt, or regular table salt. I never specify salt in my recipes unless it’s raw food because everyone is so different when it comes to salt.
Equipment Needed for Tabouli Salad
- A very sharp chefs knife
- Cutting board
- Large salad bowl
- Pot with a lid (to cook quinoa)
- Mesh strainer (to strain quinoa)
How to Make Tabouli
- Prepare quinoa. Cook quinoa and set aside.
- Chop the parsley. Fill a very large bowl or your sink with water. Add parsley to the water to wash. Keep the parsley in the water until you use it. Remove parsley leaves from the parsley stem and set aside. Discard the parsley stems. Finely chop the parsley leaves as fine as possible. Add to the salad bowl.
- Chop the mint. Remove mint leaves. Chop mint finely just like the parsley.
- Chop the tomatoes. Slice the tomatoes in thin circles. Then slice the tomatoes like you would make a “tic tac toe board. You want the tomatoes as fine as the chopped parsley.
- Chop the onions. If you are using spring onion, slice the spring onion in thin pieces. If you are using white onion, slice the onion just like you slice the tomatoes.
- Squeeze the lemons. Using a lemon juicer, squeeze the lemons.
- Assemble the salad bowl. Add all of the ingredients together. Add salt to taste. Mix well.
For specific quantities, refer to the recipe card at the end of this post.
Serve tabbouleh with quinoa in a large salad bowl.
Tips and Variations
The best method I have seen making quinoa is this way from Gimme Some Oven. I tried it for this recipe, and now I’m converted. Basically, you must boil the quinoa in a large pot of water, then strain it with a mesh strainer suitable for quinoa sized particles. After, you put the quinoa back in the pot to steam a bit longer.
Tabbouleh with Quinoa the Next Day
I just couldn’t resist taking some more photos of the tabouli salad after I received my new camera lens. You can also notice that the parsley is a little less green in color, which is normal.
In my honest and humble opinion, tabbouleh tastes better the next day. If you make enough to have for the next day, you will also notice the salad is a lot juicier.
The salad juice is never wasted in my family. Everyone slurps up the salad juice after eating the salad. In Lebanon, it’s called “Zoom”, and it’s not your conference calling software.
Try These Other Mediterranean Recipes
- Crispy Roasted Chicken Thighs
- Bone-In Ribeye Roast
- Roasted Lamb Shanks
- Better Than Baba Ganoush
- Pita Chips
- Shish Barak
This is an authentic Lebanese tabouli with quinoa recipe. Instead of using bulgar, I’ve substituted quinoa to make this dish gluten-free.
- 6 bunches of Italian parsley (about 8 cups of chopped parsley)
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup of dry quinoa)
- 6 medium tomatoes
- 1 white onion
- 2 spring onion sprigs
- 5 large lemons
- 1 bunch of fresh mint
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa and set aside to cool down.
- Wash the parsley in a large tub of water. Remove the parsley leaves and chop very finely. Add to the salad bowl.
- Remove mint leaves. Chop mint finely just like the parsley.
- Slice the tomatoes in thin circles. Slice the tomatoes long ways then horizontally into fine pieces about the same size as the chopped parsley.
- If you are using spring onion, slice the spring onion into thin pieces. If you are using white onion, slice the onion just like you slice the tomatoes.
- Using a lemon juicer, squeeze the lemons.
- Add all of the ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
You can substitute the quinoa for cracked bulgar wheat to make the authentic Lebanese tabbouleh recipe. Soak 1 cup of dry bulgar wheat in a warm cup of water until the bulgar wheat is soft. Drain and add to the salad.
You can add an extra 1/4 cup of olive oil depending on the taste.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Chopping
- Cuisine: Lebanese
- Serving Size: 2 cups
- Calories: 326
- Sugar: 9 g
- Sodium: 58 mg
- Fat: 19 g
- Saturated Fat: 3 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 16 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 33 g
- Fiber: 8 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: tabouli salad recipe, tabbouleh salad, Lebanese tabbouleh salad recipe, tabbouleh with quinoa