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Quick and easy couscous tabbouleh recipe

Quick and easy couscous tabbouleh recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Grain salad
  • Tabbouleh

This tabbouleh is really quick and easy to make using leftover cooked couscous. You also get maximum flavour this way! A perfect salad for picnics.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3 lemons, peeled and quartered
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 250g cooked couscous
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper

MethodPrep:15min ›Extra time:3hr chilling › Ready in:3hr15min

  1. Place the tomatoes, onions, lemons and mint leaves in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped and blended.
  2. Pour the blended mixture over cooked couscous in a large bowl; stir to mix well. Drizzle olive oil on top and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Chill in the fridge for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

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Reviews in English (0)

Tabbouleh is something that I kept ordering from a restaurant serving Middle Eastern dishes. But since I learned it how to make it at home, I never had to buy it again! And now, I am sharing this easy recipe with you.

I like that this salad is simple and straight-forward but packs in a lot of flavors. I especially like that the dressing is light and healthy. Not to mention, it binds all the flavors together in one delightful dish.

But the main star of the salad is the parsley. Combined with some mint leaves, parsley adds a refreshing vibe to the dish. It makes this salad a whole lot healthier, too &ndash it is full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and antioxidants!

This salad can be made in just under 30 minutes! There is no cooking required, all you have to do is to toss all the ingredients together! Let me show you how to prepare this, read on!

What is Tabbouleh?

It is an Eastern Mediterranean salad that has grown popular in the West and in the rest of the world. Primarily made with parsley, mint, and bulgur wheat in a lemon and olive oil dressing, this dish is quite healthful and easy to make!

What is bulgur?

It is a whole grain cereal that is made with cracked wheat (most commonly, durum). What you can buy in grocery stores are already partially cooked, and so, in this recipe, there is no need to cook it further. You will only need to soak it!

It packs in a lot of fiber with minimal calories. Hence, this dish is perfect for those trying to trim their waistline as it will keep you feeling full for a long time.

This ingredient is popular in Mediterranean cuisine and is greatly associated with couscous, a similar wheat product. But the difference lies in the preparation &ndash couscous is not whole-grain and is more like pasta, unlike bulgur. It makes for a great substitute for bulgur though.

Read about bulgur health benefits here.

Is Tabbouleh healthy?

Yes! This dish requires no cooking thereby making all the ingredients fresh. Without cooking, we can avoid breaking down the nutrients as what cooking sometimes does in food.

You get fiber, antioxidants, and carbs from wheat. Individually, the ingredients are healthful and so, this dish is a healthy choice overall!

Even diabetics can consume this despite the use of bulgur. The carbs are within the recommended limit for their diet, and the other vitamins and nutrients are added benefits. Simply watch the salt, or leave it out completely.

How do you cook bulgur?

For the kind that is used in this recipe, the extra fine kind, just soak the grains in hot water. The grains are so small that this method does the trick.

But, if you are to prepare the coarse kinds with bigger grains, you need to cook the bulgur in water drizzled with oil and added with some salt. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 12 minutes. Then, remove it from heat and let it rest, covered, for another 10 minutes. Then, fluff with a fork and it is done!

The Best Tabbouleh Couscous Recipe

Folks, I&rsquove called this recipe &ldquoThe Best Tabbouleh Couscous Recipe&rdquo because I believe it&rsquos the only tabbouleh recipe that you&rsquoll ever need.

Now that&rsquos a bold statement isn&rsquot it?

You see traditionally tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat and here I&rsquom showing you how to make tabbouleh with couscous!

The great thing about using couscous is it makes it simpler (and quicker) to make whilst there&rsquos no loss of the delicious authentic taste!

Tabbouleh, also known as tabouli, tabbuleh or tabouleh is a Levantine vegetarian dish from the Middle East.

It&rsquos a healthy salad made with lots of finely chopped fresh parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber and onion tossed with olive oil and lemon juice.

Not only great as a main or side dish this tabbouleh couscous will accompany just about any dish you can think of.

