Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe: Easy & Authentic

Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe: Easy & Authentic

Tabbouleh (sometimes styled as tabouli) is a dish steeped in history, boasting deep roots in Middle Eastern cuisine. Originally hailing from the mountains of Lebanon and Syria, this simple yet vibrant salad traditionally comprises a delicate blend of bulgur wheat, fresh parsley, mint, tomatoes, and a zesty squeeze of fresh lemon juice

The dish’s bright, crisp flavors are a testament to the Mediterranean‘s abundant produce and culinary ingenuity.

Here at Luna Grill, we’re deeply committed to sharing Mediterranean flavors with the world and strongly encourage you to try a dish like tabbouleh. By infusing our love of well-traveled food culture into our menu, we’ve placed a spotlight on dishes like the quinoa tabbouleh

The simple ingredient swap for this dish allows for a healthier food choice without compromising on authenticity or flavor.

How Is Traditional Tabbouleh Different from Quinoa Tabbouleh?

Traditional tabbouleh, a beloved staple in many Mediterranean diets, is primarily made with bulgar wheat, a type of whole grain known for its nutty flavor and high fiber content. It’s typically mixed with fresh parsley, mint leaves, green onions/scallions, and tomatoes. 

The salad is then dressed with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice, providing a refreshing tang that complements the earthy flavors of the other ingredients.

On the other hand, quinoa tabbouleh introduces a contemporary twist to this timeless classic by replacing bulgur wheat with quinoa. The ingenious swap makes the dish gluten-free, but that’s not the only benefit. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need. 

So not only can people with gluten intolerances now enjoy the dish, but it packs an additional protein punch and makes the dish even more nutritious.   

What Ingredients Do You Need for an Authentic Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe?

Crafting an authentic quinoa tabbouleh requires the following key ingredients:

  • 2 cups Quinoa 
  • ½ cup Fresh Parsley (Finely chopped)
  • ½ cup Fresh Mint (Finely chopped)
  • ½ Fresh Dill (Finely chopped)
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes (⅛ inch diced)
  • 1 English cucumber (⅛ inch diced)


  • ⅓ cup Lemon (Juiced)
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Garlic (Minced)

For those with dietary restrictions or personal preferences, red onion can be used as an alternative to green onions. Remember, the quality of your ingredients plays a vital role in the overall flavor and nutritional value of the dish. 

Here at Luna Grill, we underscore this importance by selecting premium, non-GMO ingredients for our menu.

How Do You Prepare and Cook Quinoa for Quinoa Tabbouleh?

Perfectly cooked quinoa is naturally the key to a delightful quinoa tabbouleh. The prep time for this step is more than the rest, but it’s far too important to try to cut corners. 

Here is how you can prepare the perfect quinoa for your quinoa tabbouleh:

  1. To begin, you’ll need two cups of uncooked quinoa.
  2. Before cooking, it’s vital to rinse the quinoa thoroughly under cold water. This step helps remove the natural coating of saponin, which can give quinoa a bitter taste.
  3. Once thoroughly rinsed, place the quinoa into a saucepan and add four cups of water. For enhanced flavor, you can add a quarter teaspoon of salt.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. This process typically takes about 15 minutes — the total time will depend on the quantity and the type of stove you use.
  5. When all the water has been absorbed, remove the quinoa from the heat and let it sit covered for another five minutes. This rest period allows the quinoa to steam, resulting in an airy, fluffy texture.
  6. Once the rest time is over, fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool to room temperature

Perfectly cooked and cooled quinoa is essential for your tabbouleh to prevent it from wilting the herbs and heating the veggies, ensuring you have a crisp, fresh salad.

How Do You Assemble a Perfect Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad?

The process is a bit more simple once you’ve finished cooking your quinoa. Here are the next steps in the process to complete the assembly of your quinoa tabbouleh:

  1. First, you’ll need a medium bowl to make the vinaigrette. Combine the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and minced garlic. Adjust flavor if necessary. Set apart.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, parsley, mint, dill, tomatoes, and cucumber until all ingredients are well combined. Using a food processor can speed up this step, but ensure you don’t over-process and lose the texture.
  3. Pour the dressing into the quinoa salad to coat all the ingredients. Toss the salad gently to mix all the ingredients, ensuring every bite is packed with flavor.

