Tabbouleh is one of our favourite easy and fresh tasting side dishes. This particular tabbouleh uses protein rich quinoa and lentils as its base, then layers in fresh parsley and mint for that herb forward flavour that traditional tabbouleh has. Top it off with some cut vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, red pepper and red onion and you have yourself a delicious, fresh and easy crowd pleasing side dish.
Tabbouleh is a traditional Middle Eastern dish mostly eaten on the side of grilled meats with some hummus and pita. It is traditionally made with barley or bulgur, but as personal chefs we like using cooked quinoa because we usually have it on hand, and it’s also gluten free. In this recipe, nutritionist Danielle kicked the base up a notch and added lentils making it more protein dense, meaning it would also make a great lunch option on its own. We love this recipe because it takes very minimal time to whip up and it also transports very easily, making it perfect for either weeknight dinners, meal prep, or bringing along to a potluck/bbq night. The more versatile the better, with our busy Vancouver lifestyles!
It is also customizable as you can add in almost any grain that you have on hand. We love substituting chickpeas, brown rice, amaranth, hemp seeds, or sticking with the traditional barely when it comes to the base. You could also switch out the vegetables with shredded carrots, fine chopped broccoli/cauliflower, adding green onions, or even adding in dried fruit like dates, cranberries, or raisins. Whatever you have on hand will work here – let your creativity do the work!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Makes 4 meal servings or 8-10 side servings.
1/2 cup cooked Quinoa
1 cup cooked Brown Lentils
2 bunches Parsley
1 bunch Mint
½ a large Cucumber, cubed
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes quartered
½ Red Pepper finely chopped
¼ cup chopped finely Red Onion
⅓ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove Garlic chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add your parsley & mint to a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor you can do this step by hand too.
Next add your chopped cucumber, red pepper, cherry tomatoes, and red onion to a medium sized bowl. Toss until well combined before adding in quinoa, lentils, parsley and mint. Fully combine the mixture.
Add your olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, chopped garlic, and salt & pepper to a mason jar. Place lid on top and shake until well combined before pouring over the tabbouleh. Tossing again to fully combine before serving.
If you are making this salad in advance or as part of your meal prep we recommend leaving the cherry tomatoes whole or halved on the side.
This recipe was created by nutritionist and blogger Danielle from Thyme to Nourish, you can check out more of her recipes here.