Classic Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Soaking Time: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
185 Calories
10g Fat
23g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 185
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 304mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 4g
Calcium 55mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tabbouleh is a Lebanese vegetarian salad that features cracked wheat bulgur, parsley, and tomatoes. This tabbouleh salad—a.k.a. tabouli—also includes a bright garlic-mint dressing, adding another layer of flavor. Feel free to play around with the proportions, especially the vegetables and herbs; many versions feature a lot more parsley than bulgur (we're talking three big bunches) for a greener salad. This salad is traditionally served with falafel, hummus, and pita bread but is also delicious on its own as a light lunch.

2:19

Click Play to See This Classic Tabbouleh Salad Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cracked wheat bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (divided)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 English or hothouse cucumber

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tabbouleh Salad Recipe ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Put the bulgur in a medium bowl and sprinkle it with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Add the boiling water, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes.

    Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
    The Spruce
  3. While the bulgar sits, make the dressing. Pulse the garlic in a food processor until minced, then add the olive oil and lemon juice and whirl into a dressing-like consistency. Or, whirl the olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender.

    Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
    The Spruce
  4. Add the mint leaves, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Blend until the mint leaves are well worked into the dressing and the dressing is more or less smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

    Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
    The Spruce
  5. Remove the parsley leaves from the stems; discard the stems or save them for another use. Roughly chop the leaves. Core, seed, and chop the tomatoes. Peel, seed, and chop the cucumber. Set aside.

    Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
    The Spruce
  6. Check the bulgur: It should have absorbed all of the water, but there may be a bit in the bottom of the bowl. It should also be tender to the bite. If it's not, stir, cover, and let sit for 10 more minutes. If it's tender and there's water in the bowl, either drain the bulgur in a fine-mesh sieve or lift it out with a slotted spoon and into a separate bowl.

    Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
    The Spruce
  7. Pour the dressing over the bulgur and toss to combine well. Add the parsley and toss to combine well. Add the tomatoes and cucumber and stir to mix.

    Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
    The Spruce
  8. Serve immediately or cover and chill (up to overnight). Enjoy.

    Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
    The Spruce

Tips

  • Removing the seeds from the cucumber will keep the final salad from becoming too watery and also mitigates any bitterness.
  • If you do chill the salad, know that it will taste a bit better and brighter if you let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • If you want to make this salad ahead of time, you should wait and chop and add the tomatoes at the last minute since tomatoes lose their flavor when chilled.

Recipe Variations

  • Use quinoa instead of bulgur for a protein-packed and gluten-free version.
  • Use couscous instead of bulgur for a lighter texture in the salad.
  • Top with 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese for a creamy yet salty hit.
  • Stir in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.
  • Add 1/3 cup chopped pitted black olives for a deeper flavor.

Is Tabbouleh Healthy?

This Middle Eastern salad is very good for you. The bulgur contributes protein and fiber while the vegetables and herbs bring vitamins and minerals to the dish. The olive oil in the dressing offers some heart-healthy fat.