Best Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad (Tabouli)

Tabbouleh Salad (Tabouli)

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Tabbouleh or tabouli is a traditional Lebanese salad full of flavor from parsley, tomatoes, green onions, bulger wheat, lemon, olive oil and mint.
This salad is known for it’s fresh taste and health benefits popular with the Mediterranean Diet.


I say tabbouleh, you say tabouli. Call it whatever you want, at the end of the day it’s all the same amazing salad full of fresh clean flavor. I have watched it’s popularity grow over the years and it’s now a fairly common option. There are many great takes on tabbouleh, however if your going to have authentic Lebanese tabbouleh you need to know it is parsley based. Yep, that’s right. Parsley. (I have actually had people argue this with me, as if I was not Lebanese.)

Parsley seems unusual in western tastes. However, trust me, the flavors all come together and it’s works wonderfully. If your looking for a meal, I would recommend pairing this with my pasta puttanesca or creamy mushroom soup with baby bella’s. I know, not Lebanese, but it works.

Tabbouleh Ingredients

One of my favorite things about tabbouleh is how easy it is to make. You only need six ingredients and the recipe comes together in 20 minutes.

Parsley – You can use either curly or flat leaf parsley. When preparing the parsley, I prefer to cut the parsley finely by hand. I have seen other people use a blender or a food processor and they both work. However I find the cutting the parsley by hand results in a fluffier salad. To do this, I simply chop off the bottom half of the parsley bunch. I then chop the top half, stems and all, very finely. For fine chopping I prefer a mezzaluna knife. It’ makes chopping so much easier.

Tomatoes – I prefer roma tomato’s, however any tomato will work. Prepare the tomato by cutting the tomato in half and removing the seeds/liquid part of the tomato. It’s like a salad spinner for your tomato’s and keeps the water content in your salad down. The tomato’s still have great flavor and the salad will last longer in the refrigerator.

Green Onions – Are really baby onions. They provide a subtle flavor that supports the stars of this show, parsley and lemon. Thinly slice the onion using the full onion (both the white and green sections).

Bulgar Wheat – Has a very subtle light, nutty flavor. My favorite thing about bulgar wheat is how easy it is to make. All you need to do is soak it in water for 20 minutes, fluff with a fork and your done. Lately I have been having a harder time finding bulgar wheat. I normally buy whatever I can find or have it delivered. If I cannot find bulgar wheat I like to use pearl (Israeli) couscous or quinoa. they are both very different in terms texture, but both work great in tabbouleh.

Lemon – The sharp and tangy flavor of lemon is key to making a traditional tabbouleh. Use only a fresh lemon. There is no other substitute.

Mint – The coolness of mint with the sharpness of lemon is refreshing and an absolute must ingredient. The mint should be finely chopped and to achieve this, use a the sharpest knife you have or a mezzaluna knife.

Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil. There is no other choice:)

Salt and Pepper – To taste.

Non-Traditional Options

I am a straight forward traditional tabbouleh kind of girl. However sometimes my family will ask for changes to the recipe. Here are a couple of options.

Cucumbers – These always taste great with Tabbouleh. To add them, scoop out the seeds and cut the cucumber into small pieces so that it blends with finely chopped parsley and tomatoes.

Garbanzo Beans – We sometimes add these as protein to the tabbouleh and make it meal.

Feta – For a Greek feel you can add feta. In this instance I would increase the bulgar wheat ratio and decrease the parsley ratio for the best flavor balance.

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Tabbouleh Salad (Tabouli)

Best Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad (Tabouli)

Tabbouleh or tabouli is a traditional Lebanese salad full of flavor from parsley, tomatoes, green onions, bugler wheat, lemon, olive oil and mint. This salad is known for it's fresh taste and health benefits popular with the Mediterranean Diet.
Prep Time 20 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Arabic, Lebanese, Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 bunches parsley
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/4 cup bulgar wheat
  • 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the bulgar wheat according to the instructions. Set aside while soaking.
  • Rinse and dry the vegtables. Remove the lower half of the parsley and finely chop the top half of parsley, stems and all. The parsley should be chopped very finely.
    Tabbouleh Salad (Tabouli) - Finely Chopped
  • Cut the roma tomato's in half and scoup out the seeds (the wet interior). Finaly dice the tomato's.
    Tabbouleh Salad (Tabouli) - tomato's with the seeds removed
  • Thinly slice the green onion, including both the white and green parts.
  • Finely chop the mint leaves
  • Mix the olive oil and lemon juice. This is your dressing
  • Mix all the vegetables, bulgar wheat, mint and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Tabbouleh salad (tabouli) can be stored for up to three days.  You can eat it right away, however I think it is best if it is kept in the refrigerator for at least an hour before eating. 
Adjust the lemon and salt as desired.  I normally add more than I suggested, however I wrote the recipe conservatively to allow for personal preferences. 
This recipe makes four small dinner salads.  If you prefer a larger proportion select the 2x or 3x at the top of the recipe. 
I hope you enjoy and love tabbouleh salad (tabouli) as much as I do!
Ruth
Keyword Healthy Salad, Salad, Tabbouleh, Tabouli, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts on “Best Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad (Tabouli)

  1. I make this often! I’m with you, I don’t use non-traditional ingredients either. It usually takes me an hour to make a big batch. I have been known to cut grape tomatoes into 16 pieces :). I always chop the parsley by hand. I have found food processor makes it to “wet”. Just ordered the mezzaluna in your link, I always used a chefs knife but I will try this for sure!

    1. Great minds think alike! Hand chopping is the best way to make tabbouleh. I love this salad so much that instead of four small servings in the picture, I ate the entire bowl in one sitting. 🙂

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