This is my all time second favorite salad (my favorite is fattoush!). For a girl who eats a lot of salads, that's saying something. I'm sure you're all familiar with the famous Tabouli Salad. Finely chopped parsley, tomato and green onions with a zingy lemony dressing. My recipe has the best ever twist for the dressing.
Traditionally it's dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. But trust me - you need to add some hot sauce and bbq sauce to the mix. You won't regret it. My mom taught me this simple trick and ever since then, I can finish a whole bowl by myself.
What kind of Bulgur Wheat is used for Tabouli?
Bulgur wheat is a common Middle Eastern ingredient and is traditionally used in Tabouli salad. The recipe calls for fine or extra fine bulgur wheat. Some brands label it as "fine" while others may have a numeric scale - look for #1 for the finest variety. Coarse bulgur wheat I would only use as a last resort, and it would require pre-cooking before using in the salad. This is an example of fine bulgur wheat.
Tips for making the best Tabouli Salad
- Use a very sharp knife and hand chop the parsley. Yes - you can use a food processor if you like, which is much faster. But I find that it tends to wilt the parsley and makes it release a lot of liquid. Plus, you'd have to wash the food processor! I got used to finely chopping it by hand and it doesn't take too long. Definitely worth it.
- Finely chop all of the other vegetables as well to ensure everything is of similar size
- Use fine bulgur wheat which does not require any cooking. You simply soak it in water and by the time you're finished chopping, it'll be soft a fluff up to double its size. Using coarse bulgur is not traditional and would require cooking it in advance
- Refrigerate the tabouli salad for 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. It allows the flavors to develop really nicely
- Use hot sauce and BBQ sauce in the dressing. This is completely not traditional and a twist my mom adds. It makes it so zingy and gives it a great kick!
Is Tabouli healthy?
Yes! Tabouli is one of the healthiest salads you can have. It's full of vegetables and healthy fat from the olive oil. It has a lot of parsley which is full of nutrients and antioxidants. Also, while it does contain a bit of carbs from the bulgur, it's a small quantity so I would definitely consider this a low carb meal.
I hope you end up making this salad. If you do - be sure to leave me a comment because I love to hear your feedback!
For more Middle Eastern sides, check out:
- Middle Eastern Fattoush Salad
- Roasted Eggplant Dip
- Watermelon, Feta and Mint Skewers
- Za'atar & Feta Cheese Pies
The Best Tabouli Salad
- 3 Parsley bunches
- 5 green onions
- 1 large tomato or 2 small ones
- ½ cup fine bulgur wheat
- ½ cup water
For the Dressing:
- Juice of 3 lemons about ½ cup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce per preference
- 1.5 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Wash the fine bulgur wheat and soak in ½ cup of water for about 10 minutes
- Wash and dry all vegetables
- Chop the parsley very finely, along with the green onions and tomato and place in a mixing bowl
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together well. Taste and adjust per preference
- Mix the salad with the dressing well. Cover and cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving, for best results
- Hand chopping the parsley yields the best results. You may use a food processor but the parsley will release extra liquid and wilt. Still possible and much quicker - but not the best tabouli!