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You know that feeling you get in your mouth when you’re craving something tangy? A feeling that rises from your throat, to your teeth, right up to your tongue. My Easy Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad recipe is just the thing to satisfy that feeling! A refreshing combination of sour and savory with the perfect ratio of parsley, tomatoes, bulgur, onions, and mint to zesty dressing.

Traditionally served as part of Lebanese mezze, tabbouleh is oftentimes the star. First, it’s mesmerizing in appearance with it’s bright red tomatoes contrasted to the dark green parsley. Served on a bed of lettuce or with lettuce leaves decorating the sides or center, it’s hard to miss!

Second, the refreshing lemony and savory oil dressing that it sits in awakens your taste buds. That dressing is perfect for dipping your pita bread or French fries in after you’ve finished the salad.


A Real Treat

A bowl filled with Taboule Salad that is made up of chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, and other greens. The bowl is decorated with some lettuce leaves.
This will be the BEST tabbouleh recipe you make and eat!


Roots and Traditions

Tabbouleh is deeply rooted in Lebanese cuisine and is considered a staple dish in the region. It is often served as part of mezze, a selection of small dishes, and is enjoyed with fresh Romaine lettuce leaves, cabbage leaves, grape leaves, or with just plain old pita bread.

Lebanese families take pride in their tabbouleh recipes, often passing them down through generations. So, when you make tabbouleh, you are not only enjoying a delicious salad but also connecting with a rich culinary tradition.

Tabbouleh cand be found as a side dish on most Mediterranean menus. Usually it’s served along with fresh pita bread, hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel, muhammara, makdous, fattoush, and many more of my favorite sides.

My mom makes the best tabbouleh and she taught me to make it this way. I actually feel that this is a dish that can definitely transport me back to my childhood. Also, it has a homeland feel to it because tabbouleh is as authentic and traditional as hummus.

Btw, have you ever tried them together? OMG, like take a spoonful of tabbouleh and drive it through a spoonful of hummus and straight to your mouth. Thank me later!


When life gives you lemons, make Tabbouleh!

(Taken from a Motivational Poster by Yislamoo)

Variations on Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad

The true star of the show is lots of fresh parsley! The parsley stands up well to the citrus in the dressing, which is why tabbouleh tastes even better the next day. But, did you know you can swap out the parsley for other greens?

Try some finely chopped spinach or kale instead of parsley. You can even used curlyhead parsley instead of flatleaf.

My tabbouleh recipe calls for dried mint leaves and green or white onions. If you’d like you can substitute dried mint with fresh and use red or yellow onions.

I add seven spices for added flavor, others choose to add cumin or sumac. Each spice has a distinct flavor and will alter the overall taste of the tabbouleh salad, so choose wisely.

The best way to make tabbouleh kid-friendly in my experience is to finely chop it. The food processor is perfect for such a feat. Kids tend to get picky about tomatoes or onions, if they can barely see them, it might get them turned on to eating it.

This recipe is the most similar to the one I grew up with, but feel free to make it your own by adding or removing ingredients.


What You’ll Need to Make Authentic Easy Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad

These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this classic Middle Eastern salad.

Parsley: You’ll need fresh parsley to make this salad. Both flatleaf parsley and curly parsley work. Wash them, dry them, and then chop the ends off. Then chop them into finely. You can use the food processor, but remove a portion of the stems first.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are another main ingredient in this salad. They build on the refreshing factor. For your tabbouleh salad recipe, choose firm and ripe tomatoes. Chop your tomatoes into very small cubes. Roma or plum tomatoes are a good choice since they are firm and have fewer seeds.

Bulgur: Authentic tabbouleh is made with extra fine bulgur (whole grain made from cracked wheat) that is soaked rather than cooked. It gives tabbouleh an earthy flavor and adds texture. You can find bulgur wheat in Middle Eastern Grocery stores. Soak the bulgur wheat according to the package directions.

Green onion: If you don’t have green onions, you can use white onions or spring onions. Green onions help with aesthetics and have a distinct flavor that gives the tabbouleh an added burst.

Dressing: To dress the salad, you will need a simple olive oil lemon dressing. Use extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pomegranate molasses (you can leave it out if you prefer).

Spices: The extra spices are optional and aren’t part of the authentic recipe. If you plan on following my recipe, you will need seven spices and salt.

