Tabbouleh salad, also called Tabouli, is a delicious Middle Eastern salad that’s very simple and easy to make. Fresh vegetables and finely chopped herbs, mixed with Bulgar, lemon juice, and olive oil, make it the perfect salad.
If you’re all about healthy and easy salads, then this tabouli recipe is for you!
Living in Turkey has been a great part of my life because that was where I discovered how Mediterranean recipes are so close to Middle Eastern cuisine. I love how fresh and seasonal ingredients are used in Mediterranean cuisine on a daily basis and food is always simple and undeniably delicious. Salads have a great role in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines like fattoush recipe or Mediterranean Salad Recipe Also cucumber tomato avocado salad and Manakish Zaataris another favorite of ours which I seriously cannot have enough of. And, today, we’re going to take a look at another favorite: Tabbouleh Salad.
What is Tabbouleh (Tabouli)?
Tabbouleh or tabouli is a Mediterranean salad that’s pretty simple. It’s main ingredients are parsley, herbs and vegetables. It’s a light and easy salad that makes a great side to most dishes.
What are the ingredients in tabouli salad?
Bulgar wheat, cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs are the main ingredients used in this tabbouleh recipe. Depending on the recipe and region, other ingredients such as mint, bell pepper, red onion or green onion are used as well. You can use different types of Bulgar like regular or extra fine Bulgar.
The dressing used in tabbouleh salad recipe is made with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Such simple dressing gives so much flavor this this fresh and filling salad!
Do you cook Bulgar?
It depends on the type of Bulgar used in the recipe. I cook Bulgar if they are large grain, but if they’re very fine ones, I just soak them in hot water. For this recipe, I used regular whole wheat Bulgar and cooked them separately. Whole wheat Bulgar is light brown whereas regular Bulgar is more yellow.
Read more about bulgur wheat and what you can do with it.
How to make tabbouleh salad
Start with the Bulgar, depending on the type of Bulgar, either cook it in a pot or just soak it in some boiling water. Once the Bulgar is ready, mix it with cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and mint. Chill the salad in the fridge for thirty minutes and meanwhile, make the dressing using lemon and lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Once ready to serve, pour the dressing over tabbouli salad and stir well.
Tabbouleh is made differently in different regions, Lebanese tabbouleh has more parsley and less Bulgar whereas Turkish tabbouleh, also called Kisir, has more Bulgar and less herbs.
What to serve with tabbouleh salad
Tabbouleh is the perfect side dish for many different dishes such as shish tawook, stuffed eggplant, or Persian chicken with saffron. Basically, tabbouleh would be perfect with any kind of chicken, beef or lamb dish. It’s also a delicious side dish for all kinds of barbecued meat.
Notes and tips for tabbouleh recipe
- You can make tabbouleh salad with quinoa or couscous. It won’t be the classic tabbouleh salad, but it’s tasty.
- Tabbouleh salad is always served cold, it’s best to chill it in the fridge before serving it.
- For a fresh tabouli salad, mix the dressing with the salad right before serving. It’s best to serve tabouli the same day or within 24 hours.
- I don’t recommend freezing tabbouleh salad as it contains tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley. These vegetables don’t freeze well and become mushy and grainy and will ruin the flavor and texture of the salad.
- Because of all the herbs and olive oil, tabbouleh salad is good for you. Make sure you use a high quality extra virgin olive oil.
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Tabbouleh salad, also called Tabouli is a delicious Middle Eastern salad that's very simple and easy to make. Fresh vegetables and finely chopped herbs, mixed with bulgur, lemon juice and olive oil make the perfect salad.
- 1/2 cup wheat bulgur See Note #1
- 1 1/2 cups parsley finely chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes diced
- 2 Persian cucumbers diced See note #2
- 1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 lemon juice of
- 1 lime juice of
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Cook the bulgur according to the instructions on the package. If you're using very fine bulgur, pour 1/2 cup hot water on the bulgur and let it sit for fifteen minutes, squeeze out and discard excess water and place the cooked bulgur in a large bowl.
Add parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh mint to the bulgur. Mix well. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to cool for thirty minutes.
In another bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice, salt and pepper and place it in the fridge.
When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad, stir well and serve immediately.
- You can use regular or fine bulgur. If using regular bulgur, cook it according to the packaging and if you're fine bulgur, just pour some hot water on it and let it sit for 15 minutes, squeeze out the excess water and then use the cooked bulgur in the recipe. The amount of bulgur used in this recipe depends on your preference, you can use less if you prefer your salad to be greener. For this recipe, I used whole wheat regular bulgur.
- You can use half of an English cucumber.
- Tabbouleh salad is best served the same day.
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