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Easy Refreshing Tabbouleh

This easy refreshing tabbouleh is the perfect side salad or snack to have kicking around during the warmer months.

Close up of serving bowl full of freshly made tabbouleh.

Fresh lemony tabbouleh is easily one of the most invigorating salads out there. And most of the ingredients can be plucked from your very own garden, if you have one! This new obsession came about after ordering a side of tabbouleh from our favorite local Mediterranean joint; we’ve been pining for it on the regular since. The answer was obvious: make a snacking batch to keep in the fridge. Not only does this sate our cold salad cravings, but it encourages us to munch on something healthy, keeping us away from the chips and cookies.

Fresh parsley bunch, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, lemons, mint, scallions, and grains spread out on a wooden board.

What is tabbouleh?

Tabbouleh is a vegetarian Levantine salad made up of finely chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions, and soaked bulgur. It’s brought to life with a generous splash of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. In this adaptation, we’ve added chopped cucumbers and minced garlic. 

Chopped tabbouleh ingredients in a glass mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

How to make tabbouleh.

Quick and easy is the name of the game with this one.

  • Prepare your bulgur as per the directions on the package. (Finer grains, which is what a tabbouleh calls for, are to be soaked. If you decide to switch things up and use a coarse bulgur, you’ll have to cook it.)
  • Chop up bunches of fresh parsley and mint as finely as you can (or better yet, pulse them in a food processor).
  • Toss the parsley with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, minced garlic, bulgur, and salt.
  • Hit that good stuff with fresh lemon juice.
  • If you’ve used fine bulgur, let the salad sit at room temp or in the fridge for 2-3 hours. The bulgur will continue to soak up liquid and all of those bright flavors. If you’re using already cooked coarse bulgur, you can skip this step.
  • Toss with olive oil before serving, taste, and adjust seasoning if need be.

Tabbouleh will stay good for about 2-3 days in the fridge. After that, it may become a little mushy. This stuff does get more flavorful after a day of sitting, though. It’s tasty on the day it’s made, but it’s mind-blowingly delicious (and addicting) the next day.

Side shot of serving bowl full of freshly made tabbouleh.

Enjoy!

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme.

What to serve with tabbouleh.

In this house, we have a habit of standing at the counter and scooping tabbouleh into our mouths with torn pitas, tortilla chips, or by the spoonful. But as a course, it’s a salad. Here are some mains you can pair with it:

Easy Refreshing Tabbouleh

This easy refreshing tabbouleh is the perfect side salad or snack to have kicking around during the warmer months. It's packed with curly parsley, tomatoes, cucumbers, bulgur, and tangy lemon juice.
Course Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Lebanese, Levantine, Syrian
Keyword cold salad, Pissaladière, Snack, tabbouleh
Prep Time 20 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Author Dana Sandonato

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of fresh curly parsley, chopped very fine (this should yield about 3 cups) To get the perfect finely chopped consistency, pulse the parsley in a food processor.
  • 1/4 cup fine bulgur, soaked
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves Add to the food processor when pulsing the parsley.
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of two large lemons
  • A few generous sprinkles of kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Place 1/4 cup of dry bulgur in a bowl and cover the grains with warm water by about a 1/2 inch. Let them soak for 20 minutes; the bulgur will become tender. Drain the grains through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, and press the bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water.
  • Transfer the bulgur to a large bowl. Add the finely chopped parsley and mint, as well as the garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, and salt. Toss thoroughly to evenly distribute all of the ingredients.
  • Leave the tabbouleh out on the counter at room temperature or in the fridge for 2 hours. In this time, the bulgur will soak up the lemon juice and flavors and it will continue to plump up. After 2 hours, add the olive oil and toss to coat. Taste, and season with salt as needed.

Notes

Tabbouleh is at it's tastiest the following day after all of the flavors have settled. The salad keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Recipe makes about 4 cups.

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