This version of tabbouleh – the Middle Eastern herb and bulgur salad – is zingy, fragrant, and SO refreshing. Perfect for a mezze platter or picnic!
Herbs are arguably my favorite fresh ingredients, so it should come as no surprise that I love tabbouleh. Alternatively spelled tabouli or tabouleh, this Middle Eastern salad consists of finely chopped parsley, mint, tomatoes, and bulgur wheat.
Don’t let the bulgur’s presence fool you – traditional Lebanese tabbouleh isn’t so much a grain salad as it is an herb salad with grains. The parsley and mint are the real star ingredients, making the salad pungent, fragrant, and intensely refreshing.
You’ll find my go-to tabbouleh recipe below. If you love bright, herbaceous flavors, it’s one you have to try. Pack it up for a picnic, serve it as a side dish, or add it to your next mezze platter. No matter how you serve it, I think it’ll be a hit.
Tabbouleh Recipe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this tabbouleh recipe:
- Parsley, of course! I typically use Italian flat-leaf parsley in my cooking, but tabbouleh is an exception. I like curly parsley’s lighter texture, tamer flavor, and brighter color here.
- Mint – It adds delicious cooling notes to the salad.
- Bulgur wheat – If you’re not familiar with it, bulgur is simply cracked wheat that’s been partially cooked and then dried. Traditional tabbouleh would be made with fine bulgur, but because I have trouble finding it in grocery stores where I live, I typically prepare the salad with coarse bulgur. Use whichever you can find – either works well.
- Cucumber – For crunch! I like English and Persian cucumbers best here. If you’re using a regular cucumber, I recommend peeling and seeding it.
- Tomatoes – They add juicy texture to the salad.
- Scallions and garlic – They give the salad an oniony bite.
- Coriander and cinnamon – For earthy depth of flavor.
- Fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil – They create a bright, zesty dressing for the salad.
- And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
To make this tabbouleh recipe, you’ll start by chopping the herbs.
Yes, I know. There are a LOT of herbs in this recipe.
However, I still recommend that you use a sharp knife to chop them by hand instead of reaching for a food processor. The food processor can bruise them, giving them a soggy texture instead of a light one.
Once you prep the salad’s ingredients, place them in a large bowl and toss to combine. Season to taste and serve right away, or cover the salad and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. It only gets better as the flavors mix and mingle.
Tabbouleh Serving Suggestions
I’m happy eating this tabbouleh salad as a side dish with almost anything – say, a veggie burger at a cookout or a Caprese sandwich on a picnic. But it especially shines alongside Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. Try pairing it with a falafel wrap, or add it to a mezze platter with components such as these:
- Dips and spreads. Hummus, baba ganoush, muhammara, and tzatziki are all fantastic with tabbouleh.
- Pita bread. We love to make our own! (Though in a pinch, store-bought is totally fine too.)
- Cheeses. Set out cubes of feta, or make homemade labneh or this whipped feta dip.
- Fresh veggies. Sliced cucumbers, radishes, peppers, and cherry tomatoes are all excellent.
- Olives or toasted nuts. I love to include a few flavorful finger foods such as these.
How do you like to serve tabbouleh? Let me know in the comments!
More Favorite Herb-y Salads
If you love this tabbouleh recipe, try one of these fresh salads next:
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- Pinch cinnamon
- 3 cups finely chopped curly parsley, about 2 bunches
- 1 cup diced English cucumber
- 1 cup cored and diced tomato
- ⅔ cup cooked bulgur wheat*
- ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 scallions, chopped
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, coriander, and cinnamon. Add the parsley, cucumber, tomato, bulgur, mint, and scallions and toss to combine.
Season to taste and chill until ready to serve.
To prepare fine bulgur, place it in a bowl and cover with 1/2 inch of water. Soak for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain.