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Tabouli (Tabbouleh)

Tabouli (also spelled Tabbouleh) is a Levantine salad made with fresh chopped herbs, tomatoes, cucumber, and bulgur. It's dressed in a light lemon vinaigrette and seasoned with salt and pepper. This powerhouse salad is loaded with delicious flavors and plenty of texture -- no wonder it's one of the most popular salads in the Middle East with its popularity spreading globally!
Course Appetizer, meze, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword Tabbouleh, Tabouli
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 -12 (as a side)
Calories 124kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $10.34


  • 3/4 cup fine bulgur wheat (Note 1)
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups finely diced English cucumber (Note 2)
  • 2 cups (10.5 oz) quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 packed cup finely chopped fresh mint (Note 3)
  • 1 packed cup finely chopped fresh parsley (~2 bunches)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped green onions (~1 bunch)


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1 tsp zest (2 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon each: minced garlic, ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  • BULGUR: Bring a small pot of 1-1/4 cups of water to a boil. Meanwhile, add the bulgur to a large bowl. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and then pour the boiling water over. Stir, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for 15-25 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed in the bulgur. Remove the plastic wrap and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature. (If you're in a hurry, pop it in the fridge!) We love making this part a day before -- makes the salad come together so much quicker!
  • DRESSING: In a wide-mouth jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Season to taste (I add 3/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper). Shake vigorously to combine and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  • SALAD: Add completely cooled bulgur, cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, parsley, and green onions to a large bowl. Toss gently. Add dressing and toss again. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • STORAGE: This salad will stay fresh in an airtight container for 2-3 days, noting that the flavor (and aroma) from the green onions becomes more intense every day. Before enjoying, make sure to give the stored salad a good stir and taste to see if it needs more seasoning or another squeeze of lemon. This salad doesn't freeze or thaw well.



Note 1: Bulgur wheat: Bulgur is wheat that is parboiled and then dried. There are different varieties mainly varying in coarseness. We like fine bulgur best -- not only does it make for the best texture in this salad, but it's also so easy to prepare. I've found this can be a hard ingredient to find in mainstream grocery stores so it's typically something I order online. If you don't get fine bulgur, follow package directions for cooking (the steaming method won't work the same with coarse bulgur).
Note 2: Cucumbers: Regular cucumbers don’t work as well. They don’t have enough flavor and are too watery. Stick to an English cucumber or Persian cucumbers (Persian cucumbers are sometimes labeled as mini/salad cucumbers). You'll need 1 large English cucumber or about 4-5 small salad cucumbers.
Note 3: Fresh herbs: I did try to speed up the prep by chopping all of the herbs in a food processor, but the result was lackluster -- the herbs browned quicker, chopped unevenly, and got watery. Yes, it's a lot of work (get a podcast going!), but this salad is best with hand-chopped herbs. Finely chop and tightly pack to get the proper measurement. Also, be sure to get flat-leaf Italian parsley, as opposed to curly for this recipe. Flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavor and curly parsley is used more commonly as a garnish. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg