Quinoa Tabbouleh is a healthier spin on a Middle Eastern recipe that is secretly so quick and easy to make. Full of good-for-you ingredients like quinoa, fresh parsley, tomatoes, and cucumbers, this simple salad is the perfect side dish. Serve this vegetarian and vegan option alongside falafel or hummus for a healthy summer lunch or dinner.

Quinoa salad is shown in a white bowl for a summer recipe.

Tabbouleh is one of those dishes that just makes you feel so darn good after eating it.

The earthy herbal notes from the parsley and mint combined with fresh veggies like cucumber and tomatoes – your body KNOWS you just put something good for you into it.

Plus, it’s an excellent way to use up a bunch of parsley before it goes bad.

But when I’m trying to limit my intake of gluten, classic tabbouleh has a gluten-laden ingredient that I have to avoid.

So the solution? Swap the bulgur wheat out with gluten-free quinoa!

My awesome assistant actually gave me this idea, and I’m so glad she did! Because now it’s possible to enjoy this fresh and healthy salad all summer long.

Quinoa, tomatoes, mint, cucumbers, green onions, parsley, lemon, garlic, and oil are the ingredients for this simple salad.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe include:

  • Quinoa: Tri-color is the most attractive, but white is just as delicious.
  • Parsley: Flat leaf or curly parsley both work. Just make sure to measure the amount AFTER you’ve chopped it!
  • Mint: Sweet mint is easy to find. However, you can also use peppermint if would like to switch it up and add a little of this in.
  • Lemon: Freshly squeezed juice gives this dish a pop of freshness.
  • Oil: Opt for a good quality olive oil, this is essential for authentic flavor.
  • Garlic: Fresh, minced garlic adds so much to this recipe. You can sub ¼ teaspoon garlic powder if necessary.
  • Tomatoes: Grape or cherry are recommended. You will need to cut them in half. Other varieties can be used, just make sure to remove the seeds
  • Cucumbers: Any seedless variety will work. Finely dice to ensure consistent flavor. If you get a seeded type, be sure to remove all seeds or the tabbouleh will be watery.
  • Green onions: These add a fresh punch. You can also use finely diced red onion.

How to Make Quinoa Tabbouleh

The basic steps for making Quinoa Tabbouleh are simple to follow:

Cook the Quinoa

You can cook quinoa in several different ways. The stovetop and rice cooker works well. And Instant Pot Quinoa is quick and easy!

Remember that 1 cup of dry quinoa equals about 3 cups cooked.

To make this grain on the stovetop, add quinoa, water, and ½ teaspoon of salt to a saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring quinoa to a boil, and then reduce the temperature to medium-low.

Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. Let it simmer for 10-12 minutes. When the quinoa is done, it will be tender and fluffy.

Remove the pan from the heat. Use a fork to fluff it up. Then, set the pot aside.

You want the quinoa to be cooled to room temperature before mixing it with the other ingredients.

Prep the Veggies and Herbs

For the most flavor, you will want to use freshly cut vegetables and herbs. Using a sharp knife and cutting board, finely dice both the parsley and mint. You need 1 cup of CHOPPED parsley, so be sure to measure after you cut.

Finely cut the green onions. You only want the green parts which add color and a little flavor. The white ends are too pungent for this recipe.

Carefully slice grape or cherry tomatoes in half.

Finally, dice the seedless cucumber. First, remove the ends. Then, cut the vegetable in half. Continue dicing until you have small but evenly sized pieces. Depending on how big the cucumber is, you may not need to use all of it.

Toss to Combine

Once you have all of the ingredients prepped, it is time to combine everything. First, squeeze fresh lemon juice into a small bowl. Add in the extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix well.

Pour the lemon-oil mixture over the cooled grains and stir. It is important to do this step before adding in the other ingredients so the quinoa is evenly coated.

Finally, top with herbs and vegetables and gently toss to mix. Chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Or, garnish with additional parsley or green onions and serve immediately!

You can also switch it up and try this Millet Tabbouleh Salad instead!

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: You can make all or part of this dish ahead of time. Cook the grains up to 2 days in advance, or make the quinoa tabbouleh salad the day before and keep it in the fridge.
  • To Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: While you can freeze this dish, the texture of the tomatoes and cucumbers will be affected upon thawing. Keep in the freezer for up to 4 to 6 months.
A hand is shown dishing a serving of quinoa tabbouleh

FAQs

What is the difference between tabouli and tabbouleh?

Tabouli and tabbouleh are interchangeable names for a Middle Eastern dish traditionally consisting of bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, and lemon juice.

Is tabbouleh healthy?

This vegetarian dish is extremely healthy and packed full of fiber and vitamins from vegetables. Plus, tabbouleh has no cholesterol.

Can I use quinoa for tabbouleh?

Quinoa is an excellent sub for bulgur wheat, which is traditionally used in tabbouleh. This grain is a complete protein because it contains all nine amino acids our bodies cannot make.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Let it cool. Be sure to allow time for the quinoa to come to room temperature before adding other ingredients.
  • Chop first. Cut up the parsley and mint before measuring.
  • Fresh-squeezed. Use fresh lemon juice for a burst of flavor.
  • No seeds allowed. Be sure to get seedless cucumbers, or remove the seeds before adding. Otherwise, the tabbouleh will be watery.
  • Chill out. Let the dish sit in the fridge for an hour or two so the flavors marry.
Quinoa tabbouleh is served in a white bowl for a vegan side dish.

Make it a Meal

Quinoa Tabbouleh is the perfect accompaniment to any of these dishes:

More Quinoa Salad Recipes

Try one of these fresh and flavorful quinoa salad recipes next:

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5 from 1 vote

Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

Quinoa Tabbouleh is a healthier spin on a Middle Eastern recipe that is secretly so quick and easy to make. Full of good-for-you ingredients like quinoa, fresh parsley, tomatoes, and cucumbers, this simple salad is the perfect side dish.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup quinoa dry, white or tri-color
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp. salt divided
  • tsp. black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. mint finely chopped
  • 2-4 Tbsp. green onions
  • 1 ½ cups grape tomatoes diced
  • ¾ cup seedless cucumber diced

Instructions 

  • Add quinoa, water, and ½ teaspoon of salt to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and fluffy. Remove from heat, fluff it up with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.*
  • Once cooled, add cooked quinoa to a large bowl along with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Toss until well combined.
  • Add in parsley, mint, green onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Toss until just combined. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for a few hours to serve chilled. Enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 1 vote

Video

Notes

Meal Prep and Storage

  • To Prep-Ahead: You can make all or part of this dish ahead of time. Cook the grains up to 2 days in advance, or make the quinoa tabbouleh salad the day before and keep it in the fridge.
  • To Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days.
  • To Freeze: While you can freeze this dish, the texture of the tomatoes and cucumbers will be affected upon thawing. Keep in the freezer for up to 4 to 6 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 121kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 330mg, Potassium: 254mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1323IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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