This delicious Lebanese tabbouleh salad recipe (tabbouli) is a popular Middle Eastern dish. It is fresh, leafy, herby, and citrusy. The combination of these ingredients creates a mouth-watering, healthy, and savory side that can be served with shawarmas, grilled kabobs, lamb, chicken or fish.
About this Recipe
Tabbouleh comes from the Arabic word ‘taabil’ which means to season or spice. It is thought that tabbouleh was first eaten in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria more than 4000 years ago. Traditionally, tabouleh is served as part of a mezze in the Arab region. However, it has become popular in Western regions. Some variations of the dish include lettuce, sweet peppers or semolina instead of bulgur wheat.
What is Mezze?
A mezze is a selection of small dishes served as appetizers in the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans and Greece.
What is Bulgur Wheat?
Bulgur wheat is grown in the mountains of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan and is known as salamouni. It is made from wheat berries.
Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad (Tabbouli) Ingredients
- Bulgur wheat. One of the main ingredients in tabbouleh. It gives this side body and makes it filling. You can use medium-sized bulgur wheat or fine bulgur wheat for this recipe. To prepare medium-sized bulgur wheat, use hot water. Fine bulgur wheat does not need to be cooked. Make sure you read the packaging to ensure that you prepare the bulgur correctly.
- Parsley. A leafy green herb that adds delicious flavor to this side. Make sure you use fresh parsley.
- Mint. The second leafy green herb in tabbouleh adds a distinct minty flavor. The addition of mint makes this side dish taste very refreshing. Use fresh mint for this recipe.
- Tomatoes. Use fresh tomatoes for this recipe.
- Cucumber. Use fresh cucumbers.
- Onion. Traditionally, green onions/scallions/spring onions are used in tabbouleh. However, you can use white onions instead.
- Garlic. Crush fresh garlic cloves very finely for this recipe.
- Seasonings. All you need is salt and pepper to taste for this recipe.
- Lemon juice. Do not skip the lemon juice! In my opinion, it really makes this dish. However, be careful not to add too much. If you do, you can always add more bulgur wheat to balance the flavors.
- Olive oil.
How to Store Herbs
I thought I’d share this quick, game-changing hack to help you store your herbs for longer. Give the herbs a rinse and refrigerate them in water. This makes herbs last twice as long as they would in packaging.
- Wash herbs thoroughly and leave to dry. Remove the stems from the parsley and mint before chopping.
- Chop tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, parsley, mint as finely as possible. You can use a food processor as well.
- Option to remove excess juice from the tomatoes.
- For optimal flavor, leave to sit in the fridge for 3 hours.
- Drain tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, parsley, mint after you season them with salt and pepper.
- Al dente bulgur wheat is best for this recipe.
The Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad Recipe (Tabbouli)
- Check out my top tips before making this recipe. Add cooked bulgur wheat to a bowl (see notes on how to prepare bulgur wheat). Then, add olive oil and lemon juice to a separate bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture into the bulgur wheat, stir and set aside for later.
- Meanwhile, chop tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, garlic, parsley and mint very finely and add the ingredients to a bowl. Season the ingredients with salt and pepper to taste, drain and set aside.
- Next, add bulgur to the chopped ingredients and toss together.
- Finally, serve at room temperature or cold—option to refrigerate for 30 minutes to intensify flavors.
Refrigerate in an air-tight container for 1-2 days.
Alternatives for the Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad Recipe (Tabbouli)
This salad can be made in a number of different ways and at the end of the day, it really is up to you. If you have time to plan and buy all the correct ingredients before making this dish, that is great. However, if you are short on time and want to swap a few ingredients, that will work too! Here are some ingredients that can be swapped:
- Use white onions instead of scallions
- Use medium-sized bulgur wheat instead of fine bulgur wheat, but ensure it is not too soft.
- If you want a low-carb option, then use quinoa instead of bulgur wheat.
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Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad Recipe (Tabbouli)
- 1/2 a cup of bulgur wheat
- 3 large bunches of parsley
- 1/2 a bunch of mint
- 4 tomatoes
- 1 cup of cucumber
- 1/2 a cup of green onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- Check out my top tips before making this recipe. Add cooked bulgur wheat to a bowl (see notes on how to prepare bulgur wheat). Add olive oil and lemon juice to a separate bowl and whisk until well combined. Pour the mixture into the bulgur wheat, stir and set aside for later.
- Meanwhile, chop tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, garlic, parsley, mint very finely and add the ingredients to a bowl. Season the ingredients with salt and pepper to taste, drain and set aside.
- Add bulgur to the chopped ingredients and toss together.
- Serve at room temperature or cold. Option to refrigerate for 30 minutes to intensify flavours.
- Traditional Greek Salad Recipe From The Mediterranean Dish
I love making tabbouleh. The bright greens and the acidic dressing goes so well with grilled meats. Such a great recipe.
I made your tabbouleh recipe as a side dish for my roasted branzino and it was the perfect compliment. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Because I’m gluten intolerant I substituted the bulgur wheat with quinoa.The flavor was so spot on I could have eaten the entire dish alone.
I love Tabbouleh but never made it at home until I tried this recipe! It was delicious and such a good addition to my dinner!
This tabbouleh was not only super yummy, but really filling as well! I enjoyed this recipe and I will for sure make this again
This tabbouleh is so refreshing and rivals that of my favorite Mediterranean restaurant. I’ll be making it again.
The flavors in this salad were perfectly balanced and so refreshing. I’m going to be saving so much money not ordering tabbouleh from around the corner. This was easy to make!
Sooo GOOD! Thanks for sharing! Try this!! It’s soooo great my husband love it and brought the left over to work. The only thing that I added is a 1/4 tsp of sumac and all the dry ingredients went in the dressing and mix well. Oh! I used some quinoa .
I’m glad you enjoyed it!