Check the recipe card for quantities.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you eat tabbouleh salad the next day?

YES, if you ask me! It even tastes better the next day since the bulgur would have absorbed all the flavors of the dressing. It is actually a culturally well-known secret that the longer the bulgur sits in the tabbouleh juice, the better the whole dish tastes!

Can you make tabbouleh gluten-free?

You can make Tabouli Gluten Free! You can remove the bulgur completely or replace it with quinoa or millet.

Are there benefits to eating tabbouleh?

Parsley has lots of benefits. They are known to be rich in iron. They are also rich in antioxidants, packed with nutrients, and known to have antibacterial properties. The onions, tomatoes, and mint also have certain health properties. So, all in all, tabbouleh is a great salad option if you’re eating healthy.

Can you make tabbouleh salad ahead of time?

The good news is that you can make this salad ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. Making it ahead of time allows the flavors to really develop. This salad cannot be frozen.


One of My All Time Favorite Salads

Zesty, tangy, and juicy easy Lebanese tabbouleh salad swimming in its own juices and served with green lettuce leaves.
Zesty, healthy, and incredibly delicious!

The Fastest and Easiest Way to Make Tabbouleh

In the video below, I show you how you can make tabbouleh in a much faster way than the traditional way of using a knife. Some people do not prefer this method since they think it makes the parsley soggy, but I have a solution for you to cut your tabbouleh prep time by almost 75%!

Wash your parsley very well and allow it to air dry completely. Chop most of the stems off (about 3–4 inches) and toss them out . Typically, I chop the whole bunch of parsley when I am using a knife, but when using a food processor, you want to remove the stems since they will not blend well in the food processor and will slow down this quick method.

I remember one day I had some friends coming over for lunch, and I just so happened to have washed and dried parsley from the day before. I literally prepped my salad in less than 10 minutes using the food processor, and it tasted incredible. So, the way I look at it, why not? You don’t necessarily always have to use this method, but it is a great option for those busy days!


Recipe Tip

Prepare the parsley ahead of time. Parsley should be thoroughly washed. Allow to dry completely before storing in the refrigerator using a clean kitchen napkin or paper towel. To remove excess water, you could use a salad spinner.

My mom taught me to cube the tomatoes first and then add the bulgur, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and lemon and let it sit while I chop up the other ingredients. This allows the bulgur to soak up and it will be ready when I finish chopping.


Serving Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh makes a great and bright addition to the dinner table next to your grilled tawouk skewers or shawarma dishes. In fact, tabbouleh pairs absolutely perfectly with all proteins.

But it can also be included as part of mezze (appetizers) along with other small serving plates including the likes of Hummus, Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip), Vegetarian Grape Leaves, Falafel, Spicy Potato and Cilantro (Batata Harra), etc.

Serve up this easy Lebanese tabbouleh salad in one large bowl with lettuce leaves lined all around the sides of the bowl. Furthermore, you can serve it in smaller bowls with lettuce leaves standing upright in the center. You can even lay the lettuce leaves individually and fill each leaf with tabbouleh, essentially turning it into a finger food.

In addition, you can serve and eat tabbouleh with grape or cabbage leaves. When it comes to lettuce, Romaine is the best choice but head lettuce works well, too.

How long can tabbouleh be stored and eaten?

Store any leftover tabbouleh salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days. If any discoloration occurs or the smell changes, discard it immediately.


Easy Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad is a Festival of Colors

A bowl filled with Taboule Salad that is made up of chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, and other greens. The bowl is decorated with some lettuce leaves.
A fresh, healthy, hearty, and colorful salad every one will enjoy.

Important Tips on How to Make Easy Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad

  • Make this GLUTEN FREE by omitting the bulgur. You can replace bulgur with cooked quinoa or millet.
  • Substitute parsley with kale, spinach, or Swiss chard depending on your flavor profile preference.
  • If you’re not using a food processor to save time, use a sharp knife. The secret to a yummy tabbouleh is finely chopped vegetables.
  • Add pomegranate molasses for a tangier taste.
  • Throw in a dash of seven spices for added flavor.
  • Adding some cumin gives it a zing too, and is known to help relieve bloating from the parsley. You can also add a dash of black pepper for an added kick.
  • If you don’t have green onions, definitely opt for cubed white onions. They also taste great in tabouli salad.

