Classic Tabbouleh – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

This Classic Tabbouleh is so satisfying—and so easy. This completely plant-based salad recipe can be whipped up when you cook Middle Eastern food, such as falafels, hummus, or grilled eggplant. Or even serve it as an eclectic side dish for veggie-burgers or lentil soup. Make it gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free grain. Made of only 8 ingredients, not including pantry staples, this simple recipe shines with classic Mediterranean ingredients, such as bulgur, garlic, parsley, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes, lemons, and olive oils. All of the flavors of a beautiful, sunny day!

This recipe is based on the traditional ingredients of the Mediterranean. While I have had an opportunity to spend time studying the food traditions in the Mediterranean, I’d like to suggest following true experts in these foldaways, such as Rahaf Al Bochi, RDN, who I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing on my blog. Interestingly, these ingredients also grow in my bioregion of California (a Mediterranean climate!), and in the summer I grow almost all of these foods at home in my garden. Tomatoes and cucumbers are easy to grow in the hot summer months, and a simple pot of herbs is the gift that keeps on giving! Even if you don’t have a garden, you can enjoy seasonal, local produce, such as herbs, cucumbers, and tomatoes, when you turn to this classic recipe. It’s a great way to take advantage of a bumper crop of produce, too.

I also love this recipe because it’s light and wholesome—just a hint of heart healthy olive oil, a generous squeeze of vitamin C-rich lemon juice, a bunch of antioxidant-rich parsley and mint, lycopene-powered tomatoes, and the whole grain goodness of bulgur. What’s not to love! Nothing! Go ahead and put this on your menu rotation. Bring it to your next potluck, pack it away for lunches during the week, and serve it as a side salad.


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This easy Classic Tabbouleh recipe is completely plant-based, and packed with the nutrition power of whole grains, herbs, citrus, olive oil, and tomatoes.

  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat bulgur
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch (4 ounces, about 4 cups) fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 5 green onions, white and green parts, finely diced
  • 3 small Persian cucumbers, with peels, diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt, as desired (optional)

  1. Place the bulgur in a small pot with the water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and cover for 5 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and transfer the cooked bulgur to a large mixing bowl and refrigerate to cool.
  2. Place the garlic, parsley, and mint in a food processor. Process until only finely chopped (do not liquefy), or chop by hand, very finely. Pour into the bowl with bulgur.
  3. Add the green onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, and sea salt, if desired, and toss gently.
  4. Chill until serving time.
  5. Makes 8 servings, about 1 cup each.


To make this recipe gluten-free, substitute a gluten-free grain for bulgur, such as quinoa, sorghum, or millet.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 122
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 13 mg
  • Fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keywords: vegan tabbouleh, tabbouleh recipe, healthy recipe

Try a few of my other favorite plant-based salad recipes:

Black Lentil Pesto Salad with Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts
Pomegranate Avocado Quinoa Salad
Winter Jewel Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

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