Traditional Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh or Tabouli salad is basically parsley salad. It is a healthy, very delicious appetizer, side dish, salad or it is perfect for dinner too. This traditional Lebanese tabbouleh salad is made with bulgur, mostly parsley, and freshly chopped vegetables. There are several variations.

The traditional tabbouleh salad isn’t grain-free. If you would like to make this grain-free version, you can replace bulgur with quinoa or use semolina for example.

How Do You Make Bulgur

You can make it two ways:

1. Soak the bulgur in an olive dressing

Make a dressing for bulgur. It is made up of 2 ingredients: olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk them together until are combined then add the bulgur to the dressing, stir and let it soak until it is soft and plumped for about 15 minutes. During this time, the bulgur absorbs some of the liquid and soften.

2. Soak the bulgur in boiling water

Soak the bulgur until tender according to package directions. In practice: pour over boiling water to the bulgur, covering the grains in about 2-3 cm, then cover and let to soak for 20 minutes. Separate the grains and fluff with a fork.

Prepare The Vegetables For Tabbouleh Salad

While the bulgur is soaking, prepare the vegetables (cucumber, tomato, green onion) by washing, cutting them. Salt your tomato and cucumber and drain off the excess juice to prevent your tabbouleh salad way too watery. Set it aside while you chop the parsley.

Cut off the thick stems from the parsley and chop it finely. Do this by hand because the food processor ruins the texture of the salad.

tabbouleh salad ingredients
Tabbouleh prepared ingredients

Combine Traditional Tabbouleh Salad Ingredients

Add the strained cucumber, tomato and chopped parsley, green onion to the cooled bulgur then pour the dressing (olive oil, 3 tablespoon lemon juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt) into the salad.

Before serving let the salad rest for 15 minutes to let the flavours mingle. Serve room temperature or cold.

tabbouleh salad

Tabbouleh Salad

Tabbouleh or Tabouli is a very delicious side dish or salad made mostly chopped parsley, tomatoes, onion, bulgur (or use semolina instead of bulgur). There are several variations.
Pin Recipe Print Recipe (please consider the environment before printing)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Lebanese
Recipe Typequick, tabouli, vegan, vegetarian
Servings 4


  • ½ cup bulgur
  • 1 cup diced tomato (2 large tomatoes)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (1 small cucumber)
  • 2 bunches parsley
  • cup thinly sliced green onion (2 green onions)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cup olive oil (extra virgine)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)


  • Cook or soak the bulgur until it is soft and plumped.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables by washing, drying, peeling them.
  • In a medium bowl combine the diced tomato and cucumber with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, stir and let the mixture rest for at least 10 minutes.
  • Cut off the thick stems from the parsley and chop it.
  • Add the strained cucumber, tomato and the chopped parsley and green onion to the cooled bulgur.
  • In a small cup whisk together olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt then pour dressing into the salad.
  • Pour the olive dressing into the salad and stir to combine. If necessary add more lemon juice and salt. Let the salad rest for 15 minutes until the flavours mingle then serve room temperature or cold and enjoy!


The above figures assume a cup with a volume of 250 ml. 

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