Tabouleh (aka Tabbouleh, Tabouli)

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Tabouleh - Andrea MeyersFollow Me on Pinterest

Early today I returned home from 10 glorious days of vacation to find our garden in full production mode. All the tomato plants have green tomatoes, teasing, making me wait until they ripen. I could pick some of the green peppers to encourage more flowering, and I probably will as I find it difficult to wait for peppers to fully ripen to a beautiful red, yellow, or orange.

The parsley is very bushy, even though I trimmed it back before we left and made fresh tabouleh with the leaves and stems. Tabouleh is one of the healthiest salads you can make; the parsley alone is bursting with 13 vitamins and minerals and even supplies protein; the bulgur provides fiber, protein, and potassium; the tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and lycopene; and the scallions are a significant source of vitamin K, about 250% of the daily requirement. Somehow knowing that the salad is so healthy makes it taste even more delicious.

Parsley in our garden - Andrea MeyersGrow Your Own logo, green leafMy first taste of tabouleh came while living in Saudi Arabia about 15 years ago, and I still crave Middle Eastern food to this day. Serve this as a side dish with kabobs and fresh pita.

This is my contribution to the blogging event Grow Your Own. Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi are hosting this round, so be sure you visit their blog for more information on how to participate. The deadline for posts is July 30.

[Updated July 2013.]

Tabouleh (aka Tabbouleh, Tabouli)
Prep time
Total time
Adapted from The Complete Middle East Cookbook, by Tess Mallos.
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 3/4 cup (112 g) bulgur (aka burghul)
  • 16 ounces (475 ml) cold water
  • 2 cups (80 g) coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 green onions (aka scallion, spring onion), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (10 g) chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ripe, firm tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • crisp lettuce leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Pour the bulgur wheat into the medium bowl and cover with the cold water. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  2. While the bulgur soaks, wash the parsley and trim away any large, tough stalks. Lay the damp parsley in a tea towel and wrap lightly. Place in the refrigerator until it’s crispy and mostly dry.
  3. Strain the wet bulgur through the sieve, then pour onto a tea towel and allow to dry a little. Pour the bulgur into the large bowl and add the chopped green onions. Toss and squeeze with your hands so the bulgur absorbs the onion flavor.
  4. Add the chopped parsley and the mint, and toss.
  5. Pour the lemon juice into the cruet or jar, and add the salt and pepper. Shake for about 30 seconds, then add the olive oil and shake until the mixture is fairly homogeneous. Pour over the salad and stir.
  6. Add the seeded, diced tomatoes and stir. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 1 hour.
  7. Serve in small bowls with the lettuce leaves. Whisk together the lemon juice and salt and sprinkle on top of each serving.
More Information

medium bowl
fine sieve
2 tea towels
large bowl
cruet or small jar with lid

Recipe Notes

Prep time does not include refrigeration time.

For a gluten-free version, I substitute cooked chilled quinoa for the bulgur wheat.

More Middle Eastern Recipes

Andrea's Recipes - Hummus bi Tahini Andrea's Recipes - Mujaddarah Andrea's Recipes - Moroccan-Style Chicken with Lentils


[Disclosure: This blog earns a small commission through affiliate links.]


  1. says

    Wow! I love tabouleh and can’t wait to try this! It was so much fun hanging out with you at BlogHer. I meant to ask you how you have this amazing blog and have time to write and cook at the same time. You amaze me! :)

  2. Yasmine says

    Wow, you make this perfectly. I’m Lebanese and this is the national salad in Lebanon and your recipe is amazingly accurate. Many people chop the parsley finely, but for some reason -commercially- tabbouleh is made with coarsely chopped parsley (in restaurants, on TV, etc.)

    Anyhoo, I hope I will one day be able to grow my own as well:)

  3. linda gonzalez says

    Hi, I have a question about your tabouleh salad recipe – you add the lemon juice right before the salad is served and other recipes I’ve seen add it with the olive oil, before the salad sits to blend – is there a reason for this?

    • says

      Hi Linda. Adding the lemon at the end is how I learned to make it, though you could mix it with the olive oil if you wish. I think the lemon flavor stands out a little more adding it at the end, but that’s my personal preference.


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