Authentic Bulgur Tabbouleh a parsley salad flavored with bulgur, mint, scallions, tomatoes, and a bright lemony dressing. It’s quick, fresh, easy, and absolutely delicious.

Bulgar tabbouleh in a white bowl with a lemon garnish.

Sometimes the tabbouleh in front of you isn’t authentic. If what you’ve only eaten before was a pile of soggy bulgur wheat, flecked with little bits of cucumbers, parsley, and tomatoes, well, then, you’re really in for a surprise.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled bulgur tabblouleh ingredients in bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Bulgur wheat: Most well-stocked groceries should carry bulgur. I usually buy Bob’s Red Mill red bulgur. It just needs to be rehydrated with some boiling water.
  • Curly parsley: Do not substitute flat parsley. It’s too wet and flat and will drag down the salad.

Curly parsley in a clear bowl.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. To start, prepare the bulgur. Add it to a prep bowl and pour some boiling water over the grains until the bulgur is covered by 1/2-inch of hot water. Let it soak for 20 to 30 minutes, until slightly tender, then drain off the excess water.
    Bulgur being soaked in water in a clear bowl.
  2. While the bulgur soaks, prep all the veggies and herbs. Chop the parsley, mint, and scallions. Squeeze the lemons.

    Chopped curly parsley in clear bowl.

  3. And seed and chop the tomatoes.
    Various stages of coring and slicing a tomato.
  4. Once all that is out of the way, toss the bulgur and the herbs and vegetables together with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ideally, you should chill the Bulgur Tabbouleh salad so the flavors can blend. I, regrettably, never manage to wait that long.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Hand chop the herbs. It may be easier, but using the food processor bruises the herbs, and effects the overall taste and texture. The best way to chop herbs is to bunch them tightly and use a chef’s knife to chiffonade them, cutting them in thin slices.
  • Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The salad tastes better as it sits, and by the 4th day it will STILL be bouncy and delicious, and oh-so lemony.
  • Quinoa Tabbouleh. Throw in an equal amount of cooked quinoa (any color) in place of the bulgur. Learn how to cook quinoa perfectly every time, without any bitterness at all.
  • Couscous. Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese style couscous are all good substitutions. Cook each kind according to the package instructions, and add an equal amount of any for the bulgur.
  • Cauliflower tabbouleh. Riced cauliflower makes a great stand-in for grain, especially if you’re trying to eat more vegetables.
  • Millet tabbouleh. Cooked millet grains are gluten free and add really nice crunch to the salad.
  • Tabbouleh with cucumbers. Cucumbers don’t usually show up in authentic tabbouleh, but many people add them for extra crunch. If you like them, add some!
  • Tabbouleh spices. I love the simplicity of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, but some recipes call for pinch of cinnamon, a good dose of allspice, or a sprinkle of Lebanese 7-spices.

Bulgar tabbouleh in a white bowl with a lemon garnish.

More delicious recipes:

Bulgar tabbouleh in a white bowl with a lemon garnish.

Easy Bulgur Tabbouleh

Authentic Bulgur Tabbouleh a parsley salad flavored with bulgur, mint, scallions, tomatoes, and a bright lemony dressing. It's quick, fresh, easy, and absolutely delicious.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 6 servings
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Calories 115

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup bulgur wheat (see note 1)
  • boiling water
  • 2 bunches fresh curly parsley stems removed and minced, about 4 cups packed (see note 2)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves stems removed
  • 2 Roma tomatoes seeded and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 bunch scallions sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, add bulgur. Add boiling water to cover by 1/2-inch and let soak until softened, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain well.
  • To a large bowl, add drained bulgur. Stir in parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Notes

  1. Bulgur wheat: Most well-stocked groceries should carry bulgur. I usually buy Bob's Red Mill red bulgur. It just needs to be rehydrated with some boiling water.
  2. Curly parsley: Do not substitute flat parsley. It's too wet and flat and will drag down the salad.
  3. Hand chop the herbs. It may be easier, but using the food processor bruises the herbs, and effects the overall taste and texture. The best way to chop herbs is to bunch them tightly and use a chef’s knife to chiffonade them, cutting them in thin slices.
  4. Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The salad tastes better as it sits, and by the 4th day it will STILL be bouncy and delicious, and oh-so lemony.
  5. Quinoa Tabbouleh. Throw in an equal amount of cooked quinoa (any color) in place of the bulgur. Learn how to cook quinoa perfectly every time, without any bitterness at all.
  6. Couscous. Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese style couscous are all good substitutions. Cook each kind according to the package instructions, and add an equal amount of any for the bulgur.
  7. Cauliflower tabbouleh. Riced cauliflower makes a great stand-in for grain, especially if you're trying to eat more vegetables.
  8. Millet tabbouleh. Cooked millet grains are gluten free and add really nice crunch to the salad.
  9. Tabbouleh with cucumbers. Cucumbers don't usually show up in authentic tabbouleh, but many people add them for extra crunch. If you like them, add some!
  10. Tabbouleh spices. I love the simplicity of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, but some recipes call for pinch of cinnamon, a good dose of allspice, or a sprinkle of Lebanese 7-spices.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 115kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 14mgPotassium: 210mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1892IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 2mg
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Comments

  1. Hi Meghan!!
    Thank you so much for your tabbouleh recipe looks yummy .like to make a little comment or advice in a better term.
    I come from the middle East Lebanon to be exact .the authentic Lebanese tabbouleh use fine berghol not coarse
    That need a little rinsing and draining.
    As for parsley we use mostly the flat leaf it’s tastier unless you grow curley parsley in your garden and use it fresh don’t recommend the store bought one unless it looks and smells fresh.

    1. Hello Lamia! I really appreciate your comment!! I have never seen fine bulghur but I will track it down. As for the flat parsley, the curly is always so much better where I live. And the flat makes the salad very wet, I saw a comment on another site where someone who claimed to be a Lebanese grandma claimed that curly parsley was the secret. So I’m sorry I got that wrong! But I did love it with curly parsley, and even after 3 days it still tasted so fresh and lemony. Anyway. I will look into fine bulghur. I appreciate your comment so much! I have a lot to learn. Thank you again. :) -Meggan