Freshen up your summer menu with a Quinoa Tabbouleh side dish. This healthy Mediterranean recipe is easy and ideal for showcasing all of your seasonal herbs and vegetables.

Quinoa tabbouleh on a plate with a side of hummus and pita triangles.

Whether you’re craving a new idea for brown bag lunches, are seeking a fresh side dish for summer potlucks or parties, or simply have a surplus of fresh herbs and vegetables from your garden, CSA box, farmers market, or grocery store, Quinoa Tabbouleh is the quick and easy answer to your side dish wishes.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for quinoa tabbouleh.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Quinoa: Dry, uncooked quinoa has a natural bitter coating called saponin that must be removed before cooking. You can either buy pre-rinsed quinoa, such as Bob’s Red Mill, or use a fine mesh sieve to rinse quinoa under running water. You can also soak the quinoa in a bowl, using several changes of water, rubbing the grains against each other with your fingers.
  • Curly parsley: Gleaned from the comments of Lebanese grandmas on other cooking forums, flat parsley is too wet and will drag down the salad. I recommend opting for fresh curly parsley in homemade tabbouleh.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, bring ½ cup water to a boil. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 12 minutes or until all water has been absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally to help it cool.
Quinoa in a silver pot.
  1. To a large bowl, add quinoa, lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, mint, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper).
Ingredients of quinoa tabbouleh pre mixed in a clear bowl.
  1. Stir to combine and serve chilled or at room temperature.
Quinoa tabbouleh in a clear bowl.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 10 half-cup, side dish-sized servings. For a main dish, double up and top your Quinoa Tabbouleh with a serving of Lemon Pepper Chicken, Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Baked Cod, or Grilled Swordfish.
  • Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: Make Quinoa Tabbouleh a day in advance if you want. The salad actually tastes better as it sits, marinates, and gets even more lemony.
  • Make it a meal: For an easy Mediterranean menu that requires no additional stove or oven time beyond the cooking quinoa, set out a buffet of Homemade Hummus with Za’atar Butter, Roasted Eggplant Dip, pita chips or flatbread, more fresh vegetables, olives, and feta cheese. Everyone can create their own Mediterranean bowl.
  • Bulgur Tabbouleh: Try the traditional tabbouleh made with bulgur and piles and piles of parsley.
  • Herbs require TLC: It may be easier, but using a food processor bruises fresh herbs and impacts 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 into thin slices or ribbons.
Quinoa tabbouleh on a plate with a side of hummus and pita triangles.

Recipe FAQs

Should you soak quinoa?

Dry, uncooked quinoa has a natural bitter coating called saponin that must be removed before cooking. Use a fine mesh sieve to rinse quinoa under running water, or soak the quinoa in a bowl, using several changes of water, rubbing the grains against each other with your fingers. If you buy pre-rinsed quinoa, you can skip to washing/soaking step.

What is the difference between tabbouleh and tabouli?

These are different spellings for the same dish: a Mediterranean parsley salad studded with vegetables and grains.

Homemade Pita Chips

Fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, my Homemade Pita Chips are a crowd-pleasing and easy party snack idea. Discover how to make pita chips in 20 minutes using any of your favorite herbs…

20 minutes
View Recipe

More Mediterranean favorites

Quinoa tabbouleh on a gray plate surrounded by pita chips.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Freshen up your summer menu with a Quinoa Tabbouleh side dish. This healthy Mediterranean recipe is easy and ideal for showcasing all of your seasonal herbs and vegetables.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings 10 servings (½ cup each)
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Calories 75

Ingredients 

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

Instructions 

  • In a 3-quart saucepan, bring ½ cup water to a boil. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 12 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
  • Remove from heat, fluff, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally to help it cool.
  • To a large bowl, add quinoa. Stir in lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, mint, and salt and pepper to taste (I like ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper). Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Quinoa: Dry, uncooked quinoa has a natural bitter coating called saponin that must be removed before cooking. You can either buy pre-rinsed quinoa, such as Bob’s Red Mill, or use a fine mesh sieve to rinse quinoa under running water. You can also soak the quinoa in a bowl, using several changes of water, rubbing the grains against each other with your fingers.
  2. Curly parsley:Gleaned from the comments of Lebanese grandmas on other cooking forums, flat parsley is too wet and will drag down the salad. I recommend opting for fresh curly parsley in homemade tabbouleh.
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 10 half-cup, side dish-sized servings.
  4. Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 75kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 167mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1616IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

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