It can be served hot or cold and I particularly recommend it with my Cajun Spiced Oven Baked Chicken or if you&rsquore having it with flatbreads it tastes amazing with my low fat hummus recipe.

You can prepare your couscous tabbouleh a couple of hours ahead of your meal if you wish.

If you&rsquore making it the day before then I recommend preping all your salad ingredients and keeping them seperate. This will prevent your tabbouleh becoming all soggy.

Closer to your meal mix all the ingredients together

Make sure you select only fresh ingredients. Use vegetables that are crisp and haven&rsquot been sitting about going limp. You want ripe but firm tomatoes. Not ones that are too soft. They need to have a bite to them.

The quality of your tabbouleh salad will depend on your selection of vegetables.

Your Questions About This Tabbouleh Couscous

  • Is this tabbouleh couscous recipe healthy? Yes it&rsquos full of fibre and healthy fats
  • How can I make tabbouleh gluten free? You can make gluten free tabbouleh by using cooked quinoa or millet instead of couscous or bulgur wheat.
  • How long does tabbouleh last? If you keep your freshly made tabbouleh in an air tight container it&rsquoll last approximately 2 days in the fridge before it goes soggy.
  • Can you reheat tabbouleh? You can eat tabbouleh both warm or cold. However it should only be reaheated once by giving it a quick 15 minute re-heat in the oven or a quick 30 seconds in your microwave. Make sure you mix it well before serving.
  • Can you freeze tabbouleh? No you cannot freeze tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a fresh salad best enjoyed as soon as it&rsquos made or after a short period marinating in the fridge.

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Tabbouleh recipe

Learn how to make this classic Tabbouleh following our simple step-by-step recipe.

This tabbouleh recipe is so easy to make at home. Its a delicious side dish and can be made in only 15 minutes. This recipe serves 2 people but if you’d like to make more, all you have to do is double up the ingredients.

Related Video

I had every intention of making this as written, I had all the ingredients needed and had my own mint this time from my garden. I keep some cooked grains in my freezer that normally take a while to cook, so I grabbed some cooked barley and some wild rice. ( I add these to soups, make grain cakes, etc--whenever I want) I freeze them in 1.5 cup portions. I just thawed in the microwave. The rest I followed the recipe which was the FLAVOR

! It was absolutely delicious and I'm so pleased I chose this recipe as my guide! Enjoy!

Have made this twice for dinner parties and everyone loved it - had to share the recipe, too. Instead of chicken broth I used water and vegetable broth as we don't eat meat although our guests do. Forgot to use mint the first time I made it and used only a little mint the second time because the mint we had looked pretty sad. Am making it again this weekend for another dinner party. Yum!

This was a lovely salad/side dish. I even left out the mint because I couldn't find any at the local store and it still turned out delicious. This goes on my permanent rotation.

I make this all the time in the summer, exactly as the recipe prescribes. We love it with a bbq, particularly, and it's great to bring to a party because the recipe makes a huge bowl. Absolutely love it! A total staple of our seasonal repertoire. :)

this was delicious. i used some cooked couscous that i had on hand and would maybe use less lemon juice this way, but overall. very tasty, light, and satisfying. I am doing a cleanse, too, and I think its quite fine for it.

for sure add salt, make sure that parsley is really diced tiny! We loved it, very easy, fresh and great with grilled chicken and veggies.

I'm away at college and you know how hard it is to get nice,home-made meals. Some recipes are too complicated to make in a college dorm kitchen. This recipe was great and easy enough for me to do with my limited supplies. I followed the recipe except for no mint and more salt. Absolutely hits the spot.

This is an amazing summer salad (yes, I know it's not authentic tabbouleh, and I don't care)! I add more vegetables, parsley and mint than the recipe calls for. I wouldn't tinker with the amount of lemon juice or oil, though - they are the perfect combination and keep the couscous moist and tasty. I agree with other reviewers that it needs some salt. I serve in a wide bowl or on a platter lined with lettuce leaves and top with tons of sliced tomatoes and baby cukes that way I don't feel like I have to serve a separate vegetable. Great for entertaining (make a day ahead) or to keep in the fridge for lunch.

