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If you’re looking for a light and refreshing salad to use up summer’s bounty of tomatoes and fresh herbs, this Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad is for you!
What is Tabbouleh?
Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad or Tabouli is one of the most recognizable Middle Eastern/ Lebanese salads. This parsley salad is very simple, made with finely chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat, then dressed with lemon juice, a hint of pomegranate molasses and olive oil.
Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad
When people ask me, what is my favorite Lebanese food, my answer is always the same. My Mom’s Tabbouleh Salad! Other versions of tabouli may have different herbs or other vegetables added such as cucumbers. However, this particular recipe is the one I grew up eating.
This Lebanese Tabbouleh recipe is a very light, refreshing and packed with healthy ingredients. Along with Fattoush, it’s the most frequently served salads in Lebanese cuisine. Growing up, my Mom would alternate between Fattoush and Tabbouleh, so you can imagine how difficult I had it 🙂
Lebanese Tabbouleh salad is a basically a parsley salad, it also has several spellings. You may see it referred to as tabbouleh, tabouli, taboulee, tabouleh or even taboleh. However you spell it, it’s delicious!
How to Make Tabouli:
This parsley tabbouleh recipe is especially nice in the summer with fresh tomatoes from your garden or farmer’s market, but we also love it in the winter with ripe Roma tomatoes from the grocery store.
(Exact measurements at end of this post)
Parsley: the star of the show in this salad; It needs to be chopped very finely.
Mint: A little bit of fresh mint leaves enhances the flavor of Tabbouleh.
Tomatoes: Pick fresh, but ripe tomatoes and also chop very finely.
Onion: I use white onions, but you can also use green onions if you have them available.
Bulgur Wheat: The finest Bulgur, usually labeled as #1 bulgur.
Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon, not from a bottle.
Pomegranate Molasses: A hint of pomegranate molasses gives your Tabouleh a different kind of tanginess! I personally will not eat Tabbouleh without pomegranate molasses. But if you don’t have it, you can just add extra lemon juice instead.
Olive Oil: I like the more pronounced flavor of extra virgin olive oil here, but if you only have standard refined olive oil that will work as well.
Salt: Add to taste. I start with 1 teaspoon and then adjust after mixing the vegetables and lemon juice.
- The first step in making this bright summer salad is to chop your parsley, tomatoes, mint and onion, very finely.
- Place the chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the bulgur, lemon juice, salt, pomegranate molasses and mix gently.
- Taste and adjust salt and sour.
- Now add olive oil and mix just until incorporated. Don’t over mix it.
- If your tomatoes are not ripe and juicy and you feel that your Tabbouleh is a little dry, you can add a few tablespoons of cold water.
Tips to Make the Best Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad:
- Parsley tips: Wash and dry the parsley ahead of time, it should be completely dry before chopping. You can always dry it thoroughly with a salad spinner. Chop your parsley as finely as possible using a sharp knife.
- Please do not use a food processor to chop your parsley: I would not recommend using a food processor because the parsley can come out soggy which changes the whole texture of this salad. I prefer flat parsley over curly ones, but both will work fine.
- Use lots of ripe tomatoes: I like my parsley to tomato ratio to be pretty much even. After mixing, if you the tomatoes blended in with the parsley and you don’t see much. Chop more tomatoes and mix again. Pick ripe tomatoes to make your tabouli juicy and delicious.
- Finely dice the tomatoes and onions.
- Bulgur wheat has to be the #1 fine brown bulgur wheat. You will not need a lot of it, but make sure to always rinse your bulgur in water before adding it to your tabbouleh.
- Season sufficiently with lemon juice, pomegranate mosses and salt. Tabbouleh has a tangy and zingy flavor, and you’ll need to taste and adjust your seasoning accordingly.
- Add cold water: After mixing, if your tabouli feels fry, add 1/3 cup of cold water gradually as needed.
- Serve your Tabbouleh with lettuce or cabbage leaves, which can be used as an edible spoon to scoop with or munched on the side.
How to Make Gluten Free or Tabbouleh without Bulgur:
Bulgur is not gluten free. Substitute red lentils for a gluten-free option. You’ll use the same amount (½ cup) uncooked red lentils. It will just need to be soaked a little longer before adding to the salad. Here is the recipe for my Red Lentil Tabouli Salad. SO GOOD!
What to Serve with Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad:
More Lebanese Salad Recipes:
Love easy summer salads with fresh herbs and veggies? I’ve got you covered with these simple, fresh and easy family recipe:
Lastly, if you make this delicious Lebanese Tabbouleh salad, or if you have any questions, let me know! Leave a comment or rate it. I would love to hear from you!