Where Is My Spoon Recipes Other Recipes by Region Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Recipes Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad with Parsley – Middle Eastern Recipe

Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad with Parsley – Middle Eastern Recipe

by Adina 13/06/2018 5 comments

tabouli salad bowl
This post may contain affiliate links, see my Privacy Policy

Last Updated on 02/04/2020 by Adina

Tabbouleh, tabouleh or tabouli, probably the best-known Middle Eastern or Arabic salad recipe, made with lots and lots of parsley, mint, bulgur, tomatoes and cucumbers and dressed in a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing.

Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad with Parsley – Middle Eastern Recipe

This amazing Tabbouleh or Tabouli is all about the parsley. I have been making one version  or another of tabbouleh for years now, but most of the times until recently, I have concentrated on the bulgur, building the salad around it.

This time though, after reading through Yotam Ottolenghi’s and Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook, Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad with Parsley – Middle Eastern Recipe again, I realized that, as they say: “tabbouleh is not always understood in the west, is all about parsley… this is essentially a parsley salad, not a bulgar salad.”

Well, OK, as I have tons and tons of fresh parsley in my herb garden now, I thought: “What better time to make a parsley salad?” No better time actually… And in case, you are swimming in parsley at the moment as well, how about making this Homemade Parsley and Garlic Paste, I am addicted to it and put it in just about anything.

tabbouleh bowl

Ingredients for the Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad


First of all – the main ingredient – the parsley. You need lots of it, I weighed the leaves I used (after removing the stems) and there were 80 g/ 2.8 oz of them.

You will have lots of leftover parsley stems, do not throw them away. You can freeze them and use them when you make chicken stock, beef broth, bone broth or vegetable broth.

Flat-leaf parsley is the best sort you can use, it has a stronger flavor and it feels better to eat it. I like it much more than the curly version, which I sometimes think it kind of gets stuck in the throat.

However, the curly-leaf version is growing like crazy in my garden this year (some old window sill plants I planted last year), so I used about half flat-leaf and half curly-leaf parsley.

Chop the parsley finely using a very sharp knife that will cut the herbs properly without crushing and bruising them in the process. Don’t be tempted to use a food processor, it will ruin the parsley, I am afraid. I know there will be a lot of chopping involved when making this salad, but it is really worth it!

tabouleh salad bowl


You will also need a smaller bunch of mint. A good ratio of parsley to mint is 4 to 1. So, as I had about 80 g/ 2.8 oz parsley, I needed about 20 g/ 0.7 oz fresh mint leaves, weighed after removing the stems. You should be able to feel the mint flavor in the tabbouleh, however, the mint should not challenge the parsley, like I’ve said, this salad is all about the parsley.


When it comes to bulgur, I used the medium bulgur sort, because that is what I had in the house. Fine or extra fine bulgur are perfectly OK as well, just make sure that you read the packet’s instructions when you prepare the bulgur.

Usually fine or extra fine bulgur only needs about 5 minutes soaking time in hot water or broth. My bulgur needed 10 minutes soaking time in hot broth. Again I cannot stress this enough: do read the packet’s instructions for certainty on how to cook the bulgur, it differs from kind to kind and sometimes from brand to brand.

Many tabbouleh recipes I saw only use hot water to soak the bulgur, but I always choose vegetable broth (made from a cube) when cooking bulgur, it adds some extra flavor that I like. However, the broth is optional, you could use hot water instead.

tabbouleh salad bowl


There is a little of a debate here, some people prefer to deseed the tomatoes, some people feel that the extra juices are OK in the salad. In my case is like this: if I happen to have roma/plum tomatoes, which are rather firm and don’t have so many seeds and juices, then I leave them as they are. If I use cherry or regular tomatoes, I deseed them, otherwise I feel that the salad becomes too soggy.


I always use long (English) cucumbers for this Tabbouleh or most salads actually. They are rather slim and most of the times do not have that many seeds. However, if you use thicker cucumbers or other seedier sorts, then you should remove the seeds. Do that by scraping the seeds with a teaspoon.

tabouli bowl


I used spring onions, which I sliced very thinly. You could use shallots or red onions as well, very finely chopped, I do use them as well, when I don’t have any spring onions, but I do prefer the finer taste and freshness of the spring onions.


The dressing for the Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad is very simple, just a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. I had a rather large lemon and it was perfect. Taste the salad and adjust the lemon to your taste, you can use less or more lemon juice accordingly.

how to make tabbouleh or tabouli

tabouli salad bowl

Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad with Parsley – Middle Eastern Recipe

105sharesShareTweetPinLast Updated on 02/04/2020 by Adina Tabbouleh, tabouleh or tabouli, probably the best-known Middle Eastern or Arabic salad recipe, made with lots and lots of… Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Recipes Tabbouleh or Tabouli Salad with Parsley – Middle Eastern Recipe European Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 115 g/ 4 oz/ ½ cup fine or medium bulgur (See note 1)
  • 250 ml/ 8.4 fl.oz/ 1 cup hot vegetable broth to soak the bulgur
  • 4 medium plum tomatoes (See note 2)
  • 1 long thin English cucumber (See note 3)
  • 3-4 spring onions, depending on size
  • 80 g/ 2.8 oz fresh parsley leaves (See note 4)
  • 20 g/ 0.7 oz fresh mint leaves (See note 4)
  • 1 large lemon
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Give the bulgur to a heat proof bowl and cover it with the hot vegetable broth. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes or according to the packet's instructions. Drain well, if you notice that not all liquid has been absorbed. Give the drained bulgur to a large bowl and let cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Halve the tomatoes and deseed them, if necessary. Chop them very finely. Deseed the cucumber, if necessary, and chop it finely as well. Thinly slice the spring onions.

Remove the stems from the parsley and weigh the leaves, you should have about 80 g/ 2.8 oz parsley leaves. Do the same with the mint, you should have about 20 g/ 0.7 oz mint leaves. Chop both kinds of herbs very finely with a sharp knife to avoid bruising them too much.

Give all the chopped herbs and vegetables to the bulgur bowl. Mix carefully but thoroughly and add the lemon juice and the olive oil. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and more lemon juice, if necessary.

[nutrition-label id=9798]


Note 1: Make sure to read the packet's instructions, soaking times depend on the sort (and sometimes on the brand) of bulgur you use. Note 2: Plum tomatoes are firm and don't have too many seeds, that is why I don't deseed them. If using other sorts of juicier tomatoes, you should deseed them, otherwise the tabbouleh might be too soggy. Note 3: Only deseed the cucumber if using a thick one or another sort that has more seeds. Note 4: I weighed the leaves after removing the stems of the herbs.


You may also like


mjskitchen 14/06/2018 - 03:50

Love the higher ration of bulgur in your tabbouleh. Some recipes are so heavy on the parsley that the dish is green and not enough depth. Your recipe seems to have a really nice balance of ingredients, Thanks for sharing Adina!

angiesrecipes 14/06/2018 - 09:58

One of my favourites! My husband doesn’t like it because it’s too green for him ö-)

Anca 15/06/2018 - 17:15

It looks fantastic, fresh, green, really perfect for Summer.

Sissi 20/06/2018 - 17:35

I love tabbouleh! The more herbs there are the better and such a great way to use up this parsley from my balcony garden…

Adina 22/06/2018 - 15:35

I am buried in herbs at the moment…


Leave a Comment