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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

By July 12, 2022September 30th, 2023Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

This is a nutritious, easy to make, summery quinoa salad with the classic flavors of the Middle East. Made with nutty quinoa, crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, lots of fresh herbs, tangy lemon juice and olive oil. Super satisfying and abundantly delicious.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad on plate with fork

I love this salad and make it often in the summertime because it’s so satisfying and can be made in 30 minutes. It’s a super healthy salad to store in the refrigerator ready to eat whenever you’re hungry.

This quinoa salad is a variation of the traditional Lebanese tabbouleh you find in Middle Eastern restaurants. Since I wanted it to be gluten free I use quinoa instead of bulgar. I think it taste’s even better, lighter and fluffier.

I love quinoa. Did you know it’s a seed, not a grain?  It has light nutty taste and is rich in protein,  fiber,
B vitamins, and minerals.

This salad is colorful, and oh-so-satisfying. The bright lemony taste and incredible flavor from the scallions, fresh mint and parsley tantalize your taste buds. Crisp cucumbers and juicy tomatoes give it an incredibly good texture. I add in a little bit of carrots for sweetness. YUM!

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad in bowl with serving spoons

Tips for Making Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Quinoa – Cook the quinoa. Once it’s done, while hot, add lemon juice and olive oil and let cool.  The flavors get absorbed into the quinoa giving it tons of flavor. You can even make the quinoa in advance.

Tip for cooling quinoa…fast! If you’re short on time spread the quinoa in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. This allows it to cool quickly before adding the vegetables.

Tomatoes – Choose cherry or grape tomatoes, they are packed with flavor, firm and juicy. Cut them in half through the stem end.

Cucumbers  have a cool crisp taste. Use organic English cucumbers and remove any seeds.  You can  use traditional cucumbers, which have a lot more seeds, be sure to scoop them all out or they will make your tabbouleh watery.

Mint and parsley are key for this tabbouleh, and we use a lot. Use fresh herbs. Mint tastes sweet and has a cooling effect on the tongue. Parsley has a bright fresh taste. Curly parsley makes the salad more fluffy but flat leaf parsley is also good. I recommend putting them into a processor and pulse to chop. Chopping by hand is great but it is a lot of work.

Carrots give the salad a slightly sweet taste and beautiful orange color even though they are not traditionally included. Remove the parsley and mint from the processor and add carrot chunks, pulse until you get small pieces a little bit bigger than the quinoa.

Scallions have a mild taste and are perfect for this salad. Use the white and green parts, thinly sliced.

Olive oil gives the salad a smooth texture and rich taste. The warm quinoa absorbs the oil and  highlights the flavor.  Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Lemon juice adds acidity and brightens up the taste.  Use fresh squeezed and add to the warm quinoa to absorb more flavor.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad ingredients

Quick and Easy

This dish can be made in 30 minutes. If you have time chill it for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld, or serve immediately at room temperature.

It’s a great make-ahead dish perfect for picnics, outdoor parties or take to the beach.  You can keep it refrigerated for 3-4 days.

Perfect for lunch on a bed of garden fresh lettuce, alone or with hummus.  It’s packed with vegetables, healthy herbs and a good amount of protein.

Serve it as a side dish for dinner with your favorite protein.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad close up

You’ll love the fresh, crunchy, lemony taste of this salad. It’s super healthy and incredibly easy to make.

Quinoa Tabbouleh is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

If you give this recipe a try, please let us know what you think! Give it some stars or leave a comment. ♥

If you like this recipe, try these other delicious Middle Eastern salads:

Baba Ganoush
Paleo Falafel (Bean Free, Keto)
Cauliflower Tabbouleh (Grain Free, Low Carb, Paleo)

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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


An easy to make quinoa salad with the flavors of the Middle East.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
  • 1 cup organic English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut int medium chunks
  • 1 cup cherry or plum tomatoes, halved through the stem
  • Fresh pepper


  1. Pour 2 cups of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until the grains are tender and open (they’ll have little curly tails).
  2. Drain, place in a bowl, and immediately add the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let cool *
  3. While the quinoa is cooling, place the parsley and mint into a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Place into a large bowl.
  4. Add carrot chunks to the food processor and pulse until you get small pieces a little bit bigger than the quinoa. Add to the large bowl.
  5. Add the scallions, cucumber, tomatoes and fresh pepper.
  6. Add the quinoa and mix well. Taste, add additional salt and lemon to taste.
  7. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.


Tip for cooling quinoa…fast! If you’re short on time spread the quinoa in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. This allows it to cool quickly before adding the vegetables.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad, Side Dish
  • Method: Simmer, Chopping, Processing
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free


  • Lori says:

    I can’t wait to try this! I love salads in the summer and with this long heatwave we have been having where I live, I needed variation from lettuce salads. Thank you for the newsletter you sent with this featured recipe. You are always so positive and uplifting!


  • Ingrid says:

    Thank you Lori I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes and my newsletter inspires you. Happy Cooking!

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