Easy Tabouli Recipe

by katerina on March 19, 2010

As with any well-loved recipe, there are thousands of different versions of Mediterranean Tabouli. However, through in all its forms classic Tabouli recipes are always a base of bulgar, tossed with fresh herbs and vegetables, and finished with lots of lemon juice. In this, my favorite tabouli recipe, I like a high vegetable and fresh herb to grain ratio. If you chop the vegetables small enough then you have a uniform texture and you get all the flavors in each forkful.

Tabouli Recipe

Bulgar (or bulghar) is a whole grain which comes from the wheat family. Tabouli is a great option for a light salad or side dish as it is low in calories and high in fresh vegetables.

Tabouli Recipe

Print Recipe


(4 servings)

1 cup bulgar
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 English cucumber
1/2 green pepper
5 green onions
1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
1 lemon juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Put bulghar in a bowl and stir in 2 cups of boiling water. Cover with a plate and let sit for 30 minutes.

While the bulghar cooks you can prep the vegetables. Ideally the tomatoes, cucumber and green pepper are all chopped the same size, a dice of about 3/4 cm. When dicing the tomatoes and cucumber first de-seed them. Then chop the green onions very thinly.

Once bulgar is cooked put it in a fine mesh sieve and press out the water. Put in a salad bowl and add vegetables, parsley and mint. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. You want about ~1/2 teaspoon salt and ~1/4 teaspoon pepper but adjust for your tastes. Add dressing to tabouli salad and toss to combine.

I usually make a big batch of this tabouli recipe and eat it for several days.

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Total Time:40 minutes
Calories(approximate per serving): 125

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Karyn March 19, 2010 at 8:48 am

i have a friend who is OBSESSED with this stuff. i wonder how well it would fly? hahah


Joanne March 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm

There is definitely something very refreshing about a good tabouli. This looks excellent! Love how colorful it is.


Deborah March 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I’ve never had tabouli before, but now I really want some!


katerina March 20, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Karyn – I go through phases when I am totally obsessed with it too.

Joanne – Totally refreshing!

Deborah – never? You really should give it a try!


Kristy May 19, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Love tabouli! I’ve never had it with green pepper (and I didn’t have any on hand) but otherwise, made a batch this morning…oh, yum. Perfect spring to summer food.


katerina May 20, 2010 at 10:01 am

Kristy – it isn’t necessary, Tabouli is very flexible!


Delishhh May 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I LOVE tabouli! Thanks for a great recipe.


Jackie February 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm

My boyfriend is from Egypt and this recipe was a smash hit with his family. I recommend yellow/orange peppers (just a little sweeter, and more colorful).
Thanks for the great recipe!


katerina February 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Jackie – that’s great to here, I am so glad it passes the authentic test – even if Tabouli is such a widespread thing.

Peppers for colour are a great idea!


Seneca June 23, 2011 at 9:31 am

This recipe would be AWESOME if I lived anywhere remotely close to a healthfood store or anywhere that sold bulgur…sadly I’m stuck in a backward little town where no one has even heard of tabouli!


Tara March 5, 2013 at 4:23 am

You can look for a box of Couscous (Middle eastern bulgar pasta) in the pasta/rice /soups isle of your grocery store. It worked for me! Just follow the directions on the box :-)


katerina June 23, 2011 at 10:05 am

Seneca – So sad! Maybe try it with quinoa or brown rice?


Carol Cosgrove July 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm

correction… in all its (NOT it’s) forms..in the first paragraph ..but the recipe looks awesome and I am anxious to try it!


Shanna July 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Seneca – I’ve lived in places with no access to things like bulgur and have made delicious versions of tabouli substituting boxed barley. You can find it in the soup aisle of most grocery stores. Both the regular and quick-cook kind have worked well.


katerina July 12, 2011 at 8:17 am

Great idea Shauna!

(Carol, I changed it.)


sara's art house August 18, 2011 at 5:50 am

I tried this recipe and LOVE it! Thanks!


Lynnea March 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

We love this stuff!! We never had any Mediterranean food until 2 years ago when a new restaurant opened called Zenobia Cuisine. Now I make Tabouli often. I also make a big batch, but we eat it all up in just a few days! We eat it as salad, but also on pita spread with hummus (which I still have to buy because there is nowhere near me to get tahini) and topped with Tabouli! YuM! I have used bulghur, couscous, and once ditalini in a pinch! We don’t have ethnic groceries in my area either, so I use whatever I can find at Giant Eagle.


katerina April 3, 2012 at 8:49 am

So glad to hear that! You know Tahini lasts a long time, especially if you don’t open the jar – the next time you are near somewhere appropriate you can pick up a few jars and keep them in your cupboard.


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