Grain Free Tabouleh Salad

January 28, 2020

If you ever wished that your salads got better the longer they sat, rather than turning into a soggy mess, then my friends, let me introduce you to one of my favorite dishes: tabouleh. My Grain-Free Tabouleh Salad is a delicious, hearty salad that actually gets better over time. It is a traditional Middle Eastern dish, but my take is grain-free, giving it a fresh and modern twist. Plus, it also happens to be paleo and vegan-friendly, making it a salad that anyone can enjoy!

A bowl of the grain free tabouleh salad, topped with a lemon wedge. A fork sits in the bowl, and a cutting board with lemons and salt can be seen in the background

Some of my favorite dishes to create for the blog are “traditional” Middle Eastern Recipes. I use the word “traditional” in quotes, because as an Armenian-American, my variations of traditional recipes are adapted to fit my more modern diet. Hence, my Grain-Free Tabouleh Salad, which is a take on a traditional tabouleh recipe.

Tabouleh is a dish that I grew up eating, and I remember my dad making the most delicious tabouleh when I was a kid. It was one of my favorite dishes, and I even used to love it as an after school snack!

Traditionally, tabouleh is made with bulgur wheat, which helps to thicken up this salad and make it more hearty and filling. But for someone who can be more sensitive to gluten, bulgur wheat doesn’t always settle well with my system. So, this recipe is one that I can enjoy, even with a sensitive stomach. Think of it less as a way of making a traditional recipe “healthier,” and more of a way of making a traditional, nostalgic dish accessible to those with digestive struggles!

And if you’re someone who struggles in the digestion department, you are not alone. In addition to my Grain Free Tabouleh Salad recipe, I’ve also created my Armenian Cucumber & Tomato Salad and my Ultimate Kale Salad with sensitive digestive systems in mind. You can try them out and thank me later. 😉

How is This Tabouleh *Actually* Grain-Free?

You might be wondering how on earth we actually make this Tabouleh salad grain-free, as I mentioned it traditionally contains bulgur wheat. But in this recipe, we’re making it grain-free by using one of my favorite ingredients – cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower is not only gentle on your digestive system, but also is high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants. It truly is a super food! The cauliflower rice helps to make this salad more filling, just like the bulgur wheat does, but it’s free of grains and much gentler on your stomach. If you’re someone who is sensitive to grains like I am, then this recipe is perfect for you!

A bowl full of the grain free tabouleh salad, topped with a lemon wedge

What You Need to Make This Delicious, Tabouleh Salad

With just a few simple ingredients, this salad comes together beautifully! You can find all of these ingredients at any grocery store, which makes this salad so easy to put together.

  • Cauliflower “Rice” (aka grated cauliflower): As mentioned above, in this recipe we’re replacing the bulgur wheat with cauliflower “rice” to make this salad grain-free! You can make your own cauliflower rice by grating a head of cauliflower, or you can buy it pre-made and frozen. Trader Joe’s has great frozen cauliflower rice!
  • Scallions: Scallions add the perfect texture and added touch to this salad.
  • Mint: Fresh mint is essential here, and adds the most delicious flavor. A key to tabouleh is the right balance of herbs, and fresh mint is perfect here!
  • Persian Cucumbers: One of the keys to this recipe is making sure that you use Persian cucumbers. Persian cucumbers are much smaller than traditional, English cucumbers, and are crunchier and have a unique flavor. They are essential to making this salad!
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Halved cherry tomatoes not only add a pop of color to this dish, but absorb all of the flavors so well!
  • Kalamata Olives: Kalamata olives give the best flavor! Be sure to remove the pits before adding them to the salad.
  • Parsley: The key to a good tabouleh is using fresh herbs, especially parsley. Parsley adds and aromatic element to this salad that is signature to Middle Eastern cooking!
  • Garlic: I recommend using fresh garlic in this recipe. It not only adds the best flavor, but really packs a punch in ways that garlic powder can’t!
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil adda healthy fats, and makes this salad rich and delicious. Plus, the flavor is truly unbeatable. You could also use avocado oil, but I highly recommend sticking to olive oil!
  • Sea Salt and Pepper: Of course, a little sea salt and pepper is needed in any good salad recipe!
  • Lemon: Fresh lemon juice does wonders to brighten up this salad and tie the flavors together perfectly.

How to Make This Bright & Colorful Middle Eastern Salad

Making this salad couldn’t be any easier! Simply start by preparing all of your veggies by chopping them up and adding them to a large bowl.

Next, add in the wet ingredients and the seasoning, and toss to combine.

And that’s it! As mentioned above, this salad only gets better with time, as the flavors really sit and develop. So, feel free to leave this salad in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to one week!

And if you’re wondering what to serve this Grain-Free Tabouleh Salad with, I recommend serving it alongside my Beef Kofta Kebabs for a traditional Armenian meal, my Sheet Pan Bruschetta Chicken Breasts for a low-carb, yet delicious dinner, and my Armenian Rice Pilaf for a cozy bowl of comfort food.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xx

** Photography by Gayle McLeod
A bowl of the grain free tabouleh salad, topped with a lemon wedge. A fork sits in the bowl, and a cutting board with lemons and salt can be seen in the background
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Grain Free/Nut Free/Paleo/Refined Sugar Free/Vegan

GRAIN FREE TABOULEH SALAD

5 from 1 vote
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
SERVES 4 Servings
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at your salads got better the longer they sat, rather than turning into a soggy mess, then my friends, let me introduce you to one of my favorite dishes: tabouleh. My Grain-Free Tabouleh Salad is a delicious, hearty salad that actually gets better over time. It is a traditional Middle Eastern dish, but my take is grain-free, giving it a fresh and modern twist. Plus, it also happens to be paleo and vegan-friendly, making it a salad that anyone can enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups grated cauliflower (about one medium head)
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, diced (no need to peel)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, washed and chopped roughly
  • 1 clove garlic,mashed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Instructions

  • Grate/chop all of the veggies above and place them in a large bowl.
  • Add wet ingredients and seasonings, toss and enjoy!
    This will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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