Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad (6 Ingredients!)

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Wood salad bowl filled with our flavorful Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad

I make this salad at least once a week. How am I just now sharing the recipe?

It’s such a healthy, easy, and versatile dish that pairs perfectly with all things Mediterranean and Middle Eastern. Without further ado, my take on tabbouleh salad!

Wood serving platter with red bell pepper, curly parsley, lemon, onion, and olive oil for making Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad

Origins of Tabbouleh

It’s thought that tabbouleh originated in the mountains of Lebanon and Syria as far back as the Middle Ages. This parsley-based dish is popular throughout many regions of the Middle East and is called kisir in Turkish and eetch in Armenian.

The most common version of the recipe is made with parsley, tomatoes, mint, onions, bulgur wheat, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and sometimes pomegranate or sour grape juice.

Our inspired, grain-free version is not traditional but is similarly bursting with parsley!

How to Make Grain-Free Tabbouleh

This recipe is so easy, requiring just 6 ingredients, 10 minutes, and 1 bowl to make.

The base is fresh, chopped parsley, red bell pepper, and red onion. I love eating parsley because it’s so healthy for you (hello, antioxidants) and great at detoxifying the body (especially when you throw in lemon!).

I used to add grains to my salad, but it honestly takes too much time and I don’t feel that it was adding much in the way of texture or flavor. But feel free to add cooked, cooled quinoa, bulgur, or couscous!

Glass bowl with fresh bell peppers, red onion, and parsley for making gluten-free Tabbouleh Salad

Traditional tabbouleh calls for tomato. But, after realizing all I had was red bell pepper one night and using it in its place, I haven’t gone back. It adds even more crunch (plus beta carotene!) and a bit of sweetness, which I love.

And I love that this is another no-mix dressing (i.e. dump the dressing over the salad sans mixing). Keep it easy, folks.

I hope you all LOVE this salad! It’s:

Mega healthy
& Easy to make

This salad makes a delicious side to dishes like my Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes, Chickpea Shawarma Sandwiches, and even Curry Lentil Soup! It also makes a great base for Crispy Baked Chickpeas, Lentil Dip, and Falafel!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Wood bowl filled with vegan Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad

Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad (6 Ingredients!)

Fresh, flavorful, grain-free tabbouleh salad made with 6 ingredients, 10 minutes, and 1 bowl! The perfect salad or side dish for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern entrées.
Author Minimalist Baker
PERFECT Grain Free Tabbouleh Salad! Detoxifying, 6 ingredients, flavorful! #vegan #glutenfree #tabbouleh #salad #plantbased #recipe #minimalistbaker
4.89 from 18 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Course Salad, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mediterranean-Inspired, Middle Eastern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days


  • 1 large bundle fresh parsley (~4-5 cups as original recipe is written // chopped // curly, not Italian // organic when possible)
  • 1/3 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1 large red bell pepper (diced // or sub cherry tomatoes // organic when possible)
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced (~3 Tbsp or 45 ml as original recipe is written)
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional if avoiding oil)
  • 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp hulled hemp seeds (optional)


  • To a large mixing bowl, add parsley, onion, and bell pepper. Top with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to combine. Add hemp seeds at this time if desired (optional).
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, salt and pepper for overall flavor, or olive oil if too dry.
  • Serve immediately as a side for Mediterranean dishes like Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes, Chickpea Shawarma Dip, or Chickpea Shawarma Sandwiches. This is also great as a salad base for things like Crispy Baked Chickpeas.


*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with lesser amount of oil and without hemp seeds.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 81 Carbohydrates: 10.7 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 4.2 g Saturated Fat: 0.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 83 mg Fiber: 3.8 g Sugar: 3.8 g

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My Rating:

  1. Juanita says

    Thank you so much for this grain free recipe! This was so good!
    I love that your recipes always have so much flavor! They never disappoint. Plus I really appreciate that they consist of “real” food.
    I was wondering do you have a recipe for Tabbouleh with Grain? Like maybe Quinoa? I have tried so many recipes for Tabbouleh but they always seem to taste like just parsley or not much taste at all. Or do you have a recipe for Tabbouleh you would suggest?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Juanita! Thank you for your kind words! We don’t have a specific recipe recommendation, but adding quinoa to this recipe would be delicious.

  2. Beth says


    I purchased the Everyday Cooking cookbook and am just loving it!

    Also, I wanted to say thank you to whoever decided to call tabbouleh by its correct name. Maybe tahini will be changed to techina sometime in the near future?

    I always look forward to your recipes in my inbox. You-all create them in such a way that you welcome us riffing on them, which is just the way recipes should be followed!

  3. Anonymous says

    I love cherry tomatoes but recently found them acidic/not flavourful this month so using the red pepper was a great solution (and it didn’t repeat on me either!). My subs: I tried curly parsley for this recipe and it tasted like grass – big no no so luckily I still had proper parsley! And I swapped red onion for spring onion/scallions for no onion burps later on. Thank you for the new take :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Glad this recipe was a success in the end. Thanks for the review and for sharing your modifications!

  4. Izzy says

    I have made this several times now, it is my new favorite. I love traditional tabbouleh but can eat gluten. Well I’m not sad anymore because this is way better! So simple, nutritious & delicious & goes amazing with shwarma!

