A simple tabbouleh salad with curly parsley, mint, tomatoes and red onion. A perfect healthy summer side dish that requires just 15 minutes of prep work!

a teal bowl with tabbouleh in it

Tabbouleh salad holds a very special place in my heart along with Garlic hummus. And I simply crave it as soon as tomatoes and parsley come into season. I can eat gallons of it. I just keep it in the fridge and scoop out bowlfuls to nosh on for days.

Ingredients For This Recipe

Boiling water

To “cook” the bulgur, you’ll want a kettle of boiling water. It will be poured over the bulgur to soften it. 

Fine or Medium-fine bulgur wheat

Look for fine or medium fine bulgur for this recipe. It can be found in the bulk bin at health food stores or with the middle eastern grains in good supermarkets. 

Extra-virgin olive oil, Lemon juice and Salt

The simple dressing is made with oil, lemon and salt. If you like to add garlic that is traditional too. For more lemony flavor add half of a zested lemon too. 

Tomatoes

This recipe is best with fresh garden ripe tomatoes. Core them and cut them into an even dice. Save the juices from the cutting board and add that to the tabbouleh too. It will blend in with the dressing. 

Parsley

I prefer curly parsley in my tabbouleh because that is how I had it growing up. If you like flat leaf you can use it instead,but do not cop it too finely. 

Mint

Adding in a nice handful of chopped mint is authentic and really compliments the flavors in this recipe.

Red onion

I like to use red onion in my tabbouleh. If you prefer to use garlic, finely mince a clove and add it to the dressing. For the red onion, cut it as finely as possible so the flavors of the onion meld into the tabbouleh. 

How to Make Tabbouleh Salad

If you take a look at the total time required for this recipe, you might be a little startled at first. Over an hour to make one side salad sounds like a lot of time and energy, but hear me out! That “hands on prep time” required for this tabbouleh salad recipe is actually just 15 minutes. The rest of the time you simply are waiting for the bulgur wheat to absorb enough water to fluff up nicely.

Soak The Bulgur

So to make this simple tabbouleh, you’ll first need to combine some boiling water with the bulgur wheat.

Once the bulgur has absorbed the water, you’ll need to drain it well using a fine mesh sieve and press out any excess water with the back of your fingers.

Make The Dressing

Then, you’ll need to whisk together a little lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a large serving bowl.

Mix the Tabbouleh Together

Add in the bulgur and mix until it’s fully coated in the dressing. Gently stir in the parsley, tomatoes, onion and mint and serve or refrigerate.

Make Ahead Tips

  • You can prep this tabbouleh salad up to 8 hours in advance.  
  • If you want to prepare it further ahead of time, soak and drain the bulgur and combine with the dressing. Store that separately from the chopped parsley up to two days ahead.
  • Before serving, bring the bulgur to room temperature. Combine the parsley, bulgar, tomatoes, mint and onion. Adjust seasonings as necessary as the bulgur may need a bit more salt.
  • Leftovers tabbouleh can be kept covered in the refrigerator up to three days. The tomatoes will become watery and soft, and the parsley will wilt, but it will still taste delicious. 

side view of teal bowl with tabbouleh

More Easy Recipes with Middle Eastern Flavors:

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe for Tabbouleh, please come back and leave a star rating and review. They are super helpful. 

Happy Cooking!

~Katie 

 

Print
side view of a teal bowl with tabbouleh in it

simple tabbouleh salad

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Description

This is a recipe for Simple Tabbouleh salad with lemon, red onion, parsley, mint and tomatoes. A perfect healthy summer side dish that requires just 15 minutes of prep work!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 cup fine bulgur wheat
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cups chopped curly parsley
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • 3 tablespoons to ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint, to taste

Instructions

  1. Pour water over bulgur in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour. Drain well into a fine mesh sieve and press out any excess water.
  2. Whisk oil, lemon and salt in the bowl. Add the bulgur back to the bowl and coat with the dressing. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, onion and mint. Serve immediately or chill.

Notes

For Medium or Coarse Bulgur

If you cannot find fine bulgur, you can use medium or coarse bulgur instead but you will need to cook it. Add two cups water and one cup bulgur to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes over low heat. Turn off heat and let sit for at least 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Let cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally before mixing into the other tabbouleh ingredients.

Make Ahead Tips

  • You can prep this tabbouleh salad up to 8 hours in advance.
  • If you want to prepare it further ahead of time, soak and drain the bulgur and combine with the dressing. Store that separately from the chopped parsley up to two days ahead.
  • Before serving, bring the bulgur to room temperature. Combine the parsley, bulgar, tomatoes, mint and onion. Adjust seasonings as necessary as the bulgur may need a bit more salt.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 162
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 308 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 3 g