Lebanese taboule salad, aka tabouli, is fresh, light and super easy to make. The star ingredient is finely sliced parsley paired with tomato, onion and bulgur in a lemon dressing. Naturally vegan.
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🥗What is Taboule?
Taboule is a famous Lebanese salad and is considered one of its national salads.
It is mostly referred to as tabouli, tabooli, or tabbouleh and is pronounced as tah·boo·li in Arabic.
Taboule is made of finely diced parsley, mint leaves, tomato, onion and fine bulgur (cracked wheat) that have been tossed through a simple dressing of freshly squeezed lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt.
😋Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s authentic, passed down through the generations in my Lebanese family
- It’s fairly easy to make and a great way to use up a lot of parsley
- Taboule salad pairs well with many foods - though some like to eat it by the bowlful on it's own
- Dietary friendly - vegan, corn free, soy free and nut free. Can be made oil free too
✔️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.
Fine cracked wheat aka bulgur. Do note that there are different-sized bulgur, so always choose the fine variety, otherwise, the pieces of bulgur will not blend well in this salad and can be hard to eat. You can buy fine bulgur here (affiliate link).
Fresh flat-leafed parsley aka Italian parsley will need to be uniformly finely chopped after washing, drying and cutting away the thicker stems.
Thicker stems are too woody and stringy, you can reserve them for making stock if you wish. Do not use any other type of parsley.
Tomatoes should be ripe but firm and diced finely.
Onion usually white or brown onion is finely diced to a similar size to the tomato.
Fresh mint leaves, do not use the stems. The leaves will need to be finely sliced.
Fresh lemon juice along with extra virgin olive oil are used to dress this authentic Lebanese taboule salad.
Don’t skimp on the quality of your oil, as it is key to achieving a deliciously-tasting salad.
Salt is added to taste. I like to use Himalayan salt (affiliate link).
🥗How To Make Taboule Salad
Step 1 - Wash fine bulgur in water, strain and add to a small bowl, add the lemon juice and olive oil on top, give it a stir and set aside for the bulgur to absorb the juice and double in size. This is best done before slicing/dicing the fresh ingredients to give them enough time to absorb.
Step 2 - In a large bowl, add all the fresh ingredients, the soaked bulgur and salt. Toss everything together, do a taste test and adjust salt, oil and or lemon juice to taste. Serve cold.
⭐ Pro Tips
Traditional taboule should always be mostly green from the finely sliced parsley. Parsley is the main ingredient.
For an authentic Lebanese taboule experience, the mint and parsley should be sliced uniformly in size (Do not overly chop the parsley, as it will turn mushy. and the same with the tomato and onion (same size).
Don’t worry if you don’t get the chopping right the first time you prepare this salad, practice makes perfect.
As I don't typically measure out the ingredients when making homemade taboule (I highly doubt any Lebanese person does), I encourage you to taste test and adjust the flavors to suit you.
For a gluten-free taboule, you can either leave out the bulgur or replace it with quinoa.
The quinoa will need to be cooked prior to adding it to this taboule salad. You could alternatively try this quinoa taboula, which has quinoa as the main ingredient.
Taboule makes a fabulous side to so many meals. You could try it with some of our favorites;
Potato kibbeh - a cold mixture of boiled potatoes and bulgur
Mujadara - Lebanese rice and lentils
Mujadara hamra - Lebanese bulgur and lentils
Lentils and pasta soup - aka rishta.
Tofu shish tawook - vegan Lebanese kebabs
Left over taboule can be stored for 1-2 days 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. Freezing is not recommended. Alternatively, the fresh produce can be pre-chopped and kept separately to the dressing for 3-4 days in the fridge. Toss all the ingredients together when ready to serve.
A common salad is Arabic salad its a go-to quick make and enjoy.
All of the above salads can also be found in this list of delicious Lebanese salads.
Or for another bulgur recipe try this bulgur pilav made with tomatoes.
Fresh Taboule Salad (Authentically Lebanese)
- Wash fine bulgur in water, strain and then add to a small bowl, add the lemon juice and olive oil on top, give it a stir and set aside for the bulgur to absorb the juice and double in size. This is best done before slicing/dicing the fresh ingredients.¼ cup Fine burgul, 2 small Lemons, ⅛ cup Olive oil
- In a large bowl, add all the fresh ingredients, the soaked bulgur and salt. Toss everything together, do a taste test and adjust salt, olive oil and or lemon juice to taste. Serve cold.2½ cups Flat leaf parsley, 2 medium - large Tomatoes, 1 medium Onion, ¼ cup Mint leaves, 1 pinch Salt
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.