I have made this several times--it's always good. I add some salt to "wake it up". I agree with another reviewer--make sure the parsley is minced. I like cucumbers and tomatoes to be chunkier. It goes well with grilled meats.

Very fresh! I did the no-cook version (didn't use the broth or the water . just threw in the couscous with the ingredients overnight). However, next time, I will use the exact amount of oil (and the full 1/2 cup of lemon juice) versus using less oil (as suggested by some other users) because I found it to be a bit dry and the couscous didn't fluff up as much as it could have. I also used cherry tomatoes (per someone's suggestion) so I didn't have to seed - I used about 1 pint. The other nice benefit of the cherry tomatoes is that they're much sweeter and fresher-tasting. I also agree that you want to cut the tomatoes and cucumber small-ish so they balance better with the couscous.

thia is a great summer salad to have on hand in the fridge (if it lasts that long). Good also to serve in romaine leaves to make a pick-up dish

Mmm mmm mm!! Delicious.. my first attempt at tabbouleh and was yummy. Served it with hummus on wraps. A few suggestions: really mince the parsley otherwise it feels too leafy in your mouth, and mince the cuke and tomatoes to pretty small pieces as well for best consistency. I didn't feel like spending $8 for a couple sprigs of mint so I used the basil I had and it was okay, but if you add basil, don't use as much (I used about 1-2tbsp) and make sure it's evenly distributed through the salad cuz a bite of pure basil isn't very good. I love the couscous.. I don't think Iɽ like the traditional version as much as this one.

Made this for a barbeque and it was a success. Increased the lemon juice, decreased the olive oil and used cherry tomatoes (no deseeding!) and it worked well.

As a lebanese, I do think this recipe has no ralation to taboulah for taboulah is a main lebanese plate. First of all, we prefer to use borghol and not couscous another thing is that beside lemon juice, oil, and salt which are a must we only use parsley, mint, tomato and onion.You may like to add a sprinkle of pepper. Finally, taboulah must be eaten fresh that is just after being mixed.

I thought it needed and I added extra lemon juice. There is nothing special about this recipe but it produced the best tabbouleh I have had. I can attribute that only to the high quality, unfiltered, extra virgin olive oil. It produced a rich and elegant result. To the "Cook" on 9/07/01, check the recipe for "Overnight Tabbouleh" for an answer to your question of Peter.

Didn't have parsley & mint so I substituted cilantro & kaffir lime leaves. Aslo added some finely sliced lemon grass. Put in a lot less olive oil. Delicious.

We love this at our house. I made it for a pot luck at work and people were scraping the bowl. I too cut down on the oil but I increase the lemon juice for a nice fresh flavour.

Peter, are you adding the broth and water, or just mixing the dry couscous with the vegetables? As an inherently lazy cook, I love your suggestion, but want more details before trying it!

The secret of making a really good tabbouleh is to not boil the couscous at all. Just mix the couscous with the vegetables and leave in the fridge over night. The vegetable juices "boils" the couscous perfectly and the tabbouleh is much more fresh and tasty this way.

Made 2 weekends in a row obviously, we loved it as did our guests. The recipe's coming to The Vineyard with us. Easy to make (I made the day before), very refreshing and keeps well. I appreciate the other viewers tips and will try their variations. Thanks

I made after tasting it at a party and asking for the recipe. I added calamata olives, and used less oil like everyone else. I like using couscous instead of bulghur, and cooking it in broth and lemon gave it a nice extra bit of flavor. Very Good!

This was a good recipe to share with people who have never had tabbouleh. Be sure to seed the tomatoes or the dish can get soggy. I also cut the oil in half and added feta cheese. I got rave reviews at a neighborhood picnic.

This is a fabulous recipe. I had already prepared all the vegetables and had my stock boiling in the pot when I realized I had no couscous. I just substituted rice instead and cut way back on the oil. I served it cold with feta cheese crumbled on top and omited the mint. It was a real crowd pleaser, even better the next day.

