This easy quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s vegan, healthy, super delish, and it can be served as a main or as a side dish.
Today I am going to show you how to make tabbouleh salad with quinoa which is one the best tabbouleh recipes ever.
And if you’re wondering why I consider it to be one of the best, well, it’s because of the flavors and because it contains my favorite healthy seed, quinoa.
Tabbouleh is usually made with bulgur wheat and I like it that way too. But really, quinoa is the best substitute for it. Even if it has a slightly higher calorie content, it’s more nutritionally dense than bulgur and its nutty flavor makes a big difference.
More Recipes With Quinoa:
- Grilled Salmon Bowl With Veggies And Quinoa
- Quinoa Chopped Salad
- Chicken Salad With Quinoa And Roasted Veggies
But I’ll tell you more about this later in the article, like what is quinoa, why it’s healthy and how to cook it. Moreover, I will tell you how to adapt this quinoa tabbouleh recipe to your taste and what to serve it with.
So stick around if you want to learn how to make the best quinoa tabbouleh salad ever.
Now let’s start with the basics.
What is quinoa
Even though many people consider it a grain, quinoa is actually a seed from a plant called goosefoot. Its nutrient content is very similar to the one in whole grains, and it’s served in pretty much the same way, hence, the confusion. It is also called a ‘super grain’ or a ‘pseudograin’.
Quinoa was unknown until in recent years when its popularity surged because of its nutrient content, health benefits, and because it is naturally gluten-free.
Now you understand why it is my favorite seed… grain… whatever 🙂
And here is the nutrient content from 1 cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa:
So we can safely say that this super ingredient makes our easy tabbouleh recipe a lot healthier.
But to make the best quinoa tabbouleh salad, you need to cook the quinoa first and that’s a process that requires a bit of attention.
So I’ll go through it step by step in the tips & tricks below, along with some other super useful info that will help you make the best quinoa tabouli salad ever.
How to make quinoa tabbouleh salad – Best Tips & Tricks
1. How to cook quinoa for this easy tabbouleh recipe
Before making this easy quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe, you need to cook the quinoa and here is how:
- Rinse it vigorously in cold running water even if it comes pre-washed. That’s because quinoa has a bitter natural coating that sometimes sticks even if it’s pre-washed and it can alter the flavor of our easy quinoa tabouli salad.
- Use a 1:1.5 quinoa-to-water ratio. Most of the times you’ll find that a 1:2 ratio is stated on the boxes, but I found that this makes it a bit mushy for my taste. I like quinoa more like al-dente and to get this texture you shouldn’t add that much water.
- Always cook it in salty water for extra flavor and you can even go further and cook it in broth. Or, you can add different spices like paprika, oregano, thyme or garlic salt.
- Let it steam so it can absorb any remaining water. After the cooking time is up, take the pot away from the heat and let it sit with the lid on for about 5 minutes.
Great! You are now one step closer to making the best quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe.
Now I’m going to show you how to make it even better by adapting it to your taste.
2. How to adapt this quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe to your taste
First of all, you can use different kinds of herbs like any type of basil, cilantro, flat leaf or curly parsley etc.
Second, you can make this quinoa tabouli salad with any kind of tomatoes. My favorite type is cherry tomatoes and I think they make it super tasty but you can use your own favorites.
You can use any kind of onions but reds will add a more intense flavor, and green onions will have a mild flavour. Furthermore, you can add minced garlic (to your taste) and if you want to make it more filling you can add cooked chickpeas.
Now let’s see what you can serve with this quinoa tabbouleh salad.
3. What to serve with quinoa tabouli salad
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article you can serve this quinoa tabouli salad as a main or as a side dish.
It is very nourishing and filling on its own and it can make a super healthy lunch or dinner. But I know that many of you are greedy foodies and a vegan quinoa tabbouleh salad is not enough to satisfy your cravings.
If that’s you, then here are a few good ideas of what to serve with it:
- Roasted Veggies
- Vegan Curry
- Roasted Chicken
So that was all my dear foodies. You are now more than ready to make the best tabbouleh salad recipe ever.
As usual, don’t forget to snap a shot, post it on Instagram and tag me with @theblondelish so I can see how it came out.
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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups (255g) quinoa - rinsed well
- 1 lemon - juiced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil - extra-virgin
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large English cucumber or 2 Persian cucumbers - cut into 1/4-inch (1cm) pieces
- 1 pint (2 cups / 300g) cherry tomatoes - chopped
- 1 cup (60g) chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup (60g) pomegranate seeds - (from 1 medium pomegranate)
- 2 green onions - thinly sliced
- Place a saucepan with 2 1/4 cups of water over high heat. Bring it to the boil, then add in quinoa and 1 tsp sea salt.
- Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the quinoa gets tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff it with a fork and chill for 15 min.
- Meanwhile, prep all the veggies.
- Assemble the salad in a large bowl by adding in all the ingredients as follows: cooked quinoa, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pomegranate seeds, parsley and green onions.
- Season to your taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and add lemon juice; toss to coat.
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