How to Make Tabbouleh: Guide 101

Tabbouleh is a popular Middle Eastern dish known for its vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients. Originating from the Levant region, particularly Lebanon and Syria, this salad has gained popularity worldwide for its light and refreshing qualities.

Tabbouleh is traditionally made with parsley, mint, tomatoes, bulgur wheat, lemon juice, and olive oil. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making this delicious and healthy dish.


To make tabbouleh, you will need the following ingredients:

1 cup finely chopped parsley

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup bulgur wheat

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Here’s how you can prepare tabbouleh:

Step 1

Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for about 15 minutes. Drain and squeeze out any excess water.

Step 2

In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, and red onion.

Step 3

Add the soaked bulgur wheat to the bowl and mix well.

Step 4

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Step 5

Pour the dressing over the tabbouleh mixture and toss to combine.

Step 6

Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

Step 7

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld together.

Before serving, give the tabbouleh a gentle toss and garnish with additional parsley leaves if desired.

Origin and Secret Preparation Tips


Tabbouleh originated in the eastern Mediterranean region and is a staple in Lebanese cuisine. The dish was traditionally made with bulgur wheat, which gives it a delightful nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture. Authentic tabbouleh focuses on the vibrant flavors of fresh herbs, vegetables, and citrus.

Here are a few secret preparation tips to enhance the flavors of your tabbouleh:

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients to ensure the best taste. Opt for ripe tomatoes, fragrant herbs, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • When chopping the parsley and mint, make sure to remove the stems and finely chop the leaves to release their flavors.
  • Soaking the bulgur wheat in cold water before adding it to the salad ensures a fluffy and tender texture.
  • Letting the tabbouleh chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more delicious and refreshing salad.

Nutritional Benefits of Tabbouleh

Excellent Source of Fiber

The bulgur wheat used in tabbouleh is a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy digestive system, preventing constipation, and promoting feelings of fullness, which can aid in weight management.


Tabbouleh is loaded with essential vitamins. Parsley, for example, is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Mint contributes to the salad’s vitamin A content, while tomatoes provide vitamin C and other beneficial nutrients.


This salad is also a good source of minerals. Parsley and mint contain minerals like potassium, calcium, and iron, which are necessary for maintaining proper bodily functions. These minerals are vital for supporting heart health, bone strength, and oxygen transport in the body.


Tabbouleh is incredibly versatile and can be served as a refreshing side dish or as a main course. Here are some ideas for serving tabbouleh:

  • Serve tabbouleh alongside grilled chicken or lamb skewers for a complete Mediterranean meal.
  • Pair it with falafel, hummus, and pita bread for a delightful vegetarian platter.
  • Use tabbouleh as a topping for toasted bread or as a filling for wraps and sandwiches.
  • Add it to a mezze platter along with other Middle Eastern dishes like baba ganoush and stuffed grape leaves.

Variations of Tabbouleh


While the traditional tabbouleh recipe is undeniably delicious, there are several variations that allow you to add your own unique twist to this Mediterranean dish. By incorporating different ingredients and flavors, you can create exciting and personalized versions of tabbouleh. Here are a few variations to consider:

Quinoa Tabbouleh: For a gluten-free option or a change of texture, substitute quinoa for bulgur wheat. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and let it cool before mixing it with the other ingredients. Quinoa adds a nutty flavor and provides a complete protein source, making it a nutritious alternative.

Grain-Free Tabbouleh: If you’re following a grain-free or paleo diet, you can replace the bulgur wheat with cauliflower rice. Simply pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until they resemble rice grains. Steam or sauté the cauliflower rice briefly before combining it with the remaining ingredients. This variation maintains the freshness and flavors of tabbouleh while keeping it grain-free.

Protein-Packed Tabbouleh: To turn tabbouleh into a more substantial meal, consider adding protein-rich ingredients. Chickpeas, diced grilled chicken, or crumbled feta cheese are excellent options. These additions not only enhance the taste but also provide extra nutrients and make the dish more satisfying.

How to Properly Store Tabbouleh

To store tabbouleh and keep it fresh for longer, follow these guidelines:

  • Place any leftover tabbouleh in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerate it promptly and consume within 2 to 3 days.
  • Before serving the refrigerated tabbouleh, give it a gentle toss to redistribute the dressing and refresh the flavors.

Try a New Recipe Vegan Brown Rice BBQ Meatloaf

If you’re looking to explore more delicious recipes, we recommend trying out this mouthwatering Vegan Brown Rice BBQ Meatloaf recipe from Success Rice. Made with wholesome ingredients, it’s a delightful twist on a classic dish.  For detailed instructions check out the recipe at

Tabbouleh is a versatile and refreshing Mediterranean dish that brings together the vibrant flavors of fresh herbs, vegetables, and citrus. With its origins in the Levant region, this salad has become a favorite worldwide.

By following our simple recipe and tips, you can create a delicious tabbouleh that will impress your family and friends. Don’t forget to try out the Vegan Brown Rice BBQ Meatloaf recipe for a delightful plant-based twist. Enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean in your own kitchen!

About Martha Ramirez