How To Make Tabouli

how to make tabouli

Tabouli is a classic middle eastern salad, traditionally served as part of the mezze, which is kind of like tapas in Spain or “drinkin’ snacks” in my house. Don’t tell the sheik, but I eat it for breakfast, too. That’s right, with yogurt! What the fudge?! — That’s crazy! — I know! It also goes real good with hummus, of course.

It’s a wheat grain-based salad that uses bulghur (or bulgur or bulgar), also sometimes called cracked wheat (although they are not exactly the same thing). What it is though, is wheat grains that have been parboiled, dried, and then cracked into small pieces. Since it’s already cooked, all you have to do is rehydrate it. It’s easy to prepare and it’s a whole grain. What’s better than that? — A million dollars? — Okay. Agreed.

Anyway, tabouli (or tabouleh) is a great thing to take to a potluck for a change of pace from the usual mayonnaise-fests. It’s light and fresh and goes great with spicy barbecue-sauced meats or grilled seafood. PLUS (and this is very important to me) you can add other vegetables you may have on hand and while I suppose you couldn’t really call it tabouli anymore, everyone will call it “super delish”! Double plus, it gets better the longer it sits in your ‘fridgerator, unlike the aformentioned mayonnaise-fests.

Watch the video to see how to make tabouli or print the recipe card!

How to Make Tabouli Video

Tabouli Recipe



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4 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 cup medium-grind bulghur (might be labeled as #2 grade)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup seeded, diced cucumber (peel if you like)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (soak in ice water to crisp it and mellow it) or green onions (don’t need to soak those)
  • 1 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint (or cilantro or dill if mint isn’t available)
  • For The Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (it really does make a difference in this case)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper


  1. Mix the bulghur and water in a heat-safe bowl and cover. Let it sit about 15 minutes, or as long as it takes you to cut up everything.
  2. Cut up everything.
  3. Mix the dressing ingredients together.
  4. Mix the vegetables and herbs with the bulghur.
  5. Pour the dressing over it all and mix well.
  6. Let it sit about an hour for flavors to blend.
  7. Eat it.
  8. Or refrigerate it up to 5 days.

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Hope you enjoyed learning how to make tabouli! Maybe you want to see how to make hummus!

tabouli recipe


  1. penny aka jeroxie on June 17, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for the reminder. I used to make this all the time!

  2. Sarah on June 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    i used to work at a middle eastern catering company and we never put onions into our tabouleh… we didnt put mint in either. but i like this idea, since i like both mint and onion and i will be trying it for my potluck picnic tomorrow!

  3. Zebo! on April 26, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Ah Its so easy to make! and your positive attitude just makes me want to cook and cook and cook 🙂 THANKS!

    • Hilah Cooking on April 26, 2011 at 10:39 am

      Yay Zebo! I’m HAPPY! You are welcome, my dear. 🙂

  4. cindy on June 6, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Thanks I really enjoyed watching. Can’t wait to tell my daughter to watch your viedo

    • Hilah on June 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks, Cindy! And thank you for spreading the word!

  5. Brad Williams on July 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I just made this and tried it cold and it’s absolutely superb! Thank you for sharing!

    • Hilah on July 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Brad! Thanks for the feedback. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  6. maryam on August 28, 2012 at 5:04 am

    i really liked this recipe and I’m making it for my school food project so i hope it goes well
    Thanks XD

    • Hilah on August 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

      Have fun cooking, Maryam! I hope your friends like it, too!

  7. Lisa on September 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    OMG you are such a treat to watch!!! I could barely get the recipe for laughing at how cute and funny you are! Sending to my best friend to watch as well. Can’t wait to make this!


    • Hilah on September 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Eek! Giant smiley face! 😀
      Thanks, Lisa! Hope you like the recipe, too.

  8. Kel on December 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Hiya, been watching your vid for 2 days. Loving your cooking but the ingredients are kinda hard to find in the UK…. as you know we only have curry and fish and chips here.

    • Hilah on December 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Ha! True, Kel, but they are damn fine fish and chips. 😉

      • Kel on December 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm

        I am really impressed by all your effort and success from the bottom of my heart. I can’t wait to see you becoming even more successful. Meanwhile, I am actually from Hong Kong living in the UK. Have you tried cooking Chinese food? They are simple and focus on the freshness. (You may probably know more than me as I just came to know you published a book today). Anyway, have a great day and don’t drink too much.

        • Hilah on December 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

          Thank you thank you, Kel! I admit my “Chinese” food is pretty Americanized, aside from the frequent simple vegetable stir-frys I do. If you have any recipes, I’d love to see them!

  9. Winslow on January 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I was just looking up how to make this stuff and your video was the first one on Google! I bought some tabouli from a well-known Austin healthy super market and it was just too heavy with the sauce, so now I’m going to try this recipe! Thanks Hilah! 😀

    • Hilah on January 11, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Hooray! I think you’ll like it. 🙂

  10. Vannassa on January 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    I am Lebanese and I know it tastes so good……………………. LOL

  11. Vannassa on January 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    OMG!! I am Lebanese and I love Tabouli….. LOL

    • Hilah on January 23, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      Yay! I hope this recipe lives up to yours, Vannassa!

  12. Holly S on October 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Just wanted to say that I have made tabouli lots of times, but yours is now my go-to because of the dressing ratios! It is perfect and I LOVE the addition of the mint! Thank you for a fantastic recipe! I get rave reviews where ever I bring it!

    • Hilah on October 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      That is great to hear, Holly! 😀 Thanks for writing and for reminding me to make this again soon.

  13. Slim on November 30, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Sorry but this is not tabouli… The main ingredient of original tabouli is parsley and not bulghur. The color you achieved is white when it should be green.

  14. JB on May 30, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    This has been my go-to tabouli recipe for several years! I love it so much. I always use the dill option. So good and I get lots of compliments on it!

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