Tabouli: Summer on a Plate

Tabouli is a light summer dish made with fresh herbs, seasonal tomatoes, and cracked bulgar wheat. Learn how to make tabouli with this simple recipe.
Tabouli -

Simple supper: herbed cheese, tabouli, hummus, and homemade french bread

Well, granted, there are lots of dishes that package summer into flavour-bursting mouthfuls…but there’s something special about tabouli. The seasonal tomatoes are certainly the star–red as poppies, dripping with juice–but that kick of sour lemon that follows the sweet of the tomatoes really wakes you up to the taste. You can distinguish every discrete flavour in this dish, but they also meld together perfectly. Maybe it’s the textures that spark fascination, too–crisp, curly parsley and slightly crunchy wheat—and the colours: gold, red, varying shades of green.

Basically, a dish this beautiful has many facets. Tabouli is…

  • Simple to prepare
  • Uses raw, seasonal ingredients
  • Serves up cold
  • Inexpensive
  • Does not require heat to prepare
  • Perfect for make-ahead meals
  • Produces fantastic leftovers
  • Can be served as a salad or as a vegetarian main

So here’s the recipe, adapted from Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook:



  • 3/4 cup cracked wheat bulgur*
  • 1 1/2 cups snipped parsley
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 Tbsp snipped fresh mint or 2 tsp crushed dried mint
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon about 1/4 c juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Cover cracked wheat with cold water; let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Drain through wheat through a strainer; using the back of a spoon to press out as much water as possible.
  3. Mix wheat, parsley, tomatoes, green onions, and mint in a glass or ceramic bowl.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients; pour over wheat mixture. Toss. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  5. Garnish with ripe olives, if desired.

Recipe Notes

You can find bulgur in the ethnic section of the grocery store, or at a Middle Eastern specialty store, or online.


  1. I love Tabouli! We eat a lot of it during the school year because it packs up well for lunch. I add chunks of cheddar cheese for protean and it becomes a full meal.

    I never made the bulgur with cold water though! I always used boiling, I will have to try that, even easier to make since you don’t have to heat up the kettle and I imagine it would make the wheat even more tender. Thanks for the tip!


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