Looking for a perfect recipe to enjoy for lunch this week? We’ve got you covered.
We’ll teach you how to make an easy, fast, and delicious tabbouleh salad that will blow you away. It’s one of our favorite salads ever, and it’s packed with unique, nutritious ingredients.
Let’s get started!
First Off: What Is Tabbouleh?
Before we get into our tabbouleh recipe, let’s briefly explore the rich history of tabbouleh.
This traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern salad is typically made with bulgur wheat, tomato, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, cucumber, red onions, almonds, and a bit of lemon juice.
Tabbouleh salad is sometimes topped with feta cheese, olives, fresh mint leaves, or even falafel and served with a side of pita bread. It’s often served as a side dish or as part of a meal made entirely of appetizers.
Our tabbouleh salad recipe uses couscous as an ingredient instead of bulgur wheat for one simple reason: Bulgur wheat can be hard to find.
This whole grain is a type of cracked wheat that is common in the Middle East and Mediterranean countries. However, it’s harder to find in other parts of the world. We chose couscous for this recipe because it’s a more accessible alternative with a similar texture and flavor. However, it should be noted that couscous, like bulgur, isn’t gluten-free.
What Ingredients Do I Need to Make Tabbouleh Salad?
Our tabbouleh salad recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- Cucumber. You’ll need ¼ of a whole cucumber for this recipe. You’ll chop it into small cubes, which get scattered throughout the salad for extra flavor and texture. Cucumber is high in fiber and low in calories, which makes it the perfect addition to this salad.
- Fresh Parsley. We recommend using 1/10 a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley for this recipe. This delicious fresh herb has a distinct taste, and it’s one of the defining ingredients in any traditional tabbouleh recipe.
- Raisins. We recommend using golden raisins for this recipe. You need 20 grams for the entire salad. The juicy raisins add extra sweetness to the dish, contrasting perfectly with the more savory flavors of the couscous, almonds, and other ingredients.
- Sliced Almonds. Adding 20 grams of sliced almonds to this recipe ups the fat and protein content, and it gives this recipe a bit more Mediterranean flair.
- Vegetable Stock. We recommend using ¼ of a cup of stock for cooking your couscous. The stock enhances the flavor of the grain, making it a little saltier and richer.
- Lemon. Set aside ¼ of a lemon to juice and zest for extra acidity.
The Tabbouleh Salad Recipe, Step By Step
Follow these instructions to make a bowl of delectable tabbouleh salad.
Step One: Cook the Couscous
Take a small pot and boil ¼ cup of veggie stock. As the stock heats, pour ¼ cup of couscous and ½ tablespoon of olive oil into a large bowl, mixing them together. If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to couscous, try using an equal amount of quinoa.
Once the stock has boiled, add it to the bowl of couscous and oil. Cover the bowl and let it sit for five minutes. The couscous will cook and soak in the flavors from the stock over the course of these five minutes. Once cooked, the couscous should have a tender, soft texture.
Step Two: Prep the Cucumbers and Almonds
Take out a cutting board and a sharp knife and set them on the counter. Wash your cucumber and set it on the cutting board.
Chop the cucumber into small cubes and toss them into a medium-sized bowl.
If you want, you can chop other vegetables into cubes and put them in the same bowl for later. Options include a bunch of scallions, a bit of green onion, a lettuce leaf chopped into small bits, or diced tomatoes.
Next, it’s time to toast your almond slices. You can get your sliced almonds crispy by setting them on a baking sheet and putting them in the oven for three minutes on the “toast” setting.
Step Three: Handle the Parsley
Now it’s time to chop your parsley into small pieces. You can use the same knife and cutting board you used for your cucumbers and other veggies to handle the parsley.
Try and get your parsley pieces as small as possible. That way, they’ll mix in with the rest of the ingredients seamlessly.
To wrap up this recipe, mix in the golden raisins, almonds, and parsley with the chopped veggies and cooked couscous.
Finally, take the lemon and squeeze a bit of the juice on top of the salad. If you have a zester, add in a little lemon zest.
You can also add in herbs and spices like garlic, pepper, and salt for extra flavor.
Tips for Serving This Recipe
When it comes to cooking at home, the presentation makes a big difference in how your meals turn out. The presentation of your meals includes any garnishes you add, your plating process, and any other steps you take to make the meal look as appealing as possible.
When making tabbouleh salad, follow these tips to keep your dish looking – and tasting – great.
- Watch the salt, too. The vegetable stock in this recipe is one of the ingredients in the dish that has the highest sodium content. The stock has enough salty flavor to eliminate the need for too much extra salt, so don’t be afraid to hold off on sprinkling table salt on each serving.
- Try garnishing each bowl with extra parsley leaves. Plating well can take your home-cooked meals to the next level, and garnishes are your best friends when it’s plating time. For this recipe, try using extra parsley as a garnish. It looks great, and it tastes amazing.
- Tabbouleh salad is often served as a side dish. Consider serving it alongside these white beans with pesto or shakshuka to keep the Mediterranean flair.