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Tabbouleh Salad is one of the most recognizable Middle Eastern salads. This parsley salad is very simple, made with very finely chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat and then dressed with lemon juice, a hint of pomegranate molasses and olive oil. This salad also has several spellings. You may see it referred to as tabbouleh, tabouli, or even tabouleh. However you spell it, it’s delicious!
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. However, this particular recipe is the one I grew up eating. Tabbouleh salad 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.
Tabbouleh Salad Ingredients:
Parsley is the main ingredient in this salad; It needs to be chopped very finely.
A little bit of fresh mint enhances the flavor of Tabbouleh, but you can skip if not available.
Pick fresh, but ripe tomatoes and also cut it very finely.
I use white onions, but you can also mix it with green onions if you have it available.
The finest Bulgur, usually labeled as #1. It is super fine, that you only need to soaked it for a few minutes to soften.
Freshly squeezed lemon, ALWAYS.
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.
To taste. I start with 1 teaspoon and then adjust after mixing the vegetables and lemon juice.
Tips to Make the Best 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. 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.
- 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 always wash and soak in water or in the lemon juice for a few minutes to soften it.
- Season sufficiently with lemon juice, pomegranate mosses and salt. Tabbouleh has a tangy and zingy flavor, and you’ll need to taste and adjust enough your seasoning accordingly.
- 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 Tabbouleh- Tabouli Salad Gluten Free:
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.
What to Serve with Tabbouleh Salad:
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