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Tabule: A Refreshing Lebanese Salad in 20 Minutes

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Tabule is a traditional Lebanese salad made with finely chopped parsley, tomatoes, bulgur wheat, mint, lemon juice, and olive oil. It is a refreshing and flavorful side dish that is perfect for summer meals or potlucks. Tabbouleh is also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

Table in a large bowl garnished with tomatoes and pita wedges.
Tabule Salad (Tabouli)

Martha

When I was first married, my neighbor, who was Lebanese, introduced me to this wonderful salad over 40 years ago. This is my family’s favorite salad. My great-granddaughter asks for that green stuff… She’s two and absolutely loves it.

Family Recipe

Tabule has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. I remember my mom making massive batches for our family of five several times a year. My sisters were indifferent to it, but I couldn’t get enough of the fresh flavor and tangy lemon dressing.

Back then, it took my mom forever to make tabule because she carefully removed the parsley from the stems, ensuring only the curly leaves were included. I make it differently, incorporating the top part of the stem for extra flavor and to reduce food waste.

This tabule recipe comes from my cousin Marianne, who spent two summers following my Sitto (grandmother in Arabic) around the kitchen, measuring everything as she cooked. Marianne eventually compiled a cookbook for her family, which I now cherish as a legacy and family heirloom.

Ingredients

Ingredients used to make this recipe (parsley, green onion, lemon, tomatoes and mint)

Tabbouleh is a breeze to make with just six ingredients, ready in 20 minutes. Let it rest for 2-3 hours to let the flavors meld, and enjoy an even better salad.

  • Parsley: Use either curly or flat-leaf parsley and chop it by hand for the best flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Use firm tomatoes, such as Romas, and remove the seeds and excess liquid before dicing them into small cubes.
  • Green onions: Thinly slice the entire onion, including both the white and green parts.
  • Bulgur wheat: This ancient grain is a key ingredient in tabbouleh, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute quinoa or couscous.
  • Lemon juice: Use only fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Fresh mint: The coolness and freshness of mint are essential to tabbouleh. If you can’t find fresh mint, omit it.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Use high-quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Salt and pepper: To taste.
Salad upclose.

Non-Traditional Ingredients

While I’m a traditional tabbouleh girl, here are a few non-traditional ingredients that I’ve added to the dish in the past based on my family’s requests:

  • Cucumbers: Use any cucumber, but seed it first. Sprinkle the cut side with salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes to draw out moisture. Rinse and pat dry before chopping and adding to the tabbouleh.
  • Garbanzo beans: For a heartier tabbouleh, add cooked chickpeas.
  • Feta cheese: For a Greek twist, add crumbled feta cheese. If you add feta, increase the bulgur wheat ratio and decrease the parsley ratio for the best flavor balance.

Tabbouleh, Tabbouleh, Tabouli, Tabule or tabbouli?

Why so many different spellings for one salad?

The Arabic word for parsley, “tabbouleh,” is difficult to transliterate into English. There is no one definitive way to represent the Arabic sound in English, so different people have come up with different spellings.

Tabule in a large bowl.

Tabule: A Refreshing Lebanese Salad in 20 Minutes

Tabule is a traditional Lebanese salad made with parsley, tomatoes, green onions, bulgur wheat, lemon, olive oil, and mint. It is a refreshing, light, and flavorful vegan and gluten free salad.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Arabic, Lebanese, Mediterranean
Keyword: Salad, Tabbouleh, Tabouli, Vegan
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 Sharp knife
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • 1 small mixing bowl

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (35g) bulgur wheat
  • cup (72g) olive oil
  • 3 tbsp (44g) lemon
  • 2 bunches parsley, finly minced
  • 6 fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Prepare the bulgur wheat according to the package directions. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Add the parsley, green onions, mint, tomatoes, and cooked bulgur wheat to the bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately or chill for later.
  • Picture Steps
    Picture step by step instructions.
  • Picture Steps
    Picture step by step instructions.

Notes

Tips:
  • For the best flavor, use fresh ingredients.
  • Chop the parsley and mint finely.
  • If the tomatoes are watery, seed them before dicing.
  • Let the tabbouleh sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve tabbouleh with pita bread, pita chips, or lettuce leaves.
Make-Ahead Instructions:
  • Tabbouleh tastes best after the flavors have had a chance to meld together. I recommend making it at least 30 minutes in advance, but you can make it up to 24 hours ahead of time.
  • To make tabbouleh ahead of time, simply follow the recipe as directed. Then, store the tabbouleh in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Refrigerate Instructions:
  • Leftover tabbouleh can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Freezing Instructions:
  • Tabbouleh cannot be frozen. The tomatoes and cucumbers will become watery and mushy when frozen, and the parsley will lose its flavor and texture.
Note: Tabule can also be spelled tabbouleh, tabouleh, tabouli, or taboule
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
Ruth

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Tabule: A Refreshing Lebanese Salad in 20 Minutes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 215 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Sodium 22mg1%
Potassium 353mg10%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 2945IU59%
Vitamin C 52mg63%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    When I was first married my neighbor who was Lebanese introduced me to this wonderful salad over 40 years ago. This is my family’s favorite salad. My great granddaughter ask for that green stuff… She’s 2 and absolutely loves it.

    1. Oh Martha, that makes me so happy to hear that! I love that your Lebanese neighbor introduced this salad to you and you have enjoyed it all these years. I believe food and traditional recipes can bring the world together in kind and warm ways. BTW – your great granddaughter has great taste!

  2. 5 stars
    I love tabbouleh so much. This recipe was delightful and I will be making more again this afternoon.

  3. I make this often! I’m with you, I don’t use non-traditional ingredients either. It usually takes me an hour to make a big batch. I have been known to cut grape tomatoes into 16 pieces :). I always chop the parsley by hand. I have found food processor makes it to “wet”. Just ordered the mezzaluna in your link, I always used a chefs knife but I will try this for sure!

    1. Great minds think alike! Hand chopping is the best way to make tabbouleh. I love this salad so much that instead of four small servings in the picture, I ate the entire bowl in one sitting. 🙂

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