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Easy Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh is an Eastern Mediterranean salad made with cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, and bulgur. Vegan friendly, this dish is made complete with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing.

Bird's eye view of a large bowl of tabbouleh salad with various ingredients laid out around the bowl

What is tabbouleh?

Who’s ready for a delicious and refreshing salad? This salad, known as tabbouleh, is an Eastern Mediterranean dish that includes cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, and mint! It’s seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and a few spices.

Lately I’ve been loving this easy tabbouleh (sometimes spelled tabouli) as a side dish, but it’s also filling and therefore works well as a main course!

This dish uses bulgur as bulky filling. If you’re unaware, bulgar is a grain that includes the whole wheat grain, cereal germ, bran, and endosperm. To cook, it’s boiled like rice!

Since bulgar does contain gluten, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using cooked quinoa instead. As another substitute, couscous works quite well (though it does contain gluten). Use either option in the same amount (1/2 cup for this recipe).

Bird's eye view of a large bowl of tabbouleh salad with various ingredients laid out around the bowl

Ingredients for Lebanese tabbouleh

This salad consists of five main parts: Bulgur, cucumber, tomato, parsley, and mint. With a bit of mint and green onions on top, this salad is absolutely delicious and tastes great with a homemade olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic dressing.

  • Bulgur: First, we’ll be using bulgur as the grain portion of our salad. You can learn all about it in this Bulgar 101 blog post.
  • Cucumber: Cucumber serves as one of the main parts of this salad. We will be using 1 cup, diced, which will equal about 1/2 of a medium cucumber.
  • Tomato: 1 cup of diced tomato adds a refreshing taste to this salad. 1 cup should equal about 1 roma tomato.
  • Parsley: Parsley is the fourth main ingredient in this salad. We will use three cups, finely chopped.
  • Green Onions: Green onions add a bit of flavor to this salad. We’ll be using 2 of these.
  • Mint: Like the green onions, mint adds an interesting flavor to this dish. It tastes great!
  • Dressing: As the dressing, we will use olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and a bit of salt.
Chopped tomato and cucumber in a colander on a blue background

How to make tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is ready in five simple steps. From start to finish, it should only require 30 minutes to make! When all is said and done, you’ll be left with 12 1/2 cup servings.

  1. Cool the bulgur: To start, bring the bulgur and water to a boil in a small pot. Then, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Alternatively, use the soaking method, which requires about 1 hour. Allow the bulgur to cool slightly.
  2. Prep the veggies: Next, stir together the cucumber, tomato, and 1/2 tsp salt. Place in a colander and set over a bowl to allow excess moisture to drain out. Let drain for 10 minutes (or until the rest of the recipe is ready).
  3. Chop the greens: Next, remove the thick stems from the parsley and mint, then finely chop (either by hand or with a food processor). Slice the green onion.
  4. Create the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.
  5. Assemble: Finally, in a large bowl, toss together cooled bulgur, strained cucumber and tomato, herbs, green onion, and dressing.
Glass bowl filled with bulgur, tomato, cucumber, parsley, and mint

How to serve tabbouleh

Tabbouleh can be served in a number of ways. You can serve it as is, or you can add extra toppings! Here are some ideas.

  • Avocado: Honestly, what salad isn’t delicious with avocado on top? This is definitely an option that’s sure to taste great.
  • Glazed nuts: I love adding glazed walnuts or pecans to my salads.
  • Cheese: Many types of cheese will work well as a topping for this salad, but blue cheese or feta cheese work the best!

P.S. tabbouleh is great in a Mediterranean meal prep!

Pouring the dressing over a glass bowl filled with bulgur, tomato, cucumber, parsley, and mint

How to store this Mediterranean salad

This salad can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 4 days days. However, I recommend leaving the dressing off until you’re ready to eat it (if possible). This will help it stay a bit fresher.

Bird's eye view of a large bowl of tabbouleh salad on a blue background

Pair this tabbouleh with:

Serve this tabbouleh salad with one of favorite our Mediterranean mains!

Easy Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

Tabbouleh is a herby Mediterranean salad made with cucumber, tomato, parsley, and bulgur!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salads, Side Dishes
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Paleo
Keyword: easy tabbouleh, how to make tabbouleh, tabbouleh, tabbouleh salad
Diet: Dairy-Free, Low Carb, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving
Time: 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 12 1/2 cup servings
Calories: 69kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 3 votes

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup bulgur plus 1 cup water
  • 1 cup diced cucumber about ½ medium cucumber
  • 1 cup diced tomato about 1 roma tomato
  • 1 tsp salt divided
  • 3 cups packed parsley finely chopped, 90 g
  • ¼ cup packed mint finely chopped, 10 g
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 60 mL
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice 45 mL
  • 1 clove garlic minced

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cook Bulgur: Bring bulgur and water to a boil in a small pot, then cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. (Alternatively, use the soaking method – 1 hour.) Allow bulgur to cool slightly.
  • Prep Veggies: Meanwhile, stir together cucumber, tomato, and ½ tsp salt. Place in a colander and set over a bowl to allow excess moisture to drain out. Let drain for 10 minutes (or until the rest of the recipes is ready).
  • Chop: Remove the thick stems from the parsley and mint, then finely chop (either by hand or with a food processor). Slice the green onion.
  • Dressing: Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and remaining ½ tsp of salt.
  • Assemble: In a large bowl, toss together cooled bulgur, strained cucumber and tomato, herbs, green onion, and dressing.

NOTES

  • Make it gluten-free by using the same amount of cooked quinoa instead of bulgur.
  • Couscous also works well as a bulgur substitute (though couscous does contain gluten).
  • Store tightly sealed in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. (It’s perfect as a Mediterranean meal prep!)

NUTRITION

Serving: 1serving (1/2 cup) | Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.1g | Protein: 1.5g | Fat: 4.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 2.1g | Sugar: 0.9g | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Tiffany R says:

    My partner and I cook a LOT of your recipes, so I’m finally sitting down to give feedback!

    I’ve never made Tabbouleh before and thought it to be pretty daunting, but you broke it down super simple! I made the dressing and, as you suggested, kept it in a little bottle to be added for each serving since it was a salad for the week. The herbs held up great and the mint really did add a great flavor! It complimented the green taste of the other herbs, if that makes any sense. I added a bit more tomato and cucumber since I didn’t want leftovers and it was great!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Aw, I’m so happy to hear it, Tiffany! I also always thought it was intimidating – happy we could both learn otherwise 😀

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