Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
This quinoa tabbouleh salad is made with fresh simple ingredients and comes together in less than 30 minutes for a healthy salad or side dish! It’s perfect to enjoy for lunch, as a side or to bring to a pot-luck!
What is Tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean salad that is made up of parsley, mint, onion and bulgar wheat. While bulgar is a healthy ingredient to use, it does contain gluten. So using quinoa as a replacement is the perfect option for making a gluten-free tabbouleh that is healthy and delicious!
This recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh (also sometimes spelled quinoa tabouli) is perfect to enjoy as a fresh and light salad for lunch or as a side dish.
Quinoa salad is one of my favourite ways to use quinoa. It’s packed with protein and fiber making it a great addition to any salad.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Ready in 30 minutes: You know I love any 30-minute recipe! This salad is one of those quick and is easy to throw together salads.
- Perfect for meal prep: This salad is great to make ahead of time and have on hand ready to go for the week!
- Naturally gluten-free and vegan: which makes it perfect to serve up for anyone with these dietary restrictions.
- Crowd-pleasing: making a big batch of this recipe is perfect to serve for a bbq or dinner party. It’s also a great recipe to bring for a pot-luck!
Quinoa tabbouleh ingredients
- Quinoa: The star ingredient of this gluten-free tabbouleh recipe! You can use all white quinoa or a mix of white and red quinoa.
- Parsley: Both flat-leaf parsley and curly parsley work well in this recipe. They will result in the same taste
- Mint: Just a bit will add a ton of flavour to this tabbouleh. You can also substitute this for some dill or basil if you prefer
- Cherry tomatoes: You can use any type of tomatoes here, but cherry tomatoes will give this salad the best flavour!
- Red onion: A classic ingredient used in tabbouleh. You can also substitute for green onions.
- Lemon juice: The main ingredient that will be used to make the lemon dressing for this salad.
- Olive oil: this is used to make the salad dressing. Make sure to use good quality olive oil.
How to make this Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
This salad is easy to throw together and takes less than 30 minutes to make!
- Cook the quinoa in a large pot of water on the stovetop according to package directions. Make sure to add 1/2 tsp salt to the water that you cook the quinoa in. This will make the quinoa extra flavorful!
- While the quinoa is cooking, chop up the parsley, mint, tomato, and red onion.
- Let the quinoa cool completely before tossing it with the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix the dressing ingredients and dress the salad before serving.
There are many different variations and ingredients you can add to this Quinoa Tabbouleh if you want to mix it up. While the standard ingredients are simply onion, tomato and herbs, there are definitely some other great vegetables and mix-ins if that would be very tasty. Here are some ideas.
- Red pepper
- Green onion
- Feta cheese
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds
What to serve with this tabbouleh salad
Tabbouleh is great to serve for a light lunch, as a side or more traditionally, as part of a mezze platter with a variety of different dips and pita bread. Here are some recipes you can serve with this tabbouleh salad.
- Crispy Baked Falafel
- Sweet Potato Falafel
- Healthy Hummus
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Meditteranean Chickpea Salad
- Roasted Beet Hummus
- Feta Dip
Expert tips for making Tabbouleh with quinoa
- Prepare the quinoa ahead of time. It’s best to prepare the quinoa a couple of hours ahead of time or to prepare the quinoa the night before. You want the quinoa to be completely cooled to room temperature before adding it to the salad so it doesn’t heat up the vegetables.
- Use curly parsley. You can technically also just use flat-leaf parsley, but curly is more traditional to use in tabbouleh and also makes it look prettier!
- Finely chop the vegetables. You don’t want large pieces in the tabbouleh. Everything should be chopped up very small.
- If your quinoa is hot and you want to cool it fast, place it spread out on a plate or baking sheet and place it in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.
How to store leftovers
Store leftovers of this tabouli salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days if it’s already dressed, and up to 6 days if it’s not dressed.
If you are planning on keeping this salad in the fridge to eat over several days, it’s best to keep the dressing on the side and only dress the tabbouleh salad as you need. This will keep the salad much fresher and tastier!
Frequently asked questions
Traditionally, tabbouleh made with bulgar wheat contains gluten. But this recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh is gluten-free.
Yes! This salad is very healthy and perfect to incorporate into a healthy diet. Each serving contains 3 grams of fibre, 3.5 grams of protein and 136 calories!
Yes. This recipe can be prepared ahead of time. Just store the dressing and salad separately, and dress when you are ready to serve the salad.
Unfortunately, tabbouleh does not freeze well and will become mushy after being frozen.
More quinoa salads to try
If you tried this Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!Print
Quinoa tabbouleh salad
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer, side
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: Lebanese
- Diet: Gluten Free
A simple and healthy tabbouleh salad that uses quinoa instead of bulgur for a gluten-free tabbouleh!
- 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 3 cups chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped mint
- 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Remove from the stove and let cool completely.
- Mix the parsley, mint, tomatoes, red onion and quinoa together in a large bowl.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together, then pour half the dressing onto the salad. Taste and add more dressing to your liking.
Prepare your quinoa ahead of time so you don’t have to wait for it to cool when making this recipe.
Use curly parsley for a more traditional tabbouleh.
Add 1/4 cup hemp seeds to add more protein to this recipe. Store any leftovers in the fridge. (This salad stores well even after being dressed.)
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 136
- Sugar: 1.5g
- Fat: 8g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 13.5g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 3.5g
Keywords: quinoa salad, healthy tabbouleh salad
I made this recently and it was really good to have on hand for lunches. I left out the mint because I wanted just the parsley taste. Perfect way to use up a bunch of parsley. Thank you!
Happy you enjoyed it Laura!
Full of flavour and refreshing. I’ve already made this recipe twice. If I’m wanting a lighter dinner, I make larger servings and eat the salad on its own – the quinoa is very filling.
So happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe Monika!
Bulgur is made from wheat, and not glutenfree! Check wikipedia, there are people with Coeliac Disease for whom this information really matters!
Hi Conny, there is no bulgar in this recipe, it’s made with quinoa.
Excellent recipe. A very easy way to elevate quinoa using simple ingredients, that you should have on hand anyway. Thanks again, Jessica!
Tabbouleh is one of my favorite salads! I love that you used quinoa in place of bulgar. Adding this to my ‘to-make’ list tis summer!
Thank you so much Rachel!
Do you know if there is a possible substitute for the olive oil? I am plant based and celiac. I miss this dish so much!!!!
Hi Tiffany, if you don’t mind the taste you can just leave out the oil completely! Myself sometimes I’ll dress a salad with just a little bit of dijon mustard and lemon juice, it will taste a little more acidic if you leave out the oil. If you can have natual oils, then I’d say to substitute the olive oil with tahini!
I love using quinoa, it’s just so easy and quick and convenient! This tabbouleh looks great Jess, perfect light and healthy dish for the Summer! Photos are just stunning, as always!!!
Thanks Anna! Quinoa is so versatile isn’t it?