Quinoa Tabbouleh

quinoatabboulehI grew up eating quinoa. Well, actually, I’m going to be really honest with you here – I grew up eating some mushy mix of quinoa, tofu, beans, and rice – toss that with some olive oil and soy sauce and you have a lovely thing I once called breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My dad is a vegetarian, so the meals he cooked for us usually had been simmering on the stove all day, unseasoned, so the soy sauce and olive oil were welcome additions. Still, the way this quinoa was always prepared for me made me hate it, so it took a long time before I ever tried it again. Years, actually. Sorry, Dad, but your lack of seasoning inspired me to season, season, SEASON everything. That’s not to say that I drown my food in seasoning, but I definitely like to play around with spices. 
That’s why this tabbouleh won’t leave you wanting for flavor. This is a recipe I usually make with leftover quinoa pilaf that I want to jazz up a bit. I use quinoa instead of bulgur wheat because quinoa is gluten free and has protein and fiber. You could even skip the quinoa completely to make this super Paleo, but I think it adds a welcome texture and flavor, especially if you prepare the quinoa the way I make it. So you get a double whammy recipe today – the first recipe below is for my famous quinoa, and the second recipe shows you how to turn it into the tastiest, tangiest quinoa tabbouleh.


Easy Quinoa Pilaf


  • 1 cup rainbow quinoa (or whatever color you want)
  • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 T. ghee (omit to make it vegan)


  1. Rinse quinoa in cold water until water runs clear. This removes the bitter coating and is VERY important.
  2. Heat EVOO in non-toxic non-stick ceramic frying pan and saute onions and garlic until browned.
  3. Add rinsed quinoa to pan and toast (saute) for 3-5 minutes, until all the water is gone and the quinoa looks toasted.
  4. Add chicken stock or vegetable broth and bring to boil. I just put it all in the rice cooker and let it do the job. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Fluff with fork and stir in about 1 tbsp. ghee (clarified butter).
  6. Season with salt, pepper, or Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning to taste.
  7. Serve with curry or other protein and enjoy!




  • 1 cup prepared quinoa (use recipe above)
  • 1 organic roma tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 persian cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • Several mint leaves, finely chopped
  • A bunch of organic parsley
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste, pinch of cayenne pepper optional


  1. Prepare Easy Quinoa Pilaf according to directions above. Let 1 cup quinoa chill to room temperature or colder before making the tabbouleh.
  2. Once quinoa has cooled, combine all ingredients except for parsley and liquid ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Take herb scissors (I LOVE my Norpro triple blade herb scissors) and cut up the leaves of the parsley, avoiding the stem. Try to make them as small as possible, which is why the herb scissors help!
  4. Mix in the parsley until it looks like there is an equal parsley to everything else ratio. Use as much or as little as you’d like. I adore parsley so I like lots, but it’s not for everyone and this is YOUR salad!
  5. Squeeze juice of 2 lemons over the salad and add the olive oil. Mix well.
  6. Store in fridge overnight to let flavors meld together. I find that storing in these Pyrex glass containers keeps it fresher longer and is much safer than plastic.


  1. I certainly agree about those early meals. This looks so much tastier! I love that this is two recipes in one.

  2. Jon, Becky's dad/chef says:

    Becky, I am happy that my not-so-great cooking for you as a child helped you to survive to this day where you are now able to spice the meals that you prepare just the way you want. Love, daddy

  3. Lebanese lady says:

    This is a slightly pedantic point, but as a lover of Tabbouleh from Lebanon, I don’t think your recipe should have the word Tabbouleh in it. Tabbouleh is a national dish, it is perfect and its ingredients do not change; they are steeped in history. What you have prepared looks very tasty, but it’s a quinoa and parsley salad. #notthesamething

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