Pro Tips

What’s the best way to serve tabbouleh salad?

Before serving, chill the tabbouleh salad for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It allows the flavors to develop beautifully.

How can you keep tabbouleh from getting soggy?

Keep tabbouleh from getting soggy by pre-salting the parsley and tomatoes. This helps get rid of excess water and keeps it from getting too soupy after it’s mixed.

Can tabbouleh be eaten every day?

Technically, tabbouleh salad has no cholesterol, is high vitamins and fiber, and low in fat. If you won’t get bored of it and it doesn’t cause you any other issues (digestive, kidney, etc.) then you can eat it as often as you’d like.


Step-by-Step Instructions

Zesty, healthy, and delicious, tabbouleh salad is an absolute favorite for lots of my friends and family! The preparation has been simplified in the video below with a very easy dressing that will wow you! 

First, cube the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl.

Next, add the olive oil, lemon, salt, bulgur, molasses, and seven spices and mix, then place in the fridge. If you choose, you can omit the seven spices, but I love the kick they give the tabouli.

Finally, in a separate bowl, finely chop washed and air-dried (not wet) parsley (or place in a food processor), then add to the chilled tomato mix. Add more salt if needed. Enjoy alone or in a lettuce leaf or cabbage leaf.

You will notice I added a tiny pinch of seven spices and pomegranate molasses, which are totally optional but highly recommended! The seven spices give a hint of subtle flavor, and pomegranate molasses gives the tabbouleh that extra tangy depth. It truly makes a difference!

As many will say, this is not traditional, and you can’t always play by the rules when making special dishes. Go with what makes you and your family satisfied.


Vegan Tabbouleh Salad!

Zesty refreshing tabbouli salad which served with lettuce.
Say goodbye to boring salads.

Other Salad Recipes You Will Enjoy


5 from 3 votes

Easy Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad

By: Lama
This zesty tabbouleh salad has all the ingredients you'd want in a salad and more. It's tangy, it's juicy, and it's filling! It screams healthy from start to finish and can be made gluten free – just omit the bulgur!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings

Equipment

  • food processor

Ingredients 

  • 3 bunches parsley, Italian (flat) or curly
  • 1/4 cup green onion or white onion, chopped
  • 6 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1 large lemon juice
  • ½ cup fine bulgur
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • teaspoon seven spices, optional
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

Instructions 

  • Cube tomatoes and place in a bowl.  Add the olive oil, lemon, salt, bulgur, molasses, and seven spices and mix then place in fridge. If you choose, you can omit the seven spices but I love the kick it gives to the tabbouli.
  • In a separate bowl, finely chop washed and air dried (not wet) parsley (or place in a food processor), add to the chilled tomato mix then add the chopped green onions and mix very well. Add more salt if needed. Enjoy alone or in a lettuce leaf or cabbage leaf.

Video

Notes

Tips:
  • Make this GLUTEN FREE by omitting the bulgur. You can replace bulgur with cooked quinoa or millet.
  • An important tip my mom taught me is to cube the tomatoes first and then add the bulgur, the pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and lemon and lit it sit while I chop up the other ingredients. This allows the bulgur to soak up and it will be ready when I finish chopping.
  • Be sure to wash then fully dry the parsley before placing in the food processor
  • Add pomegranate molasses for a tangier taste.
  • Throw in a dash of seven spices for added flavor.
  • Some cumin gives it a zing too and is known to help relieve bloating from the parsley .
  • Serve and eat with Romaine lettuce, grape leaves, or cabbage leaves.
  • If you don’t have green onions, definitely opt for cubed white onions.

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 891mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2591IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Lama

I'm Lama, welcome to my blog where you will find simple and diverse recipes your entire family will enjoy. I am honored to connect with you through the recipes I prepare!

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This Lebanese Tabouli salad was so easy and delicious to make! It’s a light and healthy meal option! Thanks for sharing Lama !

  2. I’ve been searching for a recipe that tastes like the amazing Lebanese tabouli you get in restaurants and finally found it! I’d give six stars if I could ❤❤

  3. 5 stars
    I made this salad last night. It was perfect! The blend of flavors was amazing. I added extra lemon juice and a sprinkle of spices. Yummmmy