  5. Kristin says

    This was delicious! The only tabbouleh I’ve ever liked comes from a Lebanese bakery near my office building. This tastes just like it! I used a garlic-infused olive oil for a subtle boost in flavour and reduced the lemon juice to just a squeeze of one slice as I do not enjoy the taste.

    A tip for those opposed to red onions: half the amount and soak them in ice water for 5-10 minutes to take away the harshness. Pat out the moisture with paper towel before mixing in.

  6. Angela says

    It is sooo delicious!! Also, it seemed as if I could feel the health benefits immediately in each cell of my body. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  7. Leona WestbrookChilcott says

    I made this and added edamame, sweet peas, and avocado to expand for it for church fellowship lunch and it was a hit! It’s live, tasty, and presents beautifully. Thank you so very much for all your great recipes. Leona

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Leona. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  8. Fiona says

    Try a “Mezzaluna” for chopping herbs – half moon shaped rocking Knife with 2 handles! They are brilliant.
    The first choice of Italian nonas for chopping up basil for pesto, they say it doesn’t bruise the leaves.
    I bought mine over 30 years ago at a Paris flea market and it’s my “go to” most favourite kitchen tool.
    I carry vintage ones from time to time in my Etsy shop – EnProvence.

    Have all ingredients for this – will be eating this tonight.

  9. Sarah-Beth Hatton says

    This was delicious! I halved it, added a tomato and extra red pepper and ate the lot with black bean falafel and garlic dill sauce.

  10. lena says

    So good, i used a commenters recommendation of a dash of cumin and it worked beautifully. I make this regularly with no oil and eat the whole batch. Parsley is so extremely good for you i’m so grateful for this recipe thank you!

  11. Sreece says

    OMG, I love this recipe. So quick and easy. I added a can of chickpeas and used white pepper instead of salt and pepper.

  12. Cassie Tran says

    What a refreshing, simple, yet healthy and colorful salad! I love the tabbouleh salads at Mediterranean restaurants. Beautiful!!

  13. Jody says

    I made this and it was great. I did not have red pepper but used half green pepper and also halved tomato cherries. Also added half an avo because I had it and needed to use it. Served it with roasted cauliflower and roasted curried chickpeas with drizzle of tahini lemon dressing.

  14. stanp says

    My wife and I engoy meals cooked in a tagine (think that’s Mediteranean) and this would be a perfect side dish…..just have to substitute regular onion for the red….I really love red onions…the “Mrs” doesn’t.


    P.S. Trying your grilled eggplant this weekend.

  15. Little Cooking Tips says

    Fantastic dish Dana! Tabbouleh is usually served with groats here. Panos doesn’t like them (he nods with a grim in his face next to me), so this recipe is PERFECT for us:)
    We do love the parsley-onion combo, after all this is kind of a staple in authentic Greek gyros (just like the salsa is used in tacos in Mexican cooking) :)
    Congratulations, loved your recipe and moreover, your work!

  16. kjwa says

    If making this in advance to do wait to put the dressing on just before or is it better to let it sit for some time?

  17. Belinda says

    I just made this salad and it’s AWESOME!! So crazy that something so simple has so much flavor!! I will be making this on a weekly basis!! Thank you!

  18. Jess | says

    Hey Dana,

    First, this looks delish! And I love that it’s GF.

    Secondly, can I ask where you got the background you photographed the bowl on? The white, slightly textured surface? I’ve been looking for something similar for my crochet blog.

    Thanks so much!


  19. Lynda says

    I made this today for me and my son and we both loved it! Thank you for sharing such a healthy, fabulous recipe!

  20. Jess says

    LOVE this! So fresh and green which is basically all I want now as the weather is finally starting to warm up!

  21. Maria says

    YUMMM!!! So many herbs! I love the flavors in tabbouleh salad. I’m picturing needing to brush/floss my teeth immediately following however with all of those little green bits of herbs;) Ha:)

  22. Margo says

    Instead of grains, I use sprouted buckwheat, or if I don’t have any, then I just soak it for a couple of hours until soft. Delicious, with a slightly nutty flavour.

  23. Ms. Ainee C. Beland says

    I find that I have been dieting all of my life; as I am small in statue; yet not small enough as some ethnicity are by default and I am big bone; so dieting is failed because of my wished proportion and reality; we are born big or small and fighting that is stupendous to say the least. Unsure if making sense. Thanks for sharing recipe.

  24. Asli says

    Thank you. Such a simple and tasty recipe. Coming from the Mediterranean, may I suggest a dash of ground cumin, and if more grain-free texture is desired, food-processed cauliflower to act as the traditional bulgur. Sometimes we also throw in a handful of pomegranate seeds for sweetness and color.

    • Miriam says

      Those sound like great ideas to make it into more of a salad and less like a big bowl of parsley. I think I will try this with the additions. Thank you.

      • Asli says

        Dana, I thank you for all the wonderful recipes you post and the beautiful photographs! Also, I could never thank you and your husband enough for sharing so much knowledge on how to put together a food blog. I have learned so much from you two, both through your course on and your website here. I have nothing to show for it as yet but hopefully I will soon, at some point…between taking care of my two kids, work etc. Beautiful and elegant website!

  25. Mary Stead says

    I just started another diet and like the Mediteranean recipes, they are simple and good. I will try this as I am curious as to the taste. Thank you