Best Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad Recipe Ever! (2024)

Tabbouleh or Tabouli is the quintessential Middle Eastern salad. It’s made of chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, and bulgur wheat and seasoned with olive oil and fresh lime juice.

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I first posted this tabbouleh salad recipe back in 2010. At that time, living in Southern California, I grew all the products to make this salad in my kitchen garden.

However, now that I live in lovely but not-so-bucolic Miami, I shop for fresh local produce and keep making humongous tabbouleh bowls because this is, by far, my favorite salad. Following is my original post.

A family of tabouli lovers

One of the reasons I grow parsley more than any other fresh herb is because of this tabbouleh salad. In my house, this is called “the parsley thing.”

Every time I make it, my sybarite gourmet son, Andrés Ignacio, who is almost 9 years old and, like me, is a tabbouleh killer, starts to get around the kitchen picking the parsley leaves. And he doesn’t stop until he gets the first bowl.

He learned to eat this salad when he was a baby. I remember the day I had tabbouleh when he was 9 months old. He sat in his baby-eating chair, watching me eat, and began drooling. So I let him sample it. It was love at first bite!

What is tabbouleh?

Tabbouleh is the classic Middle Eastern salad. For me, tabouli is the quintessential salad: fresh, crispy, colorful, and flavorful:

  • The freshness comes from the parsley and the mint.
  • The crispiness comes from the parsley and the bulgur.
  • The color comes from the combination of the green herbs, the ripe red but firm tomatoes, and the purple-red onions, all contrasting with the plain neutral bulgur.
  • The flavor is given by mixing all the ingredients with the most straightforward seasoning: olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt. What can be better than this?

What is bulgur?

Bulguir is the main characteristic ingredient of this salad. This is a cereal made from several different kinds of wheat. It is usually confused with cracked wheat, but the bulgur is parboiled and dried.

Bulgur is common in Middle Eastern, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. It comes in different grinds: #1 is fine, #2 is medium, #3 is coarse, and #4 is extra coarse.

What is the best bulgur for tabbouleh?

The bulgur for tabbouleh is #2. You can find it in Middle Eastern specialty stores, natural food stores, and online.

How do I prepare bulgur to make tabbouleh?

I usually soak bulgur in water for about 20-30 minutes. Then, I drain it. Some people cook it, but I don’t think is necessary. You can also squeeze the juice of the tomatoes and limes to hydrate the bulgur.

What kind of onion is good for tabbouleh?

You can make tabbouleh with red or green onions. Some people use just regular yellow onions. I prefer the red-purple ones because their flavor is sweeter and more mellow. However, when I don’t have red onions handily, I use green ones.

How to make tabbouleh salad

To make tabbouleh, cutting is crucial: dice the tomatoes and finely chop the onions and herbs.

My secret to getting the parley perfectly chopped was to pick the leaves and soak them in iced water, dry it with the help of a salad spinner, and then chop them in a food processor (I use my Cuisinart ) by pulsing 3-5 times, being very careful not to over-process.

Best Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad Recipe Ever! (7)

More recently, I discovered that adding some parsley steams doesn’t hurt. Even better: if the parsley is fresh, the steams will add a crunchy texture.

Following is a list of utensils and ingredients to make my tabouli recipe:

How to pair tabbouleh

Best Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad Recipe Ever! (8)

Tabbouleh goes perfectly with Middle Eastern food: baba ganoush, kibbe, pita bread, hummus, falafel, shawarma, and seekh kebabs. I usually have it with my majadra (lentil and rice) and shanklish salad. And it’s heavenly delicious.

Other Levantine recipes

Hungry for more Middle Eastern recipes? Check these out:

  • Baba Ganoush
  • Hummus
  • Majadra
  • Red quinoa tabbouleh
  • Shanklish salad

Tabbouleh or tabouli salad recipe

Following is my recipe. I hope you like it as much as we do. Thank you for subscribing to my YouTube channel and visiting my Amazon shop.

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4.96 from 44 votes


This is a Middle Eastern dish and the quintessential salad: fresh, crispy, colorful and full of flavor.

Prep Time30 minutes mins

Refrigerate30 minutes mins

Total Time1 hour hr

Servings: 8

Calories: 217kcal


  • ½ cup of bulgur #2
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 cups of parsley leaves chopped
  • ½ cup of mint leaves finely chopped
  • ¾ cup of red onion or 10 green onions finely chopped the white part and some of the green
  • 2 cups of tomatoes finely diced
  • 1/3 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt


  • Soak the bulgur in the water for 20-30 minutes.

  • Drain the bulgur in a fine colander, pressing to squeeze the water out.

  • Combine all the ingredients in a big salad bowl.

  • Season with olive oil, lime juice and salt to taste.

  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.



Nutrition Facts


Amount Per Serving (1 cup)

Calories 217Calories from Fat 162

% Daily Value*

Fat 18g28%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Sodium 25mg1%

Potassium 340mg10%

Carbohydrates 13g4%

Fiber 4g17%

Sugar 2g2%

Protein 3g6%

Vitamin A 2957IU59%

Vitamin C 50mg61%

Calcium 62mg6%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Salads

Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keyword: how to make tabbouleh, how to make tabouli, Parsley salad, Tabbouleh, Tabbouleh recipe, Tabbouleh salad, Tabouli, Tabouli recipe, Tabouli salad

Author: Enri

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Soy una escritora que cocina o una cocinera que escribe: el orden de los factores de no altera el producto. Desde 2010 hice de SAVOIR FAIRE el lugar donde convergen mis dos pasiones y ahora desarrollo recetas profesionalmente y trabajo como estratega y creadora de contenidos digitales, incluyendo la producción de videos de cocina. Disfruta mis recetas.

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