Tabbouleh

When I told my family I was going to make tabbouleh they said, Tab what?

Tabbouleh. The ridiculously easy, no-cooking-required dish that’s along the lines of couscous or quinoa mixed with vegetables, herbs, lemon, and olive oil. Healthy and packed with flavor.

Tabbouleh - Never had it? Think couscous or quinoa mixed with vegetables, herbs, lemon and olive oil! Easy, no cooking required, healthy, and packed with so much flavor!! (Great for outdoor events because there's no mayo!)

After making it yourself and tasting how fresh and vibrant homemade is, you’ll never be tempted to buy it from the overpriced grocery store salad bar.

Tabbouleh is made with bulghur wheat, sometimes just labeled bulghur. There’s coarse and fine and in my regular grocery store it’s sold near the lentils and couscous as ‘bulghur, coarse’ in a plastic bag.

To make the tabbouleh you simply pour boiling water over the dry bulghur, add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, cover and wait an hour. That’s it.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Tabbouleh - Never had it? Think couscous or quinoa mixed with vegetables, herbs, lemon and olive oil! Easy, no cooking required, healthy, and packed with so much flavor!! (Great for outdoor events because there's no mayo!)

While you’re waiting chop up cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, mint, parsley and add them after the bulghur has softened and plumped. Stir it all together and you’re in for a texture and flavor treat. The bulghur is soft but slightly chewy, there’s juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and green onions, and between the lemon, parsley, and mint it’s truly an aromatic dish.

Tabbouleh - Never had it? Think couscous or quinoa mixed with vegetables, herbs, lemon and olive oil! Easy, no cooking required, healthy, and packed with so much flavor!! (Great for outdoor events because there's no mayo!)

It’s accidentally vegan, healthy, and if you’re not a tabbouleh traditionalist you can improvise with just about anything in your crisper drawer from bell peppers to cilantro. I’ve seen some recipes swap couscous for the bulghur.

The flavors marry over time and it tastes even better the day or two after you prepare it, making it a great make-ahead recipe for lunches for the week, clean-eating dinners, or easy party and potluck sides. There’s no mayo which is great for outdoor events.

Tabbouleh - Never had it? Think couscous or quinoa mixed with vegetables, herbs, lemon and olive oil! Easy, no cooking required, healthy, and packed with so much flavor!! (Great for outdoor events because there's no mayo!)

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh. The ridiculously easy, no-cooking-required dish that’s along the lines of couscous or quinoa mixed with vegetables, herbs, lemon, and olive oil. Tabbouleh is made with bulghur wheat, sometimes just labeled bulghur. The bulghur is soft but slightly chewy, there’s juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and green onions, and between the lemon, parsley, and mint it’s truly an aromatic dish. It’s accidentally vegan, healthy, and if you’re not a tabbouleh traditionalist you can improvise with just about anything in your crisper drawer. The flavors marry over time and it tastes even better the day or two after you prepare it, making it a great make-ahead recipe for lunches for the week, clean-eating dinners, or easy party and potluck sides. There’s no mayo which is great for summer events.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bulghur wheat or bulghur
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup green onions, sliced thin (about 6 trimmed green onions, using the green and white)
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped finely (make sure to use just the leaves, stems are bitter)
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely

Directions:

  1. To a large bowl add the bulghur; set aside.
  2. To a microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup, add the water and heat to boil, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the bulghur, add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, stir, cover with plasticwrap, and set aside for about 1 hour. After 1 hour, check to make sure bulghur is softened and plumped and most of the liquid has been absorbed. If it hasn’t wait a bit longer until it absorbs.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients, stir to combine, taste and check for seasoning balance (may need more salt, pepper, lemon), and make any necessary adjustments. Tabbouleh can be served immediately but I prefer to make it a day ahead of time, cover, and refrigerate because the flavors marry over time. Tabbouleh will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and can be served chilled or at room temp.

Adapted from Ina Garten

Only Eats

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34 comments on “Tabbouleh”

  1. You know what? I’ve never actually tried tabbouleh, but I have been meaning to FOREVER! So, this recipe is giving m that kick in the taste buds to get on it! Pinned!

  2. I love tabbouleh, but I’ve never made it because the thought of chopping all those herbs makes me cringe…..for some reason I hate chopping herbs I think because they always stick to the knife. But your pictures are so gorgeous, I may just have to give it a try, plus like you said its cheaper and fresher than buying it.

