Fun, colorful, and full of nutrients.
Meet tabbouleh- a vegetarian salad that’s sure to become a fast smash-hit at your house.


Tabbouleh is a vegetarian salad that originated in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, and Turkey, and is made with mint, parsley, bulgur (I used quinoa and farro), seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice (1). Some versions only soak the grains, not cooking them, adding semolina, other versions add lettuce (2). Tabbouleh is versatile, and I urge you to get creative and make it your own, keeping in mind its Levantine roots to help guide you along. Tabbouleh is served as an appetizer in Arab culture, and in our home we make it as a side dish or a snack (3).


You’ll need:

– Grains! Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur or semolina, but I frequently make mine with quinoa and farro, and it’s just so tasty. Other good grain options would be brown rice, cous cous, or kamut.
– Olive oil- if you can afford a higher-quality olive oil, this will taste even better
– Fresh lemon juice
– Fresh parsley
– Fresh mint
– Dash of salt

^the “fresh” on the herbs matter too. Give that spice rack a quick rest for this one- thank me later.

I made two versions of this, and the second is gluten-free:
Version 1: farro and quinoa (because I couldn’t find bulgur)
Version 2: quinoa


-Stove cook the grains, then put them in a glass bowl to soak with with 1/4 C olive oil and 1/4 C fresh lemon juice. Trust me on this one…fresh lemon juice.

-Then, let the grains, fresh lemon juice, and olive oil sit together and get to know each other for awhile, about an hour.

Then add in 1 C fresh chopped parsley and 1 C fresh chopped mint (would also be really good with green onion and oregano!), a diced cucumber, and chopped cherry tomatoes. Mix together ingredients and refrigerate to your heart’s content. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold- perfect for summer!

You can top with sliced almonds or dried cranberries for an added crunch.


I store these in glass pyrex- makes them easy and quick for on-the-go lunch packing.

Let me know if you decide to give this recipe a shot- would love to hear your thoughts or any modifications you made to make it your own!



  1. Sami Zubaida, “National, Communal and Global Dimensions in Middle Eastern Food Cultures” in Sami Zubaida and Richard TapperA Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East, London and New York, 1994 and 2000, ISBN 1-86064-603-4, p. 35, 37; Claudia RodenA Book of Middle Eastern Food, p. 86; Anissa HelouOxford Companion to Foods.v. Lebanon; Maan Z. Madina, Arabic-English Dictionary of the Modern Literary Language, 1973, s.v. ت
  2. The Oxford Companion to Food. (2019, November 25). Retrieved August 09, 2020, from
  3. Zelinsky, W. (2001). Expressions. In The enigma of ethnicity: Another American dilemma (pp. 118-119). Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa City Press.