Tabbouleh

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Tabbouleh is a vibrant and healthy Middle Eastern salad made from fresh herbs, nutty bulgur, and chopped vegetables.

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad made from loads of fresh herbs, quick-cooking bulgur, and chopped vegetables in a lemon-and-olive oil dressing. Traditionally, the herbs constitute the bulk of the salad, but I prefer to swap the proportions to put the bulgur and vegetables front and center, making it a more of a grain salad than an herb salad. Tabbouleh is typically served as a mezze along with other small plates, such as tzatziki, falafel, hummus, or creamy whipped feta. It also makes a terrific and healthy side dish to Middle Eastern lamb kofta, chicken kabobs, or Greek-style lamb burgers.

What You’ll Need To Make Tabbouleh

tabbouleh ingredients

Bulgur is a whole grain made from cracked wheat, commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes. It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture. Since it is parboiled and dried before it is packaged, it cooks very quickly. It is sold in most large supermarkets and organic food stores (you can often find it in the bulk bins). This recipe calls for medium-grind bulgur, which is the most common (the grains are about the size of sesame seeds); coarse grind bulgur is slightly coarser and may be substituted.

Traditional tabbouleh does not contain cucumber, but I love the color and texture it adds to the dish. Some recipes skip the mint and use only parsley, but I prefer the flavor that the combination of the two herbs provide.

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a small pot, bring the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to a rapid boil.

bringing water and salt to a boil

Add the bulgur, stir to moisten, then cover the pot and remove from the heat. adding bulgur to boiling water

Let sit 15 to 30 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Let the bulgur cool to room temperature.

cooked bulgur

While the bulgur soaks, chop all the vegetables and herbs.

chopped herbs and vegetables for tabbouleh

In a large bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, honey, pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.

dressing ingredients for tabbouleh

Whisk to combine.

whisked tabbouleh dressing

Add the cooled bulgur, the cucumber, tomatoes, mint, parsley, and scallions.

tabbouleh ingredients in bowl

Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

mixed tabbouleh

Cover and refrigerate the tabbouleh until ready to serve. It can be made up to 2 days ahead of time.

tabbouleh in serving dish

You May Also Like

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a vibrant and healthy Middle Eastern salad made from fresh herbs, nutty bulgur, and chopped vegetables.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes, plus time for the bulgur to cool

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup medium-grind bulgur wheat
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 English hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded, and finely diced
  • 1 pint (10.5 ounces) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup packed finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup packed finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced scallions, light and green parts, from 1 bunch

Instructions

  1. In a small pot, bring the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt to a rapid boil. Add the bulgur, stir to moisten, then cover the pot and remove from the heat. Let sit 15 to 30 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Let the bulgur cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, honey, pepper, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.
  3. Add the bulgur, the cucumber, tomatoes, mint, parsley, and scallions. Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Note: Bulgur is sold in most large supermarkets and organic food stores (you can often find it in the bulk bins). Medium-grind bulgur is the most common (the grains are about the size of sesame seeds); coarse grind bulgur is slightly coarser and may be substituted.
  5. Make-Ahead Instructions: The salad can be made and refrigerated up to two days ahead of time.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 288
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 751 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:

Reviews & Comments

  • Wow! I’ve always loved bulgur wheat and have been so disappointed ordering tabbouleh in restaurants because I too, love the ratio of herbs and bulgar. Thank you again, Jenn!

    • — LMRM on July 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Made this weekend – so refreshing, delicious and healthy. Will definitely make this again!!

    • — Tamera on July 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • What soup would you pair this with? I need to make a light lunch for some young adults. Thanks!

    • — Karen on July 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, This would pair nicely with my corn soup or creamy zucchini soup. You can check out some other good summer soup options here. Hope everyone enjoys whatever you make!

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Can cilantro be substituted for the parsley?

    • — Tracy on July 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Tracy – enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • My education via Jenn continues. I had never heard of bulgur nor tabbouleh until last summer when I was privileged to become a recipe tester for Jenn’s upcoming cookbook due out in September. Based on testing that recipe, Mediterranean Bulgur Salad, another of Jenn’s Bulgur Salad recipes has been chosen for a dinner party this weekend. All of her Bulgur Salad recipes (the test recipe, the dinner party recipe, and this one) are very similar. Based on my experience with the test recipe, I am giving 5 Stars.

    • — GrandBob on July 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • Co-worker from Lebanon gave me her recipe years ago – it is my go to! Differences: soak the wheat in cold water, don’t cook it. 3 fairly large bunches of curly parsley chopped in the food processor. No mint, no honey, no cucumber, no cumin, just salt and pepper. About 6 green onions sliced. 6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped. Fresh lemon and olive oil.

    • — Jackie Isamay on July 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sounds like you did not even try the recipe, but just decided that yours is a better one. In that case, your comment is not a review and not at all helpful.

      • — Carol Winkelman on July 23, 2021
      • Reply
      • Would you be referring to #2 bulgar? Have not tried your recipe yet but I like the added honey which I have never done.

        • — Dorothea on July 26, 2021
        • Reply
        • Yes, that’s correct. Hope you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on July 27, 2021
          • Reply
  • Can quinoa be substituted for the bulgur to make it gluten free?

    • — Susan on July 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure! Please LMK how it turns out. 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 22, 2021
      • Reply

Add a Review or Question

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.