Are you looking for an extraordinarily fresh and healthy salad? I’ve got the recipe for you! Try this wonderful Quinoa Tabbouleh salad, developed with both taste and health benefits in mind.

Quinoa Tabbouleh is a lot more than just a salad. Traditionally made with bulgur wheat, we have replaced the wheat with Quinoa, a superfood making this recipe even more impressive with its protein, fiber, vitamins, and mineral content.

But the best part of all is that the taste will be equally impressive as it’s long list of health benefits. Besides, this tabbouleh and quinoa salad is gluten-free for those who need to be careful with gluten.  

Quinoa Tabbouleh served in a white bowl with a fork

Looking for more easy healthy salad recipes? Try my Mediterranean chickpea salad, fresh corn salad, or this vegan taco salad for a delicious meal.

Other Gluten-Free Recipes You May Like:

What is Quinoa?

Quinoa is considered a superfood with an impressive list of health benefits. It is actually a seed, but is often classified as a whole grain. It is remarkably nutrient-dense, high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants. A great addition to a wholesome menu.

I really like the way it tastes. It has a mild earthy, nutty flavor that is complementary in many recipes, especially Tabbouleh, which is the recipe we are making today. Did I mention that it is also gluten-free? This is a great substitute for grains in a gluten-free diet.

What is Tabbouleh?

Tabbouleh is a fresh classic Lebanese salad. Traditionally made with parsley, tomatoes, scallion, and bulgur wheat, which is dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and a little salt.

What is Quinoa Tabbouleh?

Quinoa Tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern salad made with Quinoa instead of bulgur wheat. Its main flavor ingredient is fresh parsley, mixed with fresh mint, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a little salt. I also often add chopped green onion to my quinoa tabbouleh, giving it that extra kick of flavor, but it is optional.

How This Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe Was Developed and Became a Favorite Salad:

Several years ago, I was cooking for a wedding for a dear friend of mine, and she wanted a completely gluten-free middle eastern menu as many of the VIP guests were gluten-free. We developed this recipe and received such wonderful feedback that we wanted to share it with you. Hope you and your loved ones like this simple but super nutritious and delicious salad.

Why Make this Salad with Quinoa?

First and foremost, Quinoa is a superfood, filled with countless impressive health benefits, but in addition, it also tastes exceptionally fresh and delicious in this Tabbouleh Salad. Secondly, it is totally gluten-free, making this a fantastic salad option to serve gluten-free friends.

Why You’ll LOVE this Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe?

  • Fresh & Tasty: Quinoa Tabbouleh is one of the freshest, most nutritious, and exquisitely delicious salad recipes on the market.  
  • Easy & Simple:  In spite of its complex flavor, it is easy and simple to make. Once the quinoa is cooked, it is a cinch to pull together.  
  • Flavorful: Tabbouleh with quinoa has a beautifully complex, fresh and bright flavor. Undeniably one of the best salad recipes on my blog.  
  • Super Healthy: Quinoa is a superfood; when you add the other ingredients, it is a sure winner.  
  • Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, and Soy-Free: The Quinoa tabbouleh recipe is naturally allergy-friendly, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free.
  • High Protein: One cup of quinoa contains eight grams of protein with all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is a complete protein, hence making this quinoa tabbouleh recipe a sure winner for those interested in a salad with extra protein.   
  • High Fiber: Quinoa is also a good source of fiber, an important element in any healthy salad. This quinoa tabbouleh is sure to become a family favorite salad.  

How to Cook Fluffy Quinoa:

Quinoa is easy to cook, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind to ensure the best result.
Always toast the Quinoa before cooking. This step brings out the best flavor and makes a huge difference in the Tabbouleh Salad. Of course you can skip this step, but I would not recommend it.

Step One:

Rinse quinoa and drain well. The less liquid it retains the quicker it toasts.

Step Two:

Toast the Quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat. This will take a few minutes. Stir frequently to make sure the Quinoa does not burn. The Quinoa should have a golden brown color when ready.

Step Three:

Cook the Quinoa in a small saucepan with a little bit of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. There should not be much water left in the pot, and the Quinoa should be soft.

