An easy gluten-free quinoa taboula salad made with quinoa, freshly chopped parsley, tomato, onion, and cucumber in a light dressing. This Lebanese salad can easily be adapted to be without oil.
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🥗What is Taboula?
Taboula, a Lebanese salad, is another name for tabouli, tabooli, or tabouleh.
Taboula is not the way it is typically written or pronounced in the Lebanese dialect.
It is made of parsley, mint leaves, tomato, and onion that have been finely diced and tossed with a little amount of cracked wheat called bulgur or in this case cooked quinoa.
This version is a quinoa taboula, catering to the gluten-free diet. It is a spin-off of traditional taboule and has been altered so the quinoa is increased and finely diced cucumber has been added.
Hence why I have called it taboula and not tabouli.
😋Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s light, fresh, and pairs well with many foods
- Can be adjusted with additional ingredients, see suggested variations below
- Dietary friendly - gluten-free, vegan, corn free, nut free, soy free and can be easily made oil free (I do this a lot)
✔️Ingredients You’ll Need
Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Quinoa can be any color. It will need to be rinsed, cooked and cooled before tossing with the rest of the ingredients. Here's a method for instant pot quinoa, if using this recipe, just use plain water.
Fresh flat-leaf parsley will need to be finely chopped after washing, and drying and the thicker stems cut off.
Tomatoes should be ripe but firm and chopped finely.
Onion usually white or brown onion is finely diced, however, feel free to use red onion if you like. I like to use whatever I have on hand.
Fresh mint leaves are so refreshing, these will need to be finely sliced. Do not include the stem.
Fresh lemon juice, is used to dress this salad. You can use as much as you like.
Lebanese cucumber (aka Persian cucumber or you can use telegraph cucumber) is not a traditional ingredient of tabouli, however as this is a quinoa taboula, it’s a refreshing ingredient to have in this salad. The cucumber will need to be finely diced.
Extra virgin olive oil, is also used to dress this Lebanese salad, however, you can also make it without the oil, simply leave it out and taste test to see if you’d like to add more lemon juice and salt.
🥗How To Make Quinoa Taboula Salad
Step 1 - Wash quinoa in running water in a sieve by gently massaging it with your hands. Then in a pot, add quinoa and water, bring to a boil on high heat, then turned down to low, and cook for 13 minutes. Turn heat off, allow the pot to stand with the lid on for another 10 minutes, then take off the lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
Step 2 - In a bowl, add quinoa and all the ingredients, and toss until well combined. Taste test and adjust salt, lemon and oil as needed. Serve cold.
⭐ Pro Tips
All the ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste.
Save time and make the quinoa ahead, which can be kept in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. When ready to serve, cut up all the vegetables and herbs and toss them through the dressing along with the pre-cooked quinoa.
This quinoa taboula can be made with or without oil. Both taste fabulous. You will need to adjust the amount of lemon and salt if no oil is being used.
Build up your salad further by adding some of the following suggestions;
- Your favorite bean (I like mine with either chickpeas or white beans) I also like to sometimes make my chickpeas crunchy by using roasted chickpeas.
- Pitted and chopped olives
- Toasted nuts and seeds
- Vegan nuggets - chop these up and toss them through
- Other fresh vegetables and fruit such as chopped mushrooms or pomegranate kernels
- Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach or rocket (arugula)
- Chopped up falafel.
Quinoa taboula salad is great to enjoy as a side with;
- kibbeh (a Lebanese bulgur loaf)
- potato kibbeh
- tofu skewers,
- vegan ejjeh,
- purslane pastries.
Or as above build out your salad and enjoy it as a meal on its own, see suggestions above in the variations section.
Leftover quinoa taboula can be stored for 1 day in the fridge when sealed in an air-tight container. I don’t recommend storing any longer as the vegetables tend to wilt quickly and turn soggy.
While edible, the hard stems of parsley are not recommended to be added to tabouli as they are hard and stringy, and unpleasant to eat in this salad. Only the soft stems are kept and chopped up finely so they blend in with the salad.
It is not recommended to freeze taboula, it is best eaten fresh or the next day as the vegetables will turn soggy if frozen.
Pronouncing tabouli is English is said as ta•boo•la.
Looking for more vegan salad ideas?
- Rocca salad - an Easy Lebanese salad made with (arugula/rocket)
- Fattoush Salad - one of Lebanon's national salads, you can read about the difference between fattoush vs tabbouleh
- Maftoul Salad - Palestinian (inspired) couscous salad
- Orange and Fennel Salad - So fresh, reminds me of summer
- Vegan brown rice salad - Vibrant, filling and tasty, what's not to love
- Arabic salad - commonly enjoyed at lunch or dinner time
Or if you're a fan of eating grains and want to try something new check out my bulgur pilav.
Did you make this? I'd love to know! Leave me a comment below with a ★★★★★ rating or tag @plantbasedfolk on social media.
Easy Quinoa Taboula Salad (Gluten Free)
- 2 cups Water
- 1 cup Quinoa washed
- 1 cup Flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- 2 medium Tomatoes finely diced
- 2 medium Cucumber finely chopped
- ¼ cup Mint leaves finely chopped
- 1 medium Onion finely diced
- Using a sieve, wash quinoa through running water for about a minute to remove bitterness. In a pot, add quinoa and water, bring to a boil on high heat, then turned down to low and cook for 13 minutes. Turn heat off, allow pot to stand with lid on for another 10 minutes, then take off lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow it to cool down to room temperature.1 cup Quinoa, 2 cups Water
- In a bowl, add quinoa and all the ingredients, toss until well combined. Taste test and adjust salt, lemon and oil as needed. Serve cold.1 cup Flat leaf parsley, 2 medium Tomatoes, 2 medium Cucumber, ¼ cup Mint leaves, 1 medium Onion, 2 medium Lemons, 1½ teaspoon Salt, ¼ cup Olive oil
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
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