Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Ready to take your salad to the next level? Try this delicious Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad recipe! It’s loaded with so much flavor and texture from the quinoa, crisp veggies, and fresh herbs and is packed with nutrition.

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A plate of quinoa tabbouleh salad.

One can never have too many great salad recipes. We love salads like this quinoa tabbouleh as a fresh side dish for healthy meal prep, and it also gives a good dose of vitamins and minerals. Other favorites include this simple Lettuce Salad and this Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese. Check out all of our Salad Recipes for more inspiration.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Quinoa Tabbouleh is light and refreshing. The quinoa adds texture, and the veggies and herbs pack it with so much flavor.
  • It is perfect for meal prep. This salad can be made ahead of time and conveniently stored in the fridge for up to a week.
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegan. Bonus!
A plate of quinoa tabbouleh salad.

Ingredients

Find the complete ingredient list, with measurements, in the recipe card below.

For the dressing:

  • Vinegar – Use white or white wine vinegar.
  • Olive oil – We like using extra virgin olive oil for salad dressing.
  • Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice brings that zing to your dressing.
  • Garlic – Minced cloves help to balance the flavors.
  • Maple syrup – A hint of natural sweetness.
  • Sea salt – Adding a pinch of fine sea salt brings out the best in all of your ingredients.
  • Sumac – This is a spice that is made from dried and ground berries that has a tart and tangy taste.
Our Pick

For the salad:

  • Dry quinoa – Choose between white quinoa, red quinoa, or black quinoa. We like using the tri-color that has all three.
  • Parsley – Both flat-leaf parsley and curly-leaf parsley work well.
  • Mint – Fresh mint leaves add a cool and aromatic vibe to the salad.
  • Cucumber – Perfect for adding fresh crunch for texture.
  • Onion – Brings a savory pungent taste. Use either red or white onions.
  • Tomatoes – These are sweet and juicy and add a lovely pop of color. We use cherry tomatoes.
  • Hemp seeds – Optional, but we love it for a boost of plant-based protein.

Expert Tip!

We choose tri-color quinoa for our salads because it uses all three varieties of quinoa adding a mix of colors, textures, and flavors, giving every bite a little pop.

A measuring cup of dry tri-colored quinoa.

Equipment

  • Saucepan – For cooking the quinoa.
  • Fine Mesh Strainer – For rinsing the quinoa. Make sure the holes in the strainer are very small as the quinoa is tiny seeds, and you don’t want to lose them down the drain.
  • Sharp Knife – We like a Victorinox chef’s knife for chopping veggies and herbs.
  • Cutting board – We recommend using a wooden or bamboo cutting board for vegetables.
  • Large Salad Bowl – Choose one that has an airtight lid so it doubles as storage.
Our Pick
Prep Bowls with Lids
  • These bowls nest together neatly for compact storage, saving space.
See it on Amazon

Instructions

Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom for the FULL recipe details.

Step 1

First, start by making the dressing.

Place all of the dressing ingredients in a small glass jar with a lid and give it a good shake. Set aside.

A jar of homemade salad dressing.

Step 2

Next, place the quinoa in the fine mesh strainer and rinse it really well under cold water.

This is an important step to remove a bitter coating called saponin that can affect the taste of your cooked quinoa.

A mesh strainer with quinoa.

Step 3

Then, place the rinsed quinoa in the saucepan and cover with water or broth.

Bring quinoa to a boil, then lower it to a simmer and cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

Simmer the quinoa until the water is absorbed then remove the saucepan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes covered.

Finally, fluff it with a fork, transfer the quinoa to a large bowl, and set it aside to cool.

A pot of cooked quinoa.

Step 4

Next, while the quinoa is cooling, chop the parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes and onions. If you have a food processor, it works really well to chop the fresh parsley and mint quickly.

Step 5

Then, toss the veggies with the now-cooled quinoa. Give the dressing another shake, pour it over the quinoa mixture, and give it a toss.

Lastly, sprinkle in the hemp seeds (if using), toss to combine, and serve.

A plate of quinoa tabbouleh salad.

Substitutions

  • For a more traditional tabbouleh, substitute the quinoa for bulgur wheat instead. It is a whole grain made from ground wheat. You could also use brown rice, couscous, or farro.
  • Use MCT Oil instead of olive oil for a potential brain boost!
  • For a milder onion taste, swap in a shallot or green onion instead of red or white onion.
  • Save time and make Instant Pot Quinoa.

Recipe Variations

  • Crumble on some feta cheese for a creamy, salty punch.
  • Add a punch of sweetness by drizzling the salad with a balsamic glaze.
  • Toss in some freshly diced ripe avocado for a creamy element.

Serving Suggestions

  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves and fresh lemon zest for even more color and freshness.
  • Pair it up with some grilled protein like chicken or beef skewers.
  • Make a Middle Eastern-themed spread and serve this salad family style along with dishes of hummus, falafel, and oven-baked pita chips.
  • Create a salad bar buffet! We suggest this Roasted Chickpea Salad and this easy Pasta Salad. They are both crowd-pleasers.

FAQS

Can I make quinoa tabbouleh ahead of time?

Yes, this recipe can be made ahead of time. In fact, it tastes even better the next day! Simply give the salad a fresh stir to remove any clumps and redistribute the dressing.

Is quinoa tabbouleh suitable for a vegan or vegetarian diet?

Yes, this recipe is naturally vegan and vegetarian-friendly and perfect for plant-based diets.

Storage Tips

To Store: Place the salad in an airtight container in the fridge and store for up to a week.

To Freeze: We do not recommend freezing this recipe. The texture will become very soft and mushy when thawed.

A plate of quinoa tabbouleh salad.

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**This recipe was originally posted on July 3, 2015, and updated on February 28, 2024, with recipe notes, writing, and photos.**

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A plate of quinoa tabbouleh salad.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Sharon Rhodes
Ready to take your salad to the next level? Try this delicious Quinoa Tabbouleh salad recipe! It's loaded with so much flavor and texture from the quinoa, crisp veggies, and fresh herbs and is packed with nutrition.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4
Calories 409 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the dressing

For the salad

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • cups water or broth
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped mint
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • ½ cup seeded and diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup diced white or red onion
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds *optional

Instructions
 

  • Place all of the dressing ingredients in a small glass jar with a lid and give it a good shake. Set aside while you prepare the salad ingredients.
  • Place the dry quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse it really well under cold water. Shake the quinoa around under the stream of water for at least a minute.
  • Place the quinoa in a small saucepan and cover with the water or broth. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Simmer over low heat for 10-12 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 more minutes, keeping the lid on.
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Set it aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, chop the parsley, mint, cucumber, tomatoes and onions.
  • Toss the chopped herbs and vegetables with the quinoa. Give the dressing in the jar another shake then pour it overtop. Sprinkle in the hemp seeds and serve.

Video

Notes

Storage Tips

To Store: Place the salad in an airtight container in the fridge and store for up to a week.
To Freeze: We do not recommend freezing this recipe. The texture will become very soft and mushy when thawed.

Nutrition

Serving: 4Calories: 409kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 12gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 191mgPotassium: 587mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1902IUVitamin C: 33mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 5mg
Keyword quinoa tabbouleh salad
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