Tabbouleh, gluten-free

IMG_3137I’ve been waiting and waiting to try this recipe! Good tabbouleh needs fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, and so is a dish best made in the summer. And this one is wonderful: light, filling, and versatile. Do you need a salad, a filling for a tortilla, a side dish?

I love Arabic food, particularly Lebanese food. Growing up in Dearborn, I’ve been spoiled— there’s a ton of great restaurants to choose from. And while very veggie and vegan friendly, I’ve been discovering that some of my favorite Lebanese dishes— like tabbouleh and fattoosh— are full of wheat. Sadness.

Luckily, there’s so many other kind of grains out there, I figured it would be easy to convert this recipe.  My first two choices were quinoa and buckwheat. At first, my original idea was to try to two out, and compare, the recipes. But I had a bit of a disaster with the buckwheat. All I’m going to say is this: don’t make tabbouleh with buckwheat. The earthy flavor of buckwheat does not mesh well with the tartness and acidity of lemon juice and tomatoes.

However, the light, sweet nuttiness of quinoa brought tabbouleh back to me. Pair this with hummus and falafel, and it’s a perfect meal.

Tip: use fresh, juicy tomatoes. And don’t scrimp on the parsley.

Mixing bowl.
Mixing bowl.


2 cups cooked quinoa

1 small onion

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 cups chopped cucumbers


1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the quinoa. (I use my rice maker to cook it.)
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, wash and chop the parsley finely.
  3. Dice the tomatoes, cucumbers and onion into small pieces. Don’t let the tomato juice run off— it’ll help make the dressing.
  4. Once the quinoa is cooled, mix the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions together.
  5. Add the dressing— olive oil, lemon juice and parsley— and mix throughly. If you want to add salt and pepper, this is the time.
  6. Cover the mixture and refrigerate it for one hour before eating.

Pictured with: Basha hummus and Jerusalem Food’s falafel, both made in Michigan.IMG_3151

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