This tabbouleh recipe is a bulgur wheat salad made with fresh herbs, tomatoes and cucumber, all tossed together in a simple lemon dressing. A delicious and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of Mediterranean dishes.

When I’m looking for a fresh and light salad that won’t weigh me down, I make Israeli salad, quinoa salad and this classic tabbouleh (also known as tabouli!).

A bowl of tabbouleh with a serving spoon in it.

My local Mediterranean restaurant makes the most delicious platter with hummus, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, spanakopita, olives and many other delicious specialties. I wanted to make these delicious appetizers at home. I researched and taste tested in the kitchen to develop my favorite versions of these recipes. The project was a success and I developed some fantastic recipes! Seriously, I make them all the time!

My fresh, homemade hummus is rich, creamy and delicious. This baba ghanoush is the very best version I have ever tasted. I balance these dips with my cool and delicious tzatziki sauce. All these dips are great paired with some pita bread and hot spanakopita or falafel. I also developed a light and refreshing tabbouleh. It’s versatile side dish that’s easy to make and bursting with flavor! If you want to serve these for a special dinner or party with a fancier presentation, check out my Mediterranean mezze platter.

Tabbouleh Ingredients

To make tabbouleh you will need bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, mint, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Bulgur wheat in a bowl.

How Do You Make Tabbouleh?

This recipe starts with bulgur wheat, which soaks in hot water until it’s soft and tender. The bulgur is combined with finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, green onions, cucumber and mint. A simple mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper serves as the dressing for this dish. Chill the salad until you’re ready to serve it, then enjoy.

A bowl of bulgur topped with herbs, tomatoes and cucumber.

Tips For The Perfect Tabbouleh Salad

  • Bulgur wheat is available in most grocery stores. I typically buy mine in the bulk bins.
  • This recipe requires quite a bit of chopping to get the fine texture that’s so traditional with this salad. To save a little time, you can use the food processor to chop the parsley.
  • I like to use English cucumbers in this dish, but small Persian cucumbers are also a great choice.
  • The fresh mint leaves in this salad are an optional addition. I like the fresh taste mint provides, but it can sometimes be a little strong for some people.

Quick Tip

This salad tastes best when it has some time to sit so that the bulgur can absorb the dressing. I recommend making it at least one hour before you plan to serve it.

Dressing being poured into a bowl of bulgur wheat salad.

Recipe FAQS

What’s tabbouleh made of?

Tabbouleh is made of bulgur wheat with small chopped veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers. It’s flavored with parsley, mint, lemon and olive oil.

What can I substitute for bulgur in tabbouleh?

If you can’t find bulgur, you can substitute couscous or quinoa for a similar effect.

Is tabbouleh healthy?

Tabbouleh is a light and healthy salad featuring bulgur wheat which is a whole wheat that is cracked and partially boiled so it can be cooked quickly. It’s a whole grain with plenty of protein and nutrients. The salad also contains veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers that are perfect for a healthy meal.

How long does tabbouleh last?

You can store tabbouleh in a sealed container in a refrigerator for three days after you make the salad.

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A serving bowl filled with tabbouleh salad.

Salad Variations

This is the traditional way to serve tabbouleh, but I sometimes add other ingredients to my salad to turn it into more of a main course offering.

  • Protein: Try adding chopped cooked chicken or shrimp to your salad.
  • Cheese: I like to add 1/2 cup finely crumbled feta cheese to the mix.
  • Beans: This salad is great with the addition of 1 cup of canned chickpeas.
  • Vegetables: You can add other finely chopped veggies such as bell peppers, red onion, or try using cherry tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes. You can use flat-leaf parsley if you don’t have curly parsley.

Tabbouleh salad is a unique and unexpected offering for parties, potlucks or any other event where you need a lighter salad to accompany the meal.

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Tabbouleh Salad Video

5 from 29 votes

Tabbouleh Recipe

AuthorSara Welch
A bowl of tabbouleh with a serving spoon in it.
This tabbouleh recipe is a bulgur wheat salad made with fresh herbs, tomatoes and cucumber, all tossed together in a simple lemon dressing. A delicious and healthy side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of Mediterranean dishes.
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup English cucumber finely diced
  • 1 1/4 cups Roma tomatoes seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 cup curly parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions 

  • Place the bulgur wheat and boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let it sit for 45 minutes or until the wheat has softened. Drain off any excess liquid
  • Add the cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, parsley and mint to the bowl with the bulgur wheat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.
  • Cover the salad and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. Serve.

Notes

  1. Bulgur wheat is available in most grocery stores. I typically buy mine in the bulk bins.
  2. This recipe requires quite a bit of chopping to get the fine texture that’s so traditional with this salad. To save a little time, you can use the food processor to chop the parsley.
  3. This salad tastes best when it has some time to sit so that the bulgur can absorb the dressing. I recommend making it at least one hour before you plan to serve it. 

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1131IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. I love tabbouleh and have been searching for a good recipe and I came upon your website. Will be making this soon. Your site is now my go-to place when I need recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this Tabbouleh for my husband as his favorite restaurant that serves this has closed. He really loved it and said it was even better than the restaurant version! Thanks for the recipe

  3. 5 stars
    So light and refreshing!!
    Served it today as part of my Eid menu; it was 35c today so was perfect to eat in the heat.
    Simple and tasty!!

  4. 5 stars
    So I had this on the last day of my trip to Morocco just before the lockdown and I soooo needed to find the recipe (WITH cucumbers!) and now I’ve found it !!!! So I made it and wow, it took me back to a completely different time. A time that I misss soooo much.

    From a very lonely person made a little bit happier with a lovely memory of Morocco!! X

  5. I’m lebanese n tabouleh is one of our countless special dishes n this salad (tabouleh receipe) made here is more like our 2nd special salad named (fattouche) back in the time poor people in lebanon ate meat only sunday so in weekdays they ate vegetables only n this is how they invented tabouleh it’s made with burgul (only sprinkle of burgul)
    tomato parsley mint onion n olive oil lemon juice sumak salt .
    Fattouche made with the same ingredients as tabbouleh ( but without burgul) we add cucumber + lettuce+ fresh thym + baqila (it’s a kind of plant that grows here in lebanon around plants n homes) a lot of sumak + lemon + olive oil

    1. I made this today and we used it on top of our regular salad. No additional dressing needed. I love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and lucky that my kids aren’t picky eaters. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Oh and there were no leftovers!

  6. 5 stars
    Love the fresh flavors and herbs that are combined into this salad. I can’t wait to make it and enjoy it for lunch next week.