Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
This quinoa tabouleh recipe is a twist on the traditional Lebanese salad, using quinoa instead of bulgur. It’s filled with fresh parsley for a satisfying and healthy addition to any meal!
What is Tabbouleh Salad?
Tabbouleh (or tabouli) salad is traditionally made with finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, mint, and bulgur. It’s a Lebanese salad that is typically served as a side dish and parsley is really the star of the show. Bulger is a kind of wheat, but I know many of you probably don’t have bulgur in your pantry. So this non-traditional version of tabbouleh uses quinoa instead!
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is technically a seed but it cooks like a grain. It has a slightly nutty flavor. You can usually find it at the grocery store near the rice. Quinoa is a fantastic ingredient to add to your diet, especially if you’re a vegetarian. It’s one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids!
Quinoa Tabbouleh Ingredients
- Quinoa– This will replace the bulger used in traditional tabbouleh
- Fresh parsley– Parsley is really the main component of a tabbouleh salad so don’t substitute this! You can use flat or curly parsley.
- Fresh mint– A little fresh mint enhances the herbal flavor.
- Tomatoes– I used chopped cherry tomatoes but any kind of tomato can be chopped and used in this dish.
- Cucumber– While not traditionally used in a tabbouleh salad, I liked the added crunch they added to this recipe.
- Olive oil– I recommend a high-quality olive oil, which will have a light, slightly fruity flavor.
- Lemon juice– A squeeze of fresh lemon juice really brightens the salad.
- Salt & pepper– Don’t forget to season your salad to taste.
Tips for Perfect Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Make sure you rinse your quinoa before cooking. Quinoa can have a bitter flavor, and rinsing gets rid of some of the bitterness.
- After chopping the tomatoes, drain any liquid to avoid a soggy salad.
- You can make quinoa on the stovetop, as the instructions will typically suggest, but you can also make quinoa in an Instant Pot or you can cook quinoa in a rice cooker!
- Make sure you use fresh parsley! That’s essential for this recipe, so dried parsley won’t work in this case.
How to Store Leftovers
This quinoa tabbouleh will last 3-4 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container. You can easily make this salad in advance, and I think the flavors are actually better after a couple of hours.
What to Serve with Quinoa Tabbouleh
This makes a great side dish for falafel or chickpea gyros. You could even turn this salad into a main dish if you added protein on top! To bulk up this dish, you can also serve it on a bed of mixed greens or chopped romaine.
More Quinoa RecipesPrint
This easy quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe uses quinoa in place of bulger, making this recipe gluten-free! Quinoa is also a great source of plant-based protein. Make this recipe for a quick and easy side dish!
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes or 3 small tomatoes, diced and drained
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions.
- Once the quinoa is cooked, remove from heat and let it cool.
- Toss the quinoa with parsley, mint, tomatoes, and cucumber.
- Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and stir until combined.