Step Four:

Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and let cool.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Ingredients

If you are still looking for more salad recipes, try my easy sesame kale salad, fresh coleslaw, or this vegan caesar salad.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Quinoa: is a seed with exceptional nutritional value and provides the base for this quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe. Quinoa has a very mild nutty flavor, allowing you to flavor according to taste. Its consistency is also perfect for a Mediterranean quinoa tabbouleh.  
  • Flat-Leaf Parsley: We chose to use flat-leaf parsley rather than the curled parsley in this quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe because of its more complex and intense flavor.  
  • Fresh Mint:  Fresh mint is a herb that adds complexity and ingenuity to the flavor. It’s almost like you don’t expect it, but there it is, and it brightens the fresh falvor.  
  • Fresh Tomatoes: Tomatoes add a pop of color and delicious flavor to this quinoa and tabbouleh salad. We generally use Roma tomatoes, as they are less watery and hold up well in the quinoa salad, but cherry tomatoes, regular or heirloom tomatoes will also work.   
  • Garlic: Garlic is a must in this quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe. It adds flavor, complexity, and a little spice, not to mention the health benefits it provides.  
  • Green Onion: Green onions add a mild onion flavor with a hint of garlic, that is a welcome addition in this vegan quinoa tabbouleh.  
  • Olive Oil: Good quality extra virgin olive oil will elevate the flavor of this Mediterranean quinoa tabbouleh. It is also a healthy choice. Buy an extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil if at all possible. The temperature of the refining process is kept to a minimum therefore adding extra flavor and value to your finished tabbouleh quinoa recipe.
  • Lemon: Lemon juice is a must-have ingredient in my book. It brings a freshness and brightness to the quinoa tabouli that is hard to replace. Given that, the lemon juice must be freshly squeezed. Store-bought processed lemon juice will not give the same result. You can also add a little lemon zest to add extra citrus flavor to this recipe.
  • Sea Salt: Use sea salt whenever possible. It has trace elements that are beneficial to our health. Besides, I think it tastes better.  


  • Quinoa: Substitute Quinoa with Bulgur Wheat for a more traditional tabbouleh taste, but remember that it will not be gluten-free.
  • Flat-Leaf Parsley: Substitute flat-leaf parsley with curly parsley for a milder parsley taste in this quinoa salad.
  • Fresh Mint: Fresh mint can be omitted or substituted with fresh basil or cilantro for a slightly different taste.  
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil can be substituted for Avocado oil, which is a milder oil, but the quinoa tabbouleh may lose some of its distinctive flavor.  

Health Benefits of Quinoa Tabbouleh:


Quinoa, though technically a seed, falls in the botanical family of pseudo grains, which means it has the same or more health benefits than true whole grain. Sometimes called the Inca Wheat, Quinoa grows well and is readily used in the Andes, and has become increasingly popular here in North America. It contains more protein than wheat and is more easily assimilated. It is an excellent source of protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Quinoa contains a whole lot more nutrients than refined grain products, higher in fiber, which helps you feel satisfied longer. The fiber swells in the stomach, reducing the desire for extra food and thereby reducing obesity. Quinoa is also rich in antioxidants, unsaturated fatty acids, trace elements, and phytochemicals.

Fresh Parsley:

Fresh Parsley is considered one of the most disease-fighting herbs on the planet. It has a wonderful, powerful, slightly bitter flavor that adds depth to so many dishes. Still, it is so much more than that as it contains an abundance of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, is rich in Vitamin K needed for bone health, and contains antioxidants that protect the cells against free radicals.


Fresh mint is particularly known for its cooling and refreshing taste. It can assist with bad breath and contains great antioxidant properties. It adds a refreshing element to this Quinoa Tabbouleh salad.


The tomato is one of the most common plants used in cooking, though at some point it was thought to be poisonous, which of course, it is not. It has become much more than just an ingredient of flavor; but is now recognized as a plant with many health benefits. Though very low in calories, its nutritional value is rich in vitamins and minerals such as C, A, K, and potassium.

Another benefit of the tomato is that is is a blood alkalizer with blood cleansing properties. Not too shabby, right?


Garlic needs no introduction. It adds flavor to food, but it is also well known for its immune-boosting and disease-fighting properties.


Who can live without lemon in their lives? Fresh lemons are the citrus with the most proven medicinal applications. They are wonderful immune boosters with massive vitamin C content and phytochemicals, but they are also culinary marvels, adding flavor and freshness to many dishes.

How to Make Quinoa Tabbouleh:

Step One:

Rinse, Toast, and Cook the Quinoa. Set aside to cool.

Step Two:

Prepare the fresh parsley, mint, and veggies by chopping and mincing according to the recipe.

Step Three:

Combine the fresh herbs, veggies, cooked quinoa and add olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Step Four:

Salt to taste and serve this amazing Quinoa Tabbouleh.

