Tabouli salad or Tabbouleh is a simple Mediterranean salad of very finely chopped vegetables, lots of fresh parsley and bulgur wheat, all tossed with lime juice and olive oil. Grab my tips and watch the video for how to make tabouli below.

Tabouli salad

Tabouli is likely the topmost famed Mediterranean/Middle Eastern salad there is. Because it is now sold in most large supermarkets around the world, I feel compelled to dispel one thing: the “star of the show," so to speak, in a tabouli recipe is not the bulgur. The idea is to have a little bulgur with the salad, not a little salad with your bulgur.

What is in Tabouli Salad?

The true star in a tabouli recipe is the very finely chopped parsley--lots of it! Parsley holds well against the citrus in the dressing; that's why tabouli is even better the next day. Some tabouli recipes like this one, call for a few fresh mint leaves and green onions, while others use only parsley and red onions instead. This recipe is closest to the version I grew up with, but feel free to make it your own.

Tomatoes, onion, bulgur, parsley and herbs mixed to make tabouli salad

Important tips for this tabouli salad recipe:

1- In this tabouli recipe, I recommend extra fine bulgur. Extra fine bulgur does not need hot water nor too much time to soak before adding it to the salad. If you end up using coarse or extra coarse bulgur, then hot water is recommended and you will need to soak it for 45 minutes or so.

2- To achieve the right tabouli texture, you will need to chop the vegetables as finely as possible. Can one use a food processor to chop tabouli ingredients? You can use one to chop the parsley, if you like, but I would advice you to chop the tomatoes, green onions etc. using a sharp knife.

3- Be sure to use firm tomatoes. Once chopped, place the tomatoes in a colander to drain excess juice.

Tabouli Salad served on plate

4- Tabouli does not traditionally call for cucumbers. This is my own twist, I like the extra crunch added.  I use  English Cucumbers also known as hothouse cucumbers, they are long, thin skinned, and generally seedless. If you choose to use the more common American cucumbers, be sure to remove the skin; cut the cucumber in halves and remove most of the seeds then proceed to chop.

5- No dressing but a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice and quality extra virgin olive oil like our Early Harvest  olive oil. It's an exquisite Greek extra virgin olive oil from the estate of the Kotsovolas family in Christianoupolis, Greece.  Hand-picked; cold pressed; from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olive oil; and of extremely low acidity (0.35%.) Learn more about our Early Harvest olive oil here.

6-For best results, cover the tabouli and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. If you like, serve the tabouli with a side of pita and romaine lettuce leaves, which act as wraps or "boats" for the tabouli.

What to serve with Tabouli

Tabouli makes a great and bright addition to the dinner table next to your grilled kabobs or shawarmas, for example. But it can also be included as part of mezze along with other small plates like, Creamy Hummus; Falafel; Turkish fried eggplant; and spicy Middle Eastern Potatoes.

Watch How to Make Tabouli (tabouleh)



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Tabouli Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Authentic Middle Eastern tabouli salad with fresh parsley, mint, bulgur, finely chopped vegetables and a simple citrus dressing. See the step-by-step tutorial at The Mediterranean Dish food blog.

Tabouli Salad Recipe


Traditional tabouli salad recipe with parsley, mint, bulgur wheat, finely chopped vegetables and a zesty dressing. Recipe with step-by-step photos.


  • ½ cup fine bulgur wheat
  • 4 firm Roma tomatoes, very finely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber (hothouse cucumber), very finely chopped
  • 2 bunches parsley, part of the stems removed, washed and well-dried, very finely chopped
  • 12-15 fresh mint leaves, stems removed, washed, well-dried, very finely chopped
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts, very finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 3-4 tablespoon lime juice (lemon juice, if you prefer)
  • 3-4 tablespoon Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil
  • Romaine lettuce leaves to serve, optional


