Tabbouleh, or Tabouli, is a Middle Eastern salad made with fresh parsley, mint, bulgar wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a simple olive oil and lemon dressing.
One of my favorite dishes ever is tabbouleh. It is filled with bright flavors, wholesome ingredients, and is incredibly easy to make!
And this simple dish always wakes up the palate and satisfies--you have to love when simple, healthy, and delicious all collide in one recipe!
What is Tabbouleh?
According to the dictionary, tabbouleh is an Arab salad made with cracked wheat and finely chopped ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, and parsley.
This popular Middle Eastern dish is called both Tabbouleh or Tabouli and is thought of as both as a salad or a side dish.
Regardless of what you call it, it is light, fresh, healthy and delicious!
Ingredients Needed for Tabbouleh Salad
- Bulgur (Cracked Wheat): Bulgur is simply cracked wheat. It is a Middle Eastern ingredient and can be found in some grocery stores next to grains or in the international food section. It is also found on Amazon.
- Fresh Herbs: Tabbouleh is made with both parsley and fresh mint. Use curly or Italian-style parsley.
- Tomatoes: Use seeded and finely diced, or use grape/cherry tomatoes.
- English Cucumber: Instead of an English cucumber, you can use a peeled and seeded garden cucumber.
- Green Onions: Opt for green onions over white onions, for a more mild flavor.
- Lemon Juice: For the best flavor, be sure to use fresh lemon juice, not jarred lemon juice.
- Olive Oil: Be sure to select a good-quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
- Garlic: Use a Microplane to finely grate the garlic, allowing the flavor of garlic to be infused in the Tabbouleh, but without any large, unpleasant bites of garlic.
How To Make Tabbouleh
- Prepare the bulgur wheat according to the package directions. Most brands instruct you to soak bulgur in boiling water, using a 1:1 ratio for 7 to 15 minutes.
- While the bulgur is soaking, prepare the herbs by finely chopping. I find the easiest way to do this is to put the parsley and mint, with the large stems removed in a food processor fitted with an s-blade, and pulse several times until the herbs are finely minced.
- Once the bulgur is soaked, fluff with a fork, and toss with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.
- Using a Microplane grater, grate the garlic cloves directly over the bulgur.
- Thinly slice the green onions, deseed and finely chop the tomatoes, and finely chop the cucumbers.
- Add the minced herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions to the bulgur and toss to combine.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving to allow flavors time to blend together.
How to Store Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container. This recipe does not freeze well due to the fresh herbs and vegetables.
How to Serve Tabbouleh
- In a pita, topped with Tzatziki.
- Over Instant Pot Quinoa with fresh spinach or arugula, topped with olives and pickled onions for a delicious Mediterranean Bowl.
- As a side dish to Baked Salmon, Greek Chicken, or Chicken Gyros.
- Add some chickpeas or grilled chicken to make a hearty entree salad.
Yes! Instead of bulgur wheat, use 1 cup of cooked quinoa in place of soaked bulgur.
Mint is a classic ingredient to Tabouli and adds just the right flavor. However, if you are opposed to mint, simply omit it from this recipe.
More Delicious Mediterranean Recipes
- The Best Greek Salad
- Greek Quinoa Salad
- Instant Pot Hummus
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous
If you enjoyed this recipe for Tabbouleh, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- ½ cup extra fine bulgur wheat
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic grated or finely minced
- 2 bunches parsley thick stems removed
- 8 fresh mint leaves stems removed
- 1 large vine-ripened tomato deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 cup diced English cucumber
- ¼ cup green onions finely chopped
- Prepare the bulgur until tender according to package directions. Drain off any excess water, place in a large mixing bowl, fluff with a fork, and set it aside to cool.
- To finely chop the parsely and mint, remove the thick stems and finely chop up the remaining leaves and stems. You can make quick work of it, by placing one bunch of parsley, along with the mint leaves into a food-processor fitted with an s-blade and give it a few pulses and repeat with the second bunch of parsley.
- Deseed the tomato and chop into very small bite size pieces. Cut the cucumber into ¼ inch pieces and thinly slice the green onions, both the white and green parts.
- Add the lemon juice, salt, and olive oil to the bulgur wheat. Using a microplane grater, grate the garlic cloves directly over the wheat. Stir to combine.
- Add tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley, and mint to the bulgur wheat and gently toss to evenly combine.
- Cover the tabbouleh and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
This post was orginally published in 2018 but updated in 2021 with new photos.