Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh (or tabouli) is a staple in my house.  Not only is it one of my favorite dishes as a vegetarian, but my meat-eating spouse and child love it too!  Tabbouleh typifies many cuisines, particularly Middle Eastern ones.  And as with dialects, customs, and so many other edible treats, the nature of tabbouleh varies from country to country, region to region, and household to household.  Therefore, recipes for this healthy and fulfilling dish are plentiful, but traditionally it consists of a combination of bulgur (bulghur, cracked wheat), fresh herbs, chopped vegetables, spices, lemon, and oil.

Below is my favorite recipe (that I’ve found so far!) for a tabbouleh salad.  It is based on a recipe found in a book called Living the G.I. (Glycemic Index) Diet by Rick Gallop.


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chick peas)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
  • large handful of chopped parsley
  • large handful of chopped basil
  • zest and juice from one lemon
  • approx. 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


Boil the water in a medium saucepan, then add the bulgur.  Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.  Remove the cooked bulgur from heat and fluff it with a fork.  While it cools, chop your veggies and herbs.  Note:  the cucumber can be peeled, if you prefer it that way.  When using organic cucumbers, I tend to leave the skin on because it contains many healthy nutrients and is high in fiber.  However, peeling may be more advisable for conventionally grown cukes, which carry concerns of wax and pesticide coatings.  Add to the cooled bulgur the beans, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, and herbs.  In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and zest, oil, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper; pour it over the bulgur mix and toss to combine.  Set the mixture aside to allow the flavors to blend for a couple hours.  Serve at room temperature.

By the way, I often go heavy on the herbs in this recipe when they are abundant in my house, but I don’t recommend skimping on them at all — at least 1/4 cup of both basil and parsley should be the minimum.

I use the chick peas to make this dish more hearty, particularly for the non-meat-eating crowd, although it’s not a traditional ingredient.  Additionally, you can serve this with crumbled feta and over a bed of lettuce.  It is quite delicious this way.

To round out a meal, I recommend serving tabbouleh with Greek meatballs, tzatziki, and a flat bread, such as naan.  With an appetizer of crudités and hummus and a nice bottle of red wine, you will have a dinner that is healthy, yet totally worthy of serving to guests.

Do you have a favorite recipe for Tabbouleh that you would like to share?  Let us know by commenting on this post or by emailing us at

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1 Comment

  1. How to beat the heat and not go hungry — some tips from a foodie living without central A/C « Two Dancing Buckeyes

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