The ideal proportion of ingredients in quinoa tabbouleh is subjective and depends on your preference. Some might prefer a higher ratio of herbs to quinoa, while others might favor a balance of all components. 

As a general guideline, however, a good quinoa tabbouleh should showcase the flavors of all the ingredients without one overpowering the other.

How Can You Customize Your Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad?

Quinoa tabbouleh is incredibly versatile and easily customizable. If you’re looking to increase the protein content, consider adding chickpeas or black beans. For a burst of creaminess, feta cheese can be a delightful addition.

For a dairy-free version, simply skip the cheese or replace it with a dairy-free alternative. If you’re watching your carbohydrate intake, you could replace some of the quinoa with extra veggies or leafy greens.

Remember, the best part about salad recipes like quinoa tabbouleh is their adaptability. They can easily be tweaked to match your taste preferences or dietary needs. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and make this quinoa tabbouleh recipe truly yours.

Can You Store Quinoa Tabbouleh and for How Long?

Quinoa tabbouleh is as convenient as it is delicious, lending itself easily to meal prep and storage. 

To store this nutritious salad, let it cool to room temperature. Then, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. 

Properly stored, quinoa tabbouleh can last up to four to five days. However, to maximize freshness, try to consume it within the first two to three days. The salad’s ingredients, particularly the herbs, may start to wilt after this point. 

It’s also recommended to keep the dressing separate and add it just before eating if you plan to store the salad for a few days. This method helps maintain the salad’s crisp texture and lively flavors.

Why Is Quinoa Tabbouleh a Great Side Dish for Mediterranean Meals?

Quinoa tabbouleh‘s light, refreshing, and lemony flavor profile makes it a perfect accompaniment to various Mediterranean dishes. It pairs wonderfully with rich and savory foods like falafel, adds a crisp counterpoint to creamy hummus, and is delightful when scooped up with warm pita bread.

Nutritionally, quinoa tabbouleh shines as part of a balanced Mediterranean diet. A single cup of quinoa in this salad delivers ample protein, fiber, and vital nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium

The fresh herbs add a significant dose of vitamin A and vitamin C, while the olive oil provides healthy monounsaturated fats. These nutritional benefits align seamlessly with the core principles of the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes whole foods, heart-healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Freshness in Every Bite: The Luna Grill Promise

Our focus here at Luna Grill isn’t just about serving meals; it’s about inspiring good food choices by sharing our passion, freshness, and authenticity. We’re committed to delivering a culinary experience that feels both close to home and like an adventure to the Mediterranean. Every dish from our menu is a testament to our dedication to freshness, quality, and taste.

Quinoa tabbouleh exemplifies the Luna Grill promise perfectly. From the fluffy quinoa to the crisp veggies and aromatic herbs, each ingredient is chosen with care and attention to detail, ensuring peak freshness and optimal nutritional value.

Luna Grill’s tabbouleh is just one among many of our delightful recipes. From Persian-style kabobs marinated for eight hours to veggie bowls filled with premium ingredients, there’s a wealth of options for you to explore

Each dish carries the same promise: no shortcuts, no preservatives where possible, only quality ingredients and flavorful food that makes you feel good post-meal.

So, whether you’re recreating this quinoa tabbouleh recipe at home or dining in at one of Luna Grill’s vibrant restaurants, you’re always guaranteed that freshness in every bite. Luna Grill encourages you to explore more recipes and experience the flavors of the Mediterranean firsthand. After all, there’s no better way to understand a culture than through its food.


Quinoa | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

A History of the Origin of Tabbouleh: Lebanon’s National Food | Arab America

Mediterranean Diet | Cleveland Clinic

Saponins From Edible Legumes: Chemistry, Processing, and Health Benefits | NCBI Bookshelf

Gluten-Free Foods | Celiac Disease Foundation