Recipe: Tabouli

Since my dad has made this tabouli three times in the three weeks since I’ve been home, I finally decided to post it. While I haven’t participated in every single step of the tabouli-making process, I’ve done enough of it to confidently assure you that it is straightforward to make and delicious to eat.

This recipe comes to us from Mollie Katzen’s The Moosewood Cookbook (the original, not “The New Moosewood”), a lovely book with parchment-like pages and hand-written recipes (or at least fonts made to look handwritten). My parents have made Moosewood’s tabouli every summer for as long as I can remember. The freshness of the citrus and vegetables plus the lightness of the bulgur wheat and the bite of the garlic make it perfect for a hot summer’s day — and we’ve had a lot of those recently. It is great alone for lunch, or alongside barbecued chicken for dinner.


just add tomato

Like many of the best recipes, this one is open for experimentation and variation. We generally use what’s in the fridge and on the counters — sometimes green pepper, sometimes summer squash, maybe feta and maybe not. In my eyes (mouth?), the tabouli must have tomatoes and chickpeas. We always use way less salt and way more garlic than is called for; adjust everything to your taste. I’ll give you my favorite version of the recipe and let you take it from there!

Tabouli (adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook)


  • 2 cups dry bulgur wheat
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • juice of 1.5 lemons
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • to taste: ground black pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2-3 scallions, minced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled & grated
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • optional:
    • 1 green pepper, diced
    • 1 summer squash, sliced thinly
    • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely
    • 1/2 cup feta cheese


  • Put the bulgur wheat into a large bowl and stir in the salt; pour the boiling water over the bulgur, cover the bowl, and let it stand for 15-20 minutes.
  • After the bulgur has soaked up the water, stir in the citrus juice, garlic, mint, olive oil, and ground pepper. Cover and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours to marinate.
  • Just before serving, add the chickpeas, diced/grated vegetables, parsley, and feta (if using). Mix to combine and enjoy!

9 thoughts on “Recipe: Tabouli

    1. taplatt Post author

      Thanks, Laura! I bet it would be delicious made with quinoa (or any other grain, for that matter). I often make a big pot of quinoa/millet/couscous on the weekend and use it as a base upon which to add lots of great veggies.

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