We're heading straight into grilling season, and for me, tabbouleh is one of the all-time great cold side dishes, since it pairs so perfectly with all those highly-seasoned, smoky meats. Maybe it's the size of quinoa, or the less wheaty flavor, but for me this vibrant, bracing salad is significantly better with quinoa instead of the traditional bulgur wheat. Blanching the herbs keeps this fresh and green for several days.

Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
20 mins
additional:
2 hrs 15 mins
total:
3 hrs
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring water to a boil and prepare a bowl of iced water. Add 1/2 of the parsley, 1/2 of the mint, and 1/2 of the tarragon. Blanch herbs for 5 seconds, then scoop into the iced water. Let cool completely, about 2 minutes. Drain well and squeeze out the water.

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  • Rinse quinoa well. Sprinkle salt into the blanching water. Add the quinoa and simmer on medium heat until just barely tender, about 12 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, chop the remaining herbs into small pieces.

  • Add garlic to the blender with the blanched herbs. Squeeze in lemon juice and add olive oil. Blend starting on low speed, pulsing on and off, and finishing on high speed, until dressing is smooth and green.

  • Remove quinoa from heat; place in a strainer set over a bowl and drain for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Transfer quinoa to a bowl. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Let cool until it is between warm and room temperature, 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Stir dressing into the quinoa. Continue cooling if salad is not yet at room temperature, 5 to 10 minutes more. Add the chopped herbs and mix to combine. Wrap bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate until flavors meld, about 2 hours.

  • Taste the salad and adjust seasoning as desired. Transfer salad to a serving bowl.

Tips

Chef's Notes:

Whether you make this with quinoa or bulgur, I recommend keeping the salad relatively simple, and then using it as a base for other composed salads.

Nutrition Facts

402 calories; protein 9.8g; carbohydrates 43.4g; fat 22.6g; sodium 78.2mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (10)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
05/07/2018
my husband LOVED this salad. It was easy and quite good. I did not blanch the herbs as per the recipe and used them raw, the flavor was muted but overall it was a hit. I also added diced tomato, cucumber and black olives. Read More
(5)
12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
05/07/2018
my husband LOVED this salad. It was easy and quite good. I did not blanch the herbs as per the recipe and used them raw, the flavor was muted but overall it was a hit. I also added diced tomato, cucumber and black olives. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
07/15/2018
I blanched and made the dressing according to his directions thinking the whole time that this better taste good enough to make it worth the extra effort. It was! Used red quinoa because that is what I had and left out the tarragon because I didn't have any but it still turned out to be the best tabbouleh I've ever had. This will be my go-to recipe from now on. Also planning on growing some tarragon so I will have it next time. Love tabbouleh because of the taste but also because I can use my homegrown herbs. Great base for anything you want to add to it. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
09/22/2019
Loved it, used Cilantro variation, i've added some avocado slices, mmm yum! Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
06/06/2018
I really like it lots of flavor. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/17/2019
Very tasty. I didn t have any fresh herbs so I used dry - 2 tablespoons for 2 bunches; 1 tablespoon for 1 bunch. This worked very well for a tasty side dish when I didn t feel like potatoes pastas or rice. I ll look forward to making it with fresh herbs over the summer. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/06/2019
Delicious! Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
12/30/2020
I added a lot of salt, capers, chopped olives, and halved Cherry tomatoes. It was tasty but a bit bland before my ‘add ins’. But, as the recipe states, it’s a great base for a salad. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/07/2018
This is such a change from regular bulgar wheat recipes. We all loved it to the last grain of quinoa! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
07/22/2019
I admit I too thought this better be good for all the effort...and it was! I am always looking for recipes I can use fresh herbs from my garden and this made good use of my herbs. Even Mr. Meat and Potatoes liked this as a side dish! I'll make it again! Read More
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