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Quinoa Tabbouleh

A gluten-free version of the classic Middle Eastern salad.
Prep Time20 mins
Course: Mezze, Salad
Cuisine: Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: lemon, olive oil, parsley, salad, salads, side dish, tabbouleh
Servings: 6 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • Saucepan
  • Sharp Chef's Knife


  • ½ cup quinoa, uncooked (100g)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or water plus a little salt) (250ml)
  • 4 bunches of curly parsley, cut where the stems begin and finely chopped flat leaf parsley will work, but the salad may be more dense
  • small handful fresh spearmint, chopped dried will work in a pinch
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, very finely diced I like the multicoloured ones! You can also use 2 regular sized tomatoes
  • ½ red onion, very finely diced
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • the juice of 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup good olive oil (60ml)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Cooking the Quinoa:

  • Place the vegetable stock / water + salt and quinoa in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and place in a mesh strainer to drain and cool.

For the Tabbouleh:

  • Finely chop your parsley by hand, discarding the stems. I typically just chop where most of the stems begin and don't worry about the thinner stems at the top.
  • If you have time, let your parsley rest on a plate covered in paper towel in your fridge. You can even do this overnight - this allows the parsley to dry and take the flavours of the lemon and oil.
  • Chop your mint, these do not have to be chopped as finely as the parsley
  • Finely chop your red onion and tomatoes.
  • Zest half a lemon, and juice two lemons.
  • Press any remaining moisture out of your quinoa, and add to the bowl of parsley, mint, tomatoes, and onion. Add your lemon zest and mix thoroughly. Then add your olive oil and lemon juice and toss.
  • Salt and pepper to taste - then serve!


I love using lemon zest from preserved lemons here, but reduce the salt if you do this.
To make this salad the traditional (non gluten-free way) use an equal amount of bulgur  and soak in boiling water while you prepare the other salad ingredients.