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Quinoa Salad Recipe: Tabouli the "Super" Salad

Updated on August 25, 2013
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Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Authentic-Style Tabouli
Authentic-Style Tabouli | Source

A Recipe for Tabouli (Tabouleh), or Quinoa Salad

“Superfood” is a marketing buzz word used to describe foods with high nutrient or phytochemical content. But have you ever heard of a "Super" Salad? Tabouli definitely fits the description for a super salad. If there was ever a dish to stave off the common cold, this is the one. The main ingredients of parsley, lime juice and garlic all boast cold-fighting compounds.

The 4 ounces of lime juice that dress this salad contain approximately 60% of the RDA of Vitamin C for an adult. If you make authentic tabouli with 3 cups of chopped parsley, you’ll get another 320 mg of Vitamin C and 20,200 IU of Vitamin A. Both vitamins strengthen the body’s immune system. So why drink that glass of fizzy, artificially flavored Vitamin C when you can enjoy this lemony, garlicky salad instead?

Studies have shown that eating garlic, which contains allicin, reduces one’s risk of contracting a cold by 50%. Taking garlic after contracting a cold will help reduce its duration and severity. Quinoa, which replaces the bulgar wheat of traditional tabouli and therefore makes this a gluten-free salad, contains the amino acid lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair.

One word of caution: pregnant women should not consume parsley as it contains a uterine stimulating compound that may induce premature labor. So are you ready to try this quick, delicious and easy-to-make Super Salad?


  • Purchase the freshest produce available.
  • If the tomatoes are very juicy, seed before chopping.
  • This basic tabouli salad contains less parsley and more quinoa than the authentic recipe.
  • Authentic tabouli is basically parsley salad with a sprinkling of bulgar wheat. To make an authentic and healthy salad, triple the parsley (3 cups chopped) and reduce the quinoa by half (1 ounce).
  • It's easy to chop parsley in a food processor. Notice in the lead photo (above) the parsley has been machine-chopped, whereas the final photo (below) shows parsley roughly hand-chopped.

5 stars from 6 ratings of Authentic Tabouli Recipe

Tabouli Salad

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: Serves 6

Tabouli Salad

  • 2.5 ounces (80 grams) quinoa
  • 4 medium (about 1 lb.) tomatoes
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded
  • 5 green onions
  • large bunch (1 cup chopped) parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup Key lime or lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Start with fresh vegetables (green onion, tomato, mint)Dice......or finely chop
Start with fresh vegetables (green onion, tomato, mint)
Start with fresh vegetables (green onion, tomato, mint)
...or finely chop
...or finely chop
  1. Prepare the quinoa according to package directions, cooking it for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
  2. Finely chop the tomatoes, cucumber, green onions and parsley. It is best to use a food processor for this task, especially for chopping the parsley.
  3. In a blender or food processor container place the garlic, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and mint leaves. Blend thoroughly.
  4. Combine the veggies and the cooled quinoa. Toss with the dressing.
  5. Enjoy!
Tabouli Salad
Tabouli Salad | Source

Serving Suggestions


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