Allergy-Friendly Options:

  • Gluten-Free: Naturally gluten-free.
  • Nut-Free: Naturally nut-free.
  • Oil-Free: In a pinch, if trying to avoid processed oil, I will blend canned green olives in its brine and use that as a substitute for oil. It works remarkably well but changes the looks and the consistency slightly.
  • Soy-Free: Naturally soy-free.

Serving Suggestions:

Quinoa Tabbouleh is a fantastic protein-rich vegan Salad. It pairs well with hummus and pita for an extraordinary vegan lunch.

Quinoa Tabbouleh can also be served as a side salad with any Middle Eastern menu.

How to Store Quinoa Tabbouleh:

Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The tomatoes can get a little soggy after being chopped when stored for several days, so if you want to serve this to guests, make the salad ahead of time, but omit the chopped tomatoes and add the tomatoes to the Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad right before serving. It will look and taste much fresher.

Special Equipment or Tools Needed:

  • Skillet to toast Quinoa
  • Saucepan to cook Quinoa
  • Cutting Board and Knife to chop and mince vegetables and fresh herbs
  • Large bowl to assemble the Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Tips and Tricks:

The most important tip I can give you for making this salad is to toast the Quinoa before cooking. I cannot emphasize the difference this will make in the flavor of the Tabbouleh Salad. I have at times omitted this step when I have been in a hurry, and always regret it afterwards. Take the time for this extra step when making a quinoa tabouli.  

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions:

What’s the Difference Between Curly and Flat-Leaf Parsley?

There was a time when almost all the parsley sold in the grocery store was the curly variety, but in recent years the flat-leaf parsley has become more and more popular, and that’s for a good reason. The flat-leaf parley has a milder, less bitter, and less grassy flavor, that maintains better over time. It is therefore a perfect choice for the Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, but it will also taste well with the curly version.

What Can I Substitute for Bulgur Wheat in a Tabbouleh Salad?

Bulgur wheat can be substituted with quinoa in any tabbouleh recipe. It is a great choice.  

Is Quinoa Tabbouleh a Side Dish or a Main Dish?

It can be either. For me, Quinoa Tabbouleh is a perfect quick and easy lunch. When using it for a meal, I usually add hummus, pita bread, olive tapenade, etc. to make a more substantial meal.  

Can You Make Tabbouleh with Quinoa?

Absolutely, it is my preferred way to make Tabbouleh.  The toasted quinoa adds a nutty, mild comforting flavor and a great texture to the tabouli salad. 

Why is Tabbouleh healthy?  

Tabbouleh is healthy because it contains extra protein for added energy and strength, fiber for a healthy digestion, fresh herbs and vegetables for needed vitamins and minerals, and low fat with no cholesterol for extra health benefits. Tabbouleh is an exotic salad that will keep you satisfied for hours. 

What’s the difference between quinoa and tabouli?

Quinoa is the grain, or more technically a seed, that forms the bulk of a Quinoa Tabouli Salad. Quinoa is an amazing little superfood, and it is naturally gluten-free. Tabouli is the name of a Middle Eastern salad that has become increasingly popular worldwide. Tabouli is generally made with bulgur wheat, but since quinoa is similar to bulgur wheat, has an impressive health content, and is gluten-free, quinoa tabbouleh is now also very common.  

What’s the difference between Quinoa Tabbouleh and Tabbouleh?

Quinoa Tabbouleh is made with quinoa as the base, and Tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat as the base. The rest of the ingredients are basically the same.  

What’s the Difference between Tabbouleh and Tabouli?

Tabouli is just another name for Tabbouleh.

Watch My Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe Video

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

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  • Author: Chef Ani
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4 1x


Quinoa Tabbouleh is a lot more than just a salad. Traditionally made with bulgur wheat, we have replaced the wheat with Quinoa, a superfood making this recipe even more impressive with its protein, fiber, vitamins, and mineral content. But the best part of all is that the taste will be equally impressive as it’s long list of health benefits.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint, chopped
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt to taste


Step 1: 

  • Rinse the Quinoa in cold water and drain well. The less liquid it retains, the quicker it is to toast.
  • Toast the Quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat. This will take a few minutes. Stir frequently to make sure the Quinoa does not burn. The Quinoa should have a light golden brown color when ready.
  • Cook the Quinoa in a small saucepan with a cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. There should not be much water left in the pot, and the Quinoa should be soft.  Remove from heat and cool completely.

Step 2:

  • Chop the tomatoes, parsley, and mint, mince the garlic, and slice the green onion.

Step 3: 

  • In a large bowl, add herbs, veggies, and Quinoa. Gently stir to combine.
  • Add olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt to taste.

  1. Healthline “8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Quinoa”