If you are looking for the best Tabbouleh (Lebanese Tabouli Salad) Recipe, look no further! My simple version of this healthy and refreshing Mediterranean dish is full of flavour, colour and nutrition. It is a perfect side dish to compliment Turkish Meat Pie, Fish Pie or Shish Tawook (Turkish Chicken Kebab)
Bulgur and parsley are the two main ingredients for the tabbouleh salad so it is important to use the right amount. Some recipes use too much parsley which makes the salad taste bitter. I use slightly less parsley and add some mint leaves for extra freshness. I also love using red jewel looking pomegranate seeds to add some sweetness and colour to my tabbouleh.
Why This Recipe Works?
- This recipe is healthy, low calorie yet extremely delicious.
- It is very easy to prepare, just chop up some herbs and tomatoes, cook a bit of bulgur and mix them with a light dressing.
- This Lebanese parsley salad is vegan, and you can make it without bulgur for a gluten-free version.
- The ratio of bulgur to parsley is nicely balanced to achieve the best results.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- Bulgur - Bulgur is one of the two main ingredients and is available in a range of grinds, typically fine, medium, coarse and extra coarse. It is often confused with couscous which is actually pasta, not a grain. Tabouli requires fine bulgur which is also a common ingredient for Mercimek Kofte (Lentil Balls) or Kisir (Turkish Bulgur Salad). You can easily find all types of bulgur in Turkish or Middle Eastern shops.
- Parsley - The second main ingredient is parsley. Authentic tabbouleh recipe uses loads of parsley hence the name is Lebanese Parsley Salad. You can use both curly and flat-leaf parsley.
- Tomatoes - They add more texture and color to the salad as well as a refreshing flavour. Juicy summer tomatoes are always the best option but if you can't find them, cherry tomatoes work well too.
- Mint- Fresh mint is traditionally added to this salad which provides a refreshing flavour.
- Red onions - You can substitute them with shallots or spring onions.
- Lemon juice - It is the perfect element that adds freshness to the salads and is commonly used in dressings. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, not the bottled ones.
- Olive oil - I use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings.
- Pomegranate molasses - It is a thick syrup made with pomegranate juice and is commonly used in Middle Eastern / Turkish recipes. It has an intense sweet-and-sour flavor which reminds me of balsamic reduction. It is perfect to use for salad dressing or marinade. You can buy it from most Turkish / Middle Eastern shops or from .
- Pomegranate seeds - I love the colour they add to this salad as well as the sweetness and extra crunchy texture. It is optional and you can omit them.
This tabbouleh recipe is super easy and there are only a few simple tips and steps that you need to follow to achieve the best results:
Cook the Bulgur
Place the bulgur in a pan filled with cold water and bring to a boil on medium heat. Lower the heat when it boils and gently simmer for 15 -20 minutes or until they are cooked al dente. Drain the bulgur and let it cool down while preparing the rest of the salad. When it's cooled down, fluff the bulgur using a fork before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Chop the Vegetables and Herbs
Wash and finely dice the tomatoes and then place them in a large bowl. Peel and finely dice the red onion and add it to the tomatoes. Wash the parsley leaves and let them totally dry before chopping. Make sure you use a sharp knife while chopping the parsley to avoid bruising the leaves. Wash, dry and chop the mint leaves.
Combine the Ingredients
Add the bulgur, parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and salt to the bowl. Mix all together until nicely combined, taste and then adjust the amount of seasoning to your taste.
For other healthy & delicious salad recipes why not try:
Tabbouleh is one of the healthiest salads and is made with all healthy ingredients such as parsley, bulgur, tomatoes, lemon juice, onions and olive oil. This delicious and refreshing salad helps with weight loss and also cleanses the body.
Yes, you can replace bulgur wheat with quinoa, hempseed seeds or wild rice for making a gluten-free version of this vegan salad.
Although they both are made from wheat, they are different. Bulgur is a whole grain made of cracked and partially boiled durum wheat. It is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Couscous is not a whole grain, it is a tiny pasta made of semolina. It is commonly used in North African and Middle Eastern recipes.
Top Tip From the Chef
You can cook the bulgur a few days in advance and keep it for up to three days until you want to make tabbouleh salad.
I hope you enjoy the process of making this healthy Tabbouleh Salad as much as you enjoy eating it🙂.
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
- 100 g fine bulgur (½ cup)
- 2 medium tomatoes (finely diced)
- 1 small red onion (finely diced)
- 2 cups flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoon fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)
- ½ pomegranate (seeds)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place the bulgur in a pan filled with cold water and bring to a boil on medium heat.
- Lower the heat when it boils and gently simmer for 15 -20 minutes or until they are cooked al dente.
- Drain the bulgur and let it cool down while preparing the rest of the salad. When it's cooled down, fluff the bulgur using a fork before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Wash and finely dice the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl.
- Peel and finely dice the red onion and add to the tomatoes.
- Wash the parsley leaves and let them totally dry before chopping. Make sure you use a sharp knife while chopping the parsley to avoid bruising the leaves.
- Wash, dry, and chop the mint leaves and add to the bowl with tomatoes and onions along with the bulgur, parsley, pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, and salt.
- Mix all together until nicely combined, taste, and adjust the amount of seasoning to your taste.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
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