This quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe is light, fresh, and makes the perfect side dish for any family get together. It’s both vegan and gluten free and takes only 20 minutes to make!
I’m one of those weird people who actually loves salads but hate ones that leave my stomach growling within 30 minutes of eating it. Anyone else??
This quinoa tabbouleh salad is light and fresh, but packed with protein and fat to keep you full for hours.
Traditional tabbouleh has bulgur, but I wanted to keep it gluten free, so we’re using quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten free grain that is perfect in salads, buddha bowls and more. It’s light and fluffy and adds a decent amount of protein!
There are also no chickpeas in traditional tabbouleh, but hey, we need this salad to be filling! You can top it off with feta, serve it with hummus and pita or enjoy as is!
Tabbouleh only requires a few simple ingredients. Bulgur and parsley are usually the main ingredients, but for this gluten free version of traditional tabbouleh we’ll be using:
- Fresh Parsley: I like using curly parsley, but flat leaf parsley also works just fine. Parsley is the base of tabbouleh salads and adds a really fresh delicious flavor.
- Quinoa: Instead of bulgur, this tabbouleh salad uses quinoa to keep it gluten free. You can also use millet if you prefer.
- Chickpeas: I always use regular old chickpeas from a can! If you’re using chickpeas cooked from dried, you’ll need 1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas. Traditional tabbouleh does not have chickpeas, but it adds a lot of protein and fiber so this salad is actually filling.
- White Onion: Finely chopped onion (I prefer yellow or white) adds a nice crunch and lots of flavor. You can also use red onion if that’s what you have on hand.
- Red Bell Pepper or Tomatoes: Most tabbouleh salads use tomatoes, but I find the crunch from the bell pepper compliments the other textures in the salad really nicely. However, either one works well!
- Chopped Cucumber: Cucumber isn’t my favorite vegetable, but finely chopped cucumber keeps the flavor super fresh and pairs well with the other textures.
- Lemon olive oil vinaigrette: Made with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, garlic and salt and pepper. Simple but flavorful!
How to make tabbouleh
To make this salad, the first thing you want to do is cook the quinoa.
Remove the stems of the parsley and chop into very small pieces. I personally like to add the de-stemmed parsley to my food processor and pulse it a few times so it’s very finely chopped, but you can also just use a knife if you prefer.
Add to a large mixing bowl with the drained and rinsed chickpeas, bell pepper, cucumber and onion. Let the quinoa cool, and prepare the dressing in the meantime.
Mix the olive oil, minced garlic, maple syrup, salt, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and black pepper together in a small bowl or salad dressing shaker.
Add the cooled quinoa and dressing to the salad and mix until well incorporated. Top with additional salt and pepper if desired and enjoy!
Does tabbouleh have gluten?
Traditional tabbouleh (sometimes spelled like tabouli) does contain gluten because of the bulgur, but this recipe is entirely gluten free with the quinoa.
Bulgur has more of a bite than quinoa, which is why I like to use some other ingredients to add more crunch to the salad.
How to store and serve
Once prepared, this quinoa tabbouleh salad will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. Store it in an air tight container for best results.
What kind of onion is best? You can use any kind of onion in this recipe, but I prefer white or yellow onion. However, red adds a pop of color and extra flavor.
You can serve tabbouleh with falafel, hummus, pita, or enjoy as is! For extra protein, I love serving it alongside my lemon pepper salmon or a simple grilled chicken breast. Also delicious with my salmon patties.
Looking for more salads? Try these!
Gluten Free Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
by: claire cary
- 2 bunches of parsley stems removed (4 cups chopped)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa about 3 cups cooked
- 1 small red bell pepper chopped
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ½ cup chopped onion white or red
- ½ large cucumber diced
- Remove the stems of the parsley and chop into very small pieces. I personally like to add the de-stemmed parsley to my food processor and pulse it a few times so it's very finely chopped, but you can also just use a knife if you prefer.
- Add to a large mixing bowl with the drained and rinsed chickpeas, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, and mint if using.
- Let the quinoa cool, and prepare the dressing in the meantime.
- Mix the olive oil, minced garlic, maple syrup, salt, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and black pepper together in a small bowl or salad dressing shaker.
- Add the cooled quinoa and dressing to the salad and mix until well incorporated.
- Top with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve & enjoy!