    • It’s so fast and what I do with herbs is just wad everything up into a little ball and start chopping it. The very, very quick and dirty ‘chiffonade’ method, so to speak :)

  3. Tabbouleh is always on the olive bar at the grocery but at something like 7.99/lb I usually pass. Yours looks much better and contains more vegetables than the grocery store variety! I use quinoa and barley quite a bit but tend to forget about bulgur so it’s nice to see a great recipe for it. This is going on my “to make” list this weekend.

    • You are going to LOVE this DIY version, Paula! I know you, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to be happy! And I know what you mean about overpriced (and it always looks very skimpy on the veg to me, too) at the deli counters!

  4. This looks amazing! I love tabbouleh so it’s high time I make it at home!
    Also just want to say I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I am loving
    your savoury recipes (especially those mushroom sliders, your egg salad, and recent 
    mac & cheese recipe) even though you say your site is “for sweet teeth” ;)

    • Funny you mention the sweet teeth…I’ve been looking at that for the past few months thinking, I need to do something about that because there’s much more variety lately and glad you’re enjoying the savory recipes, too!

  5. I love tabbouleh! It a great snack especially in these summer months. Between this, some crostinis, and sangria, what more could you want!? I’ll have to go snoop around for some bulghur wheat at my super market…and maybe sub some couscous if I can’t find it :)

  6. So ridiculously easy to make and somehow I always end up at BJ buying mine, very good, but $7 for a small container that I eat in one sitting. I have leftover quinoa at home, so this may happen in my kitchen tonight.

  7. I love tabbouleh! So funny that you posted on this today–my friend brought some last year to the boy scout camp family night potluck–tonight is the potluck again and I’m hoping she brings it! (Too late for me to make it–I’ve been slicing cantaloupe and watermelon all morning …).

  8. I´m with your famly.. Tttt what? :-) I love the colors in these photos!!

  9. Looks so delicious!! Love tabbouleh, it’s so tasty and healthy too! 

  10. I love tabbouleh! It’s so refreshing, vibrant and delicious – yours looks so perfect and I’m loving the colors! 

  11. I never knew Tabbouleh was so easy to make!

  12. This looks AMAZING! I would love to dive in right now for a healthy midnight snack!

  13. Well!!!! This is a version of tabbouleh I have never ever saw it coming :).. totally different than the original tabbouleh. I can live with the variation but I am not comfortable with twisting my national dish:). thanks for sharing.

    • I adapted it lightly from Ina Garten, who’s recipes I generally trust without blinking an eye, and it was so great. I’m sure everyone has their own way of making it but I am sold on this one…it was so good!

  14. It’s so tasty and healthy too!  Thank you.

  15. Good effort, but real Lebanese Tabbouleh looks more like this: http://www.cafetaxim.com/images/gallery/1323181821Tabboule%20pic.JPG
    A lot more parsley and much less bulghur. Everything is very finely chopped, including the tomato. There are no cucumbers or onions but I guess you could call this a more westernized version of Tabbouleh :)

    • I adapted it lightly from Ina Garten, who’s recipes I generally trust without blinking an eye, and it was so great. I’m sure everyone has their own way of making it but I am sold on this one…it was perfect for us!

  16. So perfect to make on a Sunday with farmers market tomatoes and then eat for lunch all week long!

  17. Yes, it did happen Averie, and we devoured it at 9pm with pita chips and some fried fish. It was refreshing and amazing, next on my list is that good looking mozzarella, basil and quinoa salad!

  18. Tabbouleh = summertime!!!  One of my favorite dishes!  I usually add chopped greek olives and feta cheese to mine…and sometimes sub quinoa for the bulgar.  I do not use onion and just drizzle the evoo but otherwise I use the same recipe.  Such a great use of cherry tomatoes from the garden :)

  19. Oh, I love Tabbouleh!  I have Celiac Disease so I always make mine with quinoa- it’s just as tasty as the original versions.  So delicious as a salad or wrapped up in a pita (or a GF wrap for me!).

  20. This is so fresh and vibrant–and incredibly easy. I put it together while Jon manned the grill. I had a bit of difficulty finding bulgur and was afraid I’d have to settle for whole wheat couscous but finally spotted a couple of bags of the Zyad brand hiding on a bottom shelf. We are loving every single one of your savory recipes!!!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great and that you and Jon and loving it! So glad you found the bulgur. Even in my grocery store (which is pretty diverse and carries a lot of more unique products given my area) the bulgur is hiding on the bottom shelf and very non-noticeable unless you are really looking and standing there for awhile. Glad it was an incredibly easy recipe for you to have in your repertoire now, too :) Sooooo many variations you can do with this!

  21. One of my favorite dishes evahhhhh!

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