Light Quinoa Tabouli (or Tabbouleh or Tabbouli)

I always suggest this cool summer salad to people when they are looking for a way to spruce up their quinoa (a wonderful staple all alone) and yet I’ve never posted about it!  Quinoa makes a great stand in for the usual tabouli base of wheat bulgur (E is allergic to wheat as you may know).  We serve this with our favorite falafel recipe (I made a double batch which yielded 27 patties at under 70 calories apiece) and bean dip.  Now that I can eat tomatoes again I am sure to throw some extra tomatoes on my plate as well.  I can’t help it!

Oh, and I have seen this spelled tabouli, tabbouleh, and tabbouli just to name three variations and though Wikipedia goes with “tabbouleh” I’m going to use “tabouli” because I don’t do well remembering to be consistent when double letters are at play.


Cutting board and knife

Large Bowl

Scale and/or measuring cups


3.5 cups cooked quinoa (about 640 grams) – this would be just a little over 1 cup dry quinoa

4 or 5 leaves (or 2 grams) of minced fresh mint – you can of course put more but the mint I’d purchased wasn’t all good

20 diced grape tomatoes (or 2 servings at 85 grams each)

100 grams of onion (or half a medium onion), diced

10 grams of parsley (about half a cup), minced

2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh or bottled, though fresh is tastiest)

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil – this is where I was trying to save calories)

1 clove of garlic, crushed (optional, sometimes kids don’t like a strong garlic flavor) or 1 tsp of granulated garlic

1/4 tsp sea salt

pepper to taste


This is a very forgiving recipe, you can really cook any amount of quinoa to suit the proportion of herbs that you have but I had made quinoa the night before and had 3.5 cups of cooked quinoa left, hence the weird measurement here.  So rinse one to two cups of dry quinoa thoroughly while double the water is brought to a boil on your stove.  1 cup of quinoa needs 2 cups of water, and so on.  When the water is boiling, add your rinsed quinoa and reduce the heat to low, covering your pot with a lid and setting your timer at 15-20 minutes.  15 minutes usually does the trick for a cup of quinoa.  When the quinoa is fluffy, you’ll want to remove it from the heat and let it cool.

Chop your mint, parsley, onions, garlic, and tomatoes and combine with the cooled quinoa.  Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate a few hours or over night.  The flavors improve the longer the dish rests.  95 grams of the recipe I made above is about 102 calories which is not far removed from the usual nutritional profile of quinoa.  My kids like mint but they preferred this iteration of the salad over my usual ones when I have free reign with my fresh mint.  I’m guessing I overdo the herbs so a little restraint helps when you’re serving this dish to children.

As I mentioned above, enjoy alone or with falafel and bean dip!  However you spell it, it is a great option to add to your meal rotation.

(Shared on Cybele Pascal’s 8/3/12 Allergy Friendly Friday)

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