Tabouleh is a refreshing and nutritious Middle Eastern dish. Tabouleh's main ingredient is bulgur wheat, an ancient grain dating back to 2800 B.C.
It was once considered a sacred food due to its resistance to insect attack or spoilage. There are also biblical references of bulgur regarding the Babylonians and the Hittites.
As a dish, tabouleh is high in fiber, lycopene and good carbohydrates(is there a bad carb? just kidding.) There are multiple variations of tabouleh, my personal favorite is the one below. This one contains mint that I rescued from my garden.
I know I say this about every recipe on this blog, but tabouleh is easy to make. If you can boil water and chop veggies, you are good to go! You can also watch my step-by-step video if you're unsure.
Tips for tabouleh salad
- All the ingredients need to be as fresh as possible. Try to enjoy it the same day. I've had luck with airtight containers, but two days in the fridge max.
- Don't freeze it, it'll lose its texture.
- You could prepare the bulgur wheat a day or so ahead of time and have it chilled in the refrigerator.
- This goes great as a side dish with grilled beef, lamb or I like to have it with chicken shawarma.
- You can leave out the feta cheese and make the dish vegan if you prefer.
- Try quinoa or other grains instead of the bulgur
- Substitute pomegranate seed for the tomato for tanginess.
Step by step photos:
- Gather all the ingredients and have them chopped, juiced, measured and ready to go.
- In a non-metal bowl place the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, parsley, tomato, onion, mint and feta. Mix well then refrigerate for 2 hours
- Place the bulgur wheat in a large glass or ceramic bowl then add the boiling water.
- Cover the bowl of wheat with plastic wrap to hold in the heat. Let it stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Once the bulgur is cold remove from the refrigerator and add the vegetable mixture.
- Stir well and serve immediately.
If you like the exotic flavors of Middle Eastern food here are some of my favorites you can bookmark for later or pin them on Pinterest.
Middle Eastern lentil soup is a simple soup that has lots of rich flavors and little lemon juice.
Zatar or za’atar is a spice blend you can easily make at home for dipping oils, sprinkle on hummus or toasted pita bread.
Lamb stew infused with rose water, dried apricots, cherries and almonds has a really nice combination of sweet and savory flavors in a rich broth.
Your meal Middle Eastern dinner would not be complete without a dessert of these pistachio rose water shortbread cookies. These are so easy to make and have such a nice floral note.
Chicken shawarma is a dish you can make on the grill or pan sear with small pieces of chicken, a tasty spice bend and then wrap in a pita with a tomato, onions and top with a yogurt sauce.
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Tabouleh Recipe Card - Middle Eastern Parsley Salad
A really simple recipe for an authentic tabouleh made with cracked bulgur wheat, parsley, tomato, feta, mint, lemon juice and onion. There is some variation on the spelling of tabbouleh or tabouli, no matter how you spell it you will love this salad with it's fresh flavors!
In a glass bowl place lemon juice, olive oil, salt, parsley, tomatoes, onion, mint and feta. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- In another glass bowl, place the bulgur wheat. Add the boiling water. Cover and let it stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. Refrigerate for one hour.
- When bulgur is cold, remove from fridge and add the vegetable mixture and mix well.
- Serve cold
Originally published July 2018 and updated June 2021.