  1. Wash the bulgur wheat and soak it in water for 5-7 minute. Drain very well (squeeze the bulgur wheat by hand to get rid of any excess water). Set aside.
  2. Very finely chop the vegetables, herbs and green onions as indicated above. Be sure to place the tomatoes in a colander to drain excess juice.
  3. Place the chopped vegetables, herbs and green onions in a mixing bowl or dish. Add the bulgur and season with salt. Mix gently.
  4. Now add the the lime juice and olive oil and mix again.
  5. For best results, cover the tabouli and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter. If you like, serve the tabouli with a side of pita and romaine lettuce leaves, which act as wraps or "boats" for the tabouli.
  6. Other appetizers to serve next to tabouli salad:Hummus; Baba Ganoush; or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus


  • The finer you chop the vegetables, the better. See additional tips above.
  • To serve a smaller crowd, simply cut the recipe in half.
  • You can keep tabouli refrigerated in a tight-lid container for 2 days or so. It’s important to try and drain some of the juice out before refrigerating leftover tabouli.
  • Recommended for this Recipe: Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives)
  • SAVE! Try our Greek Olive Oil Bundle!
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: tabouli salad, tabouli, tabbouleh, tabouli recipe, tabouli salad recipe, tabbouleh salad, tabbouleh salad recipe, middle eastern salad, how to make tabouli


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Tabouli Recipe (Tabbouleh) | The Mediterranean Dish. Authentic Middle Eastern tabouli salad with fresh parsley, mint, bulgur, finely chopped vegetables and a simple citrus dressing. See the step-by-step tutorial at The Mediterranean Dish food blog.

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. Great recipe! So many recipes don't have enough parsley- this is how it should be.

  2. Finally a web site with recipes that are in line with what my Lebanese friend taught me years ago. Thank you!

  3. Try it without cucumber
    In lebanon we put:
    Dry white Burgul
    Olive oil

    1. Sure... It can certainly be made without the cucumber. It's just a little twist that my family enjoys.

    1. Hi Tricia, this recipe uses extra fine uncooked bulgur that's been soaked (be sure you are using extra fine bulgur though).

      1. OMG! This was so good! I could not stop eating this salad!
        The only thing I changed was soaking the bulgar in the lemon and oil mixture instead of water. Delicious!!
        I will be making this salad over and over again.
        Thank You!!

  4. I would like to makes this. What kind of mint leaves are used? I have both peppermint and spearmint. Thank you.

    1. Hi, very nice recipe here, but if i had to add more flavour to it then what it already is, I would try seasoning the water of the bulgur with chicken stock, or boullion of own preference. I personally think it gives much more flavor to it.

  5. In the video it looks like you use Italian parsley, which is the flat leaf kind. Does this recipe call for the Italian parsley or regular parsley?

  6. I love tabouli but can't eat bulgur wheat any more. Is there something that can be substituted for the bulgur wheat? I'm not that fond of it with just the veggies.

    Thanks Jan

  7. Delicious recipe! I couldn't find extra fine bulgur at the grocery store so I had to use quinoa, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Boyfriend really enjoyed it. I did, too, but it seems like it was missing some spice to round it out? It is definitely a fresh, green salad, but I needed to salt it heavily to really "activate" the flavors. Maybe I should have tried a little sumac? Not sure, but it's definitely going onto a list of recipes to make again. Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks for sharing! The bulgur typically adds a bit of a nutty undertone, so that may have affected the taste for you. It's meant to rely more on the fresh herbs than spices, but a little sumac is always a good idea in our book though 🙂

  8. I love the freshness of this dish. Finely chopping everything is a labor of love but so worth it!!

  9. This salad is packed with flavor and fresh ingredients. I love that this salad is mostly vegetables and not bulgar.

  10. Not only is this dish flavorful and delicious, it's so easy! This is going to be a recipe in my menu rotation from now on!

  11. I just love tabouli! I definitely can't wait to try this. The flavors are so fresh and wonderful.

  12. This tabouli salad is so fresh and tasty. It's great as a side dish to so many recipes, we loved it!

  13. I've always ordered this at restaurants but have never tried making it at home before, until now. It was so easy and delicious! Thank you for giving me the confidence to try.

  14. I love tabbouleh - I've never made it myself, but I can't wait to try! I love that you added cucumbers to yours.

  15. This never fails us! It's so easy and delicious! It's something that is always a hit with the family!

  16. I love tabouli salad! So much fresh flavor and the perfect way to get in a bunch of veggies and herbs!