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Fresh and bright-flavored Tabbouleh is a great salad to pair with just about anything.

An easy recipe for traditional tabbouleh, an authentic middle Eastern salad.

This salad is so simple in its flavors, but so fresh and bright. Lemon juice and olive oil combine to dress a verdant chiffonade of confetti-like parsley, with a bit of bulgur wheat and a couple veggies added in; this salad really is all about the parsley though!

Let’s troubleshoot for a minute because there are two common mistakes that people fall into when making Tabbouleh: 1) they add too much bulgur wheat, and/or 2) they cut the parsley wrong. Both of these things are easy to fix! Just use the amount of bulgur wheat called for in this recipe and you’ll be good to go with that, and I’ll guide you through how the parsley should be cut.

Parsley Chiffonade

For this salad, the parsley should be cut using the chiffonade method. Chiffonade is a French word that means “little ribbons” (I like to think of them as confetti-like strips), and the technique involves stacking up dry parsley leaves (or any herb, for that matter), rolling them up tightly, and thinly slicing them with a sharp knife. The result is of course beautiful, but it is functional as well. Slicing herbs like this ensures that they stay crisp and fresh longer, instead of quickly wilting and/or turning black, as can happen when herbs are bruised.

An Edible Mosaic

This recipe comes from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, where I share authentic Middle Eastern recipes and cooking methods I learned from my Syrian mother-in-law. The recipes there streamlined just a bit to fit into our modern way of cooking, while still keeping their integrity. My goal was to take the intimidation out of Middle Eastern cooking and make it approachable for everyone!

If you’re thinking about what to pair with this salad, it’s a nice compliment to just about anything that comes off the grill…burgers, steak, chicken, and even fish!

An easy recipe for traditional tabbouleh, an authentic middle Eastern salad.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes



  • 3 large bunches of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fine-ground bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup hot water
  • Juice of 2 to 3 lemons (a scant 1/2 cup; see note below)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint leaves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving (optional)


  1. Wash the parsley and completely dry it. Holding them by the stems, gather a handful of parsley leaves together in one hand. Roll the leaves tightly together and use a sharp paring knife to cut them into thin strips. Repeat this process until all the parsley is chopped.
  1. Put the bulgur in a medium bowl and pour the water on top; soak until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain the bulgur in a fine mesh sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract the excess water. Fluff the bulgur with a fork.
  1. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Gently combine the parsley, bulgur, mint, onion, tomato, and dressing in a large bowl.
  1. Transfer to a serving bowl; if desired, serve the Tabbouleh with lettuce leaves to scoop up the salad.
  • Lemon Juice: We like our Tabbouleh tangy, so I usually use the juice of 3 lemons. If you don't want it quite as tangy, start with the juice of 1 lemon and add more to taste.

Here are a few more Middle Eastern and Mediterranean-inspired recipes you might enjoy:

Disclosure:  There are Amazon affiliate links included within this post.

Faith Gorsky

Faith Gorsky is the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind the blog, and the cookbook author of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair (Tuttle Publishing; November 2012). She was born, raised, and spent most of her life in Upstate New York. She lived in Florida for three years during law school, and her and her husband spent time living Syria, Jordan, and most recently Kuwait; they now live in the Washington DC area. When it comes to cooking, Faith’s favorite thing to do is go into the kitchen hungry, open the fridge, and start creating. She loves to travel, especially to places steeped in rich culture and history. She also enjoys reading (cookbooks mostly), vintage shopping (especially in old markets), watching movies (of all genres), and is enamored with ancient cultures (especially Rome and Egypt).

more by Faith »

2 Responses to “Tabbouleh”

  1. postedMay 9, 2016 6:59 AM

    I absolutely adore Faith’s cookbook! Her recipes are so tasty, her photographs are gorgeous! Thanks for mentioning my Mediterranean hummus. I hope you had a great weekend!

  2. postedMay 10, 2016 11:40 AM

    Yum! I have always wanted to try this!

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