Very fast to make, and very tasty. I made it on whim and did not have any mint salad was very nice, with mint it would be different nice salad. I cut the oil way back too.


  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 4 H, 35 M
  • Makes 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup medium or coarse bulgur (no. 3 or 4)
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • 6 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves (from 2 or 3 bunches)
  • 1 cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, very finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 bunch romaine lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried
  • 8 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths


Cover a strainer with cheesecloth. Add the bulgur, place the strainer in a pot filled with cold water, and soak the bulgur for 10 minutes. Pull up the sides of the cheesecloth, encasing the bulgur, and squeeze out all the water. Transfer to a large bowl.

Toss the bulgur with the lemon juice. Toss again with the parsley, mint, tomatoes, and onions and season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups olive oil and let rest at room temperature until the bulgur has absorbed enough liquid to be tender, 4 to 6 hours. Correct the seasonings and olive oil, knowing that there should be enough that it looks shiny and moist but not gooey and oily.

Serve the tabbouleh garnished with romaine lettuce leaves and scallions. Teach everyone at the table to place a few slices scallion in a leaf of romaine lettuce, then scoop up the tabbouleh with the lettuce leaf.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Ralph Knauth

This is tabbouleh like I know it from friends from the Middle East—mainly herbs and only a little bit of bulgur, plenty of lemon and olive oil, juicy but not greasy, full of flavor. The recipe is straightforward and very easy to execute. The chef advises to eat the salad properly, scooped up with pieces of romaine lettuce. We enjoyed it, eaten with a knife and fork and some grilled salmon on the side, as much as the chef did, I believe. When I usually prepare tabbouleh, I bring the bulgur to a boil with water and let it soak for 10 or 15 minutes. Here the bulgur is only soaked in cold water and hence will soak up more flavor from lemon juice and olive oil. I think that leads to a better product in the end.

Elsa M. Jacobson

I was looking for something to accompany Borekitas and this was a perfect fit! The rich, cheesy borekitas loved this herby green and lemon fresh salad. My dinner company loves salad and they went back for seconds. I would have to estimate this as easily making 12 servings. I hand-chopped everything. I agree that it is preferable. However, that means the hands on time, if you include the preparation of the list of ingredients, is far longer than 25 minutes. If you are going to hand-chop, add plenty of time for this. After chopping, there is little more work. I found no. 3 bulgur the other bulgur I located did not have a number but looked quite similar to the no. 3. When I soaked the bulgur, I did not need cheesecloth. My strainer was fine enough to contain the bulgur. Since 6 to 7 bunches of parsley seemed like a lot, I bought 4. I used barely over 2 to make the 6 cups finely chopped parsley leaves. Also, 1 1/4 cups olive oil is a lot of oil. My salad had a good oil to vinegar balance, but there was a lot of liquid and after it sat for several more hours, it got wetter and wetter. It could be possible to use the juice of fewer lemons and balance that with less olive oil. The bulgur was soft long before 4 hours had passed. I think an hour would have been fine and 2 hours, plenty. We served it with a slotted spoon. Despite my providing the pieces of romaine, my diners ate the tabbouleh with a fork and knife. They did not undertake the scoop method. Additionally, I skipped the scallions, as there was onion aplenty in the salad. Now, several hours after serving, the salad is lovely and green, but the bulgur is even larger and even more tender, but it in no way has it even begun to dominate they salad. I like my tabbouleh with chickpeas, but I served them on the side to keep the integrity of the recipe intact. There would be no reason not to toss them in next time, and I might add them to the leftovers when this salad returns to the table tomorrow. Also, a little tidbit I learned from the composer and musician John Cage is how delicious the addition of avocado is to tabbouleh salad. So while this wouldn't be the addition of a tabbouleh purist, I’d recommend it nonetheless.

Israeli Couscous Tabbouleh

Expand your pasta horizons with Israeli couscous in this refreshing tabbouleh salad that’s perfect for summer!


