Tabouli Salad or Tabbouleh is a healthy Middle Eastern salad made using Bulgar Wheat. A lot of herbs are added to it for a refreshing flavour. Here is how to make it in a traditional and easy way.
In Summers, I prefer such refreshing and light salads for my meals, and if you are also someone who prefers salads, then try these recipes – Traditional Greek Salad, Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Watermelon Feta Salad, Som Tam Salad, Cucumber Avocado Salad and Broccoli Apple Salad.
About This Recipe
My family loves Salads! And therefore there are never enough salad recipes in my home. I have tried almost every cuisine, but the demand for this Traditional Tabouli Salad keeps coming back, especially when there is freshly baked Pita, Hummus and Grilled Chicken on the menu.
Perfectly boiled bulgar, refreshing vegetables, soft feta cheese, fresh herbs and a simple dressing, this Tabouli Salad is so refreshing and satisfying, especially when relished on a Summer afternoon.
While this is a must part of my Mediterranean or Middle Eastern meals, I also like to make it whenever I need something light, refreshing and loaded with vegetables. I must say this one is filling, yet very light on your stomach.
In Levantine Arabic, the word ‘Tabil’ means seasoning or dip. Therefore, this salad is often on the Mezze platter. And, I so love it. It surely looks simple, but one bite of this Middle Eastern Salads and your mouth will be filled with a burst of flavours.
This salad has a zillion vitamins and minerals and is super healthy to eat. Furthermore, it is fairly easy to prepare. So, get started and make this Salad for your next Middle Eastern meal.
This Mediterranean Salad is,
- Low Carb
- Easy to make
- Made using basic ingredients
What is Bulgar Wheat?
“Bulgur is cracked wheat that has been partially cooked. Bulgur is a common ingredient in cuisines of many countries of the Middle East and Mediterranean Basin. It has a light, nutty flavor.
A distinction is made between fine-ground bulgur and a coarser grind. It is defined by grind sizes (#1 Fine, #2 Medium, #3 Coarse and #4 Extra Coarse). The highest quality bulgur has particle sizes that are uniform, thus allowing a more consistent cooking time and result.” – Source Wikipedia
This grain is very forgiving and can be cooked in advance and refrigerated. Just toss it using a fork and it gets ready to use.
To cook bulgar, all you have to do is soak it in boiling hot water and cover for 10-12 minutes. It absorbs all the water and gets ready to eat. You can use stock instead of water for more flavour.
To make tabouli salad, use the best quality ingredients as the taste depends totally on the quality of ingredients used.
Bulgar Wheat – I have used fine Bulgar to make this recipe. It has a nice bite to it and goes well with rest of the ingredients.
Chicken Broth – To cook the bulgar, I have used chicken broth but if you are looking for a vegetarian version, you can use vegetable broth too.
In case you do not have both, you can use water to cook the bulgar too.
Greens – Use fresh parsley, mint leaves and spring onion greens for a refreshing flavour in your tabouli salad.
Veggies – I have also added chopped tomatoes and cucumber to the salad. They give a nice crunch to it. You can halve cherry tomatoes as well in the salad.
Dressing – For the dressing, I have used minced garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Use a good quality olive oil for the dressing, as it really makes the difference when it comes to its taste.
Feta and Olives – Lastly, do not forget to top your salad with feta cheese and chopped Kalamata olives.
The Feta Cheese adds a soft texture in the salad with the nice fresh bite of the veggies.
How to make Traditional Tabouli Salad?
Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Once it comes to a boil, switch off the heat and add bulgur in it.
Cover the pan and let the bulgur soak all the broth and cook in it for 25 minutes.
Once done, fluff the bulgur with a fork.
Add parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, mint leaves, and spring onion greens.
Add all the remaining ingredients for the dressing and mix well.
Mix everything together and serve.
Frequently asked Questions:
To make gluten-free tabouli, use quinoa instead of bulgar as it is a gluten-free grain. Keep the remaining ingredients as it is.
You can make it vegan by replacing the chicken broth with vegetable broth and skipping feta cheese.
Traditionally, only cucumber, tomatoes, fresh herbs and spring onions are added, but if you like to experiment you can go ahead and add in coloured bell peppers, broccoli etc.
The best way to serve this Lebanese salad is chilled on a mezze. It tastes fabulous with falafel, hummus, pita bread or pita bread chips.
You can serve this salad on it’s own too as it’s quite filling.
Traditional Tabouli Salad will last in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days. Once it is prepared, store it in an air tight container and store. Next time, you want to serve it, take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving so that it comes to room temperature.
There are many variations of this salad. You can replace bulgar with Orzo, couscous, broken wheat or quinoa.
You can add chickpeas or boiled or grilled chicken to it.
Replace bulgar with cauliflower rice.
You might also like:
Tabouli Salad Recipe
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 1 cup Fine Bulgar
- ½ cup Parsley (Finely Chopped)
- ½ cup Tomato (Chopped)
- ½ cup Cucumber (Peeled and chopped)
- ¼ cup Mint Leaves
- ½ cup Spring Onion Greens (Chopped)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Garlic (Minced)
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 50 g Feta Cheese (Crumbled)
- 10-12 Kalamata Olives (Chopped)
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
- Once it comes to a boil, switch off the heat and add bulgur in it.
- Cover the pan and let the bulgur soak all the broth and cook in it for 25 minutes.
- Once done, fluff the bulgur with a fork.
- Add parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, mint leaves and spring onion greens and mix well.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Serve immediately.