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Quinoa Tabbouleh

This healthy quinoa tabbouleh salad is light, refreshing, and flavorful. It's also quick and easy, requiring only a few simple ingredients to make!

overhead of white bowl with quinoa tabbouleh salad on top

Tabbouleh is a vegetarian salad that originates in Lebanon. It's traditionally made with bulgur, tomato, finely chopped parsley, and a few other simple ingredients. It's a salad I've tried many times before and loved!

But since I went gluten-free, I wanted to create my own version inspired by the traditional recipe, that used quinoa instead of bulgur. While not traditional, I also added in some cucumber for an extra crunch. This quinoa tabbouleh recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free, and it's perfect as a light lunch salad or side dish, especially with other Middle Eastern favorites like stuffed eggplant or hummus.

close up on quinoa tabbouleh salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

Why You’ll Love This Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

  • Added protein. I love that quinoa adds a bit more protein to traditional tabbouleh. In addition, since quinoa is so fluffy, it makes the whole salad feel light and airy.
  • Fresh and flavorful. This quinoa tabbouleh has a vibrant, fresh flavor thanks to the bright lemon juice and herbs. It's the perfect summer salad!
  • Easy to make. With just a few simple ingredients, this tabbouleh is easy to whip up. Plus, you can make a big batch and enjoy it throughout the week for meal prep.
  • Vegan and gluten-free. I love making this salad for get-togethers because it's a recipe everyone can enjoy. It's naturally vegan and gluten-free, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions, but it’s so delicious that it’s always a crowd-pleaser.
collage of four images showing how to make quinoa tabbouleh salad

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

  • Cooked, cooled quinoa – You can use any variety of quinoa you like. Chill the grains before making the tabbouleh to keep this salad cool and refreshing
  • Tomatoes – Choose the juiciest tomatoes you can find. I like cherry tomatoes, but any size will do! Chop them nice and small for the salad.
  • Cucumbers – These add a ton of crunch and bright green color to the dish.
  • Mint and parsley – Two herbs that are must-haves in tabbouleh. The mint is a bit sharp, while the parsley is super fresh-tasting and bright. This is really a time when you need fresh herbs, not dried.
  • Olive oil – This helps round out the flavors and texture of the salad. The quinoa absorbs the oil and really highlights the flavor, so use high-quality olive oil if you have it.
  • Lemon juice – For necessary acidity and brightness.

How to Make Quinoa Tabbouleh

  • Combine. Add the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fresh herbs to a large bowl.
  • Make the dressing. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, lemon, salt and pepper until the dressing emulsifies.
  • Toss. Pour the dressing into the bowl with the salad ingredients and toss to combine, then serve.
white bowl with quinoa tabbouleh recipe topped with sliced cucumber, cracked pepper and parsley

Tips for Success

  • Add some heat. I love adding a touch of spice to this herby salad. My favorite way to do this is with a dash of chili salt at the end. If you can't find chili salt but would still like a spicy quinoa tabbouleh, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Make sure the quinoa is cooked perfectly. Water-logged quinoa will make your quinoa tabbouleh soggy and sad! Use my tutorial on how to cook quinoa to make sure yours turns out fluffy.
  • Chill the salad before serving. Although it’s not totally necessary, allowing the quinoa tabbouleh to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving gives the flavors time to meld together.
  • Finely chop the herbs. For the most authentic texture and evenly distributed flavor, be sure to finely chop both the mint and parsley. This allows the herbs to blend seamlessly throughout the salad.
  • Use fresh lemon juice. While bottled lemon juice can be convenient, there's no substitute for the bright zing of freshly squeezed lemon juice to make the salad pop.
overhead of a glass bowl with quinoa, cucumbers, fresh herbs, and toamtoes


  • Add protein. Chickpeas or diced chicken are great options to add more protein to this salad.
  • Make it briny. It’s absolutely not traditional, but minced Kalamata olives are a delicious addition to this quinoa tabbouleh for some salty, briny flavor.
  • Add feta cheese. If you're not vegan or dairy-free, adding some crumbled feta cheese can add a nice salty tang to the salad.

Serving Suggestions

Pair this easy quinoa tabbouleh with Moroccan chicken or chicken shawarma for a perfect meal. Of course, my favorite way to serve it is with falafel and tahini sauce in a meal bowl.

white bowl with quinoa tabbouleh salad with cucumbers and tomatoes

How to Store

You can make this quinoa tabbouleh ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Because the base is quinoa, you don't have to worry about the dressing making anything soggy. In fact, you may find that the longer it sits, the better it tastes!

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

I don’t recommend it; the fresh ingredients will become mushy and flavorless once thawed.

More Healthy Quinoa Salad Recipes

Quinoa Tabbouleh

5 from 2 votes
This healthy quinoa tabbouleh salad is light, refreshing and flavorful. It's quick and easy with tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh herbs and grains.
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 Servings
overhead of white bowl with quinoa tabbouleh salad on top
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped cucumbers
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt + Pepper to taste chili salt if you can find it*


  • Add quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs into a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately or add in your favorite proteins (chickpeas, chicken, steak, shrimp, etc. would all be delicious).
  • Enjoy!



If you can't find the spicy salt, feel free to add a pinch or too of crushed red pepper if you want some heat.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1465IU | Vitamin C: 30.3mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 3.1mg
cuisine: American
course: Salad

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