  • 1-¼ cup Water
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous (or Pearl Couscous)
  • 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ teaspoons Sea Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons Freshly Cracked Pepper
  • 4 cups Diced Cucumber
  • 2 cups Diced Tomato
  • ¼ cups Roughly Chopped Parsley


To cook the couscous, heat the water in a saucepan over high heat until it boils. Once boiling, add the couscous, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 10–12 minutes. Keep an eye on it, or it will stick to the bottom of the pan.

While the couscous is cooking, in a large bowl, add the vinegar, oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and whisk until combined. Add the cucumber, tomato, parsley, and cooked couscous to the dressing mixture and mix well. Can be served warm or cold!

Tabbouleh recipes

Serve this traditional Middle Eastern salad at a barbecue, or as a vegetarian lunch. The classic recipe uses bulgur, parsley and tomatoes, or try a modern twist.

Tabbouleh salad

This classic and well-loved Middle-Eastern dish is perfect to serve with fish

Chargrilled turkey with quinoa tabbouleh & tahini dressing

This superhealthy supper is packed full of vibrant and fresh ingredients

Layered hummus, tabbouleh & feta picnic bowl

This salad combines delicious meze-type dishes and a layering of several Greek and Middle Eastern-inspired flavours that marry together as they sit in the fridge

Feta tabbouleh with aubergines

This healthy, high fibre dish proves that feta and grilled vegetables are a perfect match

Halloumi with broccoli tabbouleh & honey-harissa dressing

Couscous makes a great base for a quick salad. Flavour with smoky harissa, sweet honey and herbs, then top with fried cheese slices

Roasted cauliflower tabbouleh

A simple, low-calorie, grain-free meal with roasted cauliflower, punchy feta and sweet pomegranate seeds that can be prepared in advance - ideal for supper and packed lunch the next day

Parsley & Lemon Juice

Some tabbouleh dishes might look more like a parsley and tomato salad that contains very little to almost no couscous. Other versions seem to be drowning in large amounts of zingy fresh lemon juice.

That’s why tabbouleh is also a quite refreshing summer lunch.

How do you spell tabbouleh?

Taboulé, tabbouleh or tabouleh?

I once read that a traditionally tabbouleh contains bulgur, which is a quick cooking (broken) whole wheat. It is pre boiled, dried, ground and sifted into small grains. If you can’t find any bulgur like me, then couscous works just fine.

Even cooked orzo (Greek pasta or risoni) looks great in this recipe too!


I’ve never really liked tabbouleh. To be honest, it’s a texture thing and it always made me feel like I was just gnawing on a literal bunch of parsley. Furthermore, I was never a big fan of the flavor, because, again, parsley. I like parsley, but like a little bit. And there’s nothing in a tabbouleh that says “a little bit of parsley.” Except this one. Well, kind of. Okay, I use the mint to balance the amount of parsley. Stick with me.

In a more traditional tabbouleh, you’ll find bulgar, parsley, mint, lemon, onion, olive oil, tomatoes and cucumber. I’m also not a fan of bulgar, and the owner of quite a large bag of Israeli couscous. So, this Israeli couscos tabbouleh is born!

Let’s start with the greens.

For my tabbouleh, I used half a bunch of parsley and one and a half bunches of mint. I really prefer the mint to overpower the bitterness of the parsley. And then the key is to get it in that food processor (or blender) and really, really get some fine pieces. Not like, damn she fine, but like tiny bits so you don’t feel like you’re chewing on a straight up parsley bunch.

You’ll make your mix-ins while you boil up the couscous. I don’t toast mine, I always burn it when I do, but you do you. Chop up some red onion, cucumber and tomato, squeeze in some lemon, drizzle on good quality olive oil and season with salt and pepper. BAM. Seriously fresh, delicious, anti-I’m-chewing-on-a-parsley-bunch, tabbouleh!

Watch the video: Κους κους συνοδευτικό μαγικό της Αργυρώς. X-mam. Αργυρώ Μπαρμπαρίγου (June 2022).