Chickpea Tabbouleh, a healthy and delicious vegan salad that is super delicious, and makes a great accompaniment to any roast or BBQ. A favourite summer side dish, but also fantastic all year round.
What makes the Middle Eastern cuisine so unique is not only the use of fragrant, earthy spices, but also the fresh ingredients that give an exquisite taste to any meal. Mint and parsley are often used in many dishes, not only for flavour, but also for colour. Or both at the same time.
What is tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh is a salad made with fresh parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, mint, onions, and seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. It's a sample food in many Middle Eastern countries, and if often part of a mezze, which is a a selection of dishes served as appetizers.
This chickpea tabbouleh salad cannot be any simpler; it's simple, in the sense that it uses common ingredients, but everything together is a fantastic blend of flavours. The bulgur makes the salad filling, but not heavy, and the chickpeas add extra goodness to it. Chickpeas are not an usual ingredient for tabbouleh, but it's a nice addition actually.
Pomegranate can be added too instead of chickpeas. Again, not an ingredient used in a classic tabbouleh, but that's the beauty of home cooking, anything goes. Some ingredients just go perfectly well together, so why not use them?
Ingredients needed to make tabbouleh
- bulgur wheat
- chopped fresh parsley - a large bunch of fresh parsley
- fresh mint
- large tomatoes - cherry tomatoes also ok
- spring onions - or yellow, red onion or shallots
- olive oil
- lemon juice
- salt & black pepper
Bulgur is one of the main ingredients in tabbouleh, but it can easily be swapped for cooked couscous, pearl barley, quinoa, rice or orzo.
I would use the same amount, one cup, and you should end up with pretty much the same amount of salad.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
This is one of the easiest recipes to put together. All we have to do it cook the bulgur, which is ready in less that 10 minutes, chop the fresh ingredients, season well and that's it. There is hardly any preparation needed, and the ingredients listed below are enough for a huge bowl of tabbouleh.
Depending on how little or big you like your portions, I would say 4-6 people can serve it, especially that it's a side dish, so you'll most probably have some meat or meat substitute accompanying it. By all means, you can just have it on its own, that's nothing wrong here.
- rinse the bulgur, add it to a pan with 2 cups of water and cook according to the packet instructions
One cup of bulgur is more than enough here, bulgur, like rice, couscous, etc expands when cooked, so you end up with about 3 cups of cooked bulgur. So, don't be tricked into thinking there's not enough before you boil it.
- chop the fresh parsley, green onions, mint and tomatoes
- add them to the cooked and cooled bulgur and chickpeas
- season well with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice
The more parsley, the better. The salad is actually more of a parsley salad than bulgur salad, but it's up to you how much you like to use. Markets sell massive bunches of parsley super cheaply, so if you get lots of it and don't know what to do with that much parsley, that's a good recipe.
Mint, a little bit goes a long way. Mint is an extremely fragrant, just a few leaves will bring so much flavour, so there is no need for a whole bunch, that's would be too much.
Use any kind of tomatoes you have: tomatoes on the vine, cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, roma tomatoes, etc etc. As long as they are well ripen and juicy, they are perfect.
Unless you prefer to cook the dry chickpeas yourself, I would highly recommend the canned chickpeas. They are cheap, cooked to perfection, and ready to use. A no brainer here!
Other summer salads
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- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley (a large bunch of fresh parsley)
- 1 tin cooked chickpeas (400 g, 13 oz)
- 4 leaves of fresh mint
- 3 large tomatoes
- 2 spring onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Rinse the bulgur with cold water, and add it to a pan together with 2 cups of water.
- Cook until tender, then drain and rise again with cold water.
- Add the bulgur to a large bowl.
- Chop the parsley, tomatoes, green onions and mint, and add them to the bowl of bulgur.
- Rinse the chickpeas well, and add them to the bowl.
- Season with salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice, adding more to taste if needed.
- Serve cold.