This quinoa tabbouleh salad is a healthy protein-packed twist on the original It's bursting with Greek flavor from kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs. And you won't believe how quick and easy it is to make.
This quinoa tabbouleh salad is the latest in my series of Greek recipes inspired by my travels to Crete and Naxos this past year. There was so much wonderful food in the region, and I've been sharing my own vegan-friendly versions of those recipes here on the blog.
Tabbouleh salad is easily found on the menus of tavernas throughout Greece, and for good reason. It's super delicious. And it's also nice and light - perfect for those hot Mediterranean days.
This quinoa tabbouleh salad is:
- 100% vegan and vegetarian friendly
- quick & easy
- authentic Greek
- packed with protein from healthy quinoa
- totally delicious
And it's even better when paired up with this vegan feta cheese - made entirely from tofu. I swear it tastes as good as the real stuff.
What is tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh is a delicious vegetarian salad originating from Lebanon. It's traditionally made with parsley, tomatoes, mint, onion, olive oil, lemon, and bulgar wheat. Some variations might add garlic or lettuce or switch out the bulgar wheat for couscous (or quinoa in this case).
This is an extremely popular dish that has variations from all over the Mediterranean and Middle East, but it's also become very popular in the U.S. in recent years.
Tips for Perfect Quinoa Tabbouleh
- You'll need to rinse the quinoa well before cooking it. This is best done in a mesh colander, as the tiny pieces of quinoa fall through the slats in a regular strainer.
- You can use any type of quinoa you wish - I used a basic white quinoa for mine.
- Any variety of olives will do, but I suggest kalamata olives for the most authentically Greek taste.
- Serve topped with this vegan feta cheese for an incredibly delicious meal.
How to Make Quinoa Tabbouleh
First, gather up all your ingredients! I love how colorful everything is - it makes for a beautiful dish!
To make the quinoa, first rinse it well in a mesh colander.
Then, in a medium pot, add 2 cups of water, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 cup of quinoa.
You can use any type of quinoa you want. For this recipe, I used yellow quinoa, but feel free to try out red quinoa, black quinoa, or a mix.
Bring the quinoa to a boil over medium-high heat.
When the water starts to boil, turn the head down to a simmer and cover the pot.
This will simmer for 15 more minutes, during which time the quinoa will absorb the water.
When you remove it from the heat, use a fork to loosen it. It will be nice and fluffy.
While you're letting the quinoa sit for 15 minutes, you can start prepping the other ingredients.
With your cherry tomatoes, cut them in half lengthwise.
You can use other types of tomatoes, but I like the cherry tomatoes because they're a little sweeter and contrast well with the briny olives.
Next you'll want to chop all your veggies and herbs really well. The finer you chop everything, the better.
You'll need to chop the roasted red pepper, cucumber, parsley, mint, and red onion.
And finally, make sure your olives are pitted and sliced. My favorite type to use are kalamata olives.
Once all your vegetables and spices are prepped, add them to a large bowl and mix.
Then, add the quinoa and toss with the vegetables.
And finally, we're going to make the salad dressing.
Start by juicing 2 lemons. To get the lemon zest, I like to use a nice lemon zester.
Mix that with olive oil, white wine vinegar, oregano, minced garlic, and salt and pepper.
Whisk all the ingredients together, and add the dressing to the salad.
Toss it well so the dressing covers the salad.
Then you can eat it right away. But if you prefer it chilled, as I do, just put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
And if you love this quinoa tabbouleh, make sure to check out the other recipes in my vegan Greek recipe series:
- Vegan Feta Cheese from tofu
- Vegan Moussaka
- Vegan Zucchini Fritters
- Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
- Vegan Baklava
For Quinoa Salad:
- Rinse the quinoa in a mesh colander before beginning.
- Add the quinoa, 1 tbsp olive oil, and water to a medium sized pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- When water boils, reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
- Toss quinoa with remaining salad ingredients.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Toss quinoa salad with the dressing.
- You can eat the salad right away or allow it to chill for 30 minutes in the fridge first.