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Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad That’s Gluten-free and Oil-free

Traditional Middle Eastern tabbouleh is a salad of finely chopped parsley, bulger, and tomatoes seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

Most often parsley is the primary ingredient, but in this recipe, I upped the grain amount, so it's a more filling salad enjoyed for lunch or dinner.

Actually, instead of using a wheat cereal, like bulgur or couscous, I opted for the protein-rich and gluten-free quinoa. To make it even heartier, you could toss in some chickpeas.

I like to add fresh mint, cucumber, and pistachios to give the salad a little more variety in taste and texture. Follow the recipe, and you'll see how I replace the olive oil to keep this salad heart-healthy.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

By Chef Katie Mae

Makes about 5 cups | Ready in 20 minutes | Stores 3 days in fridge



  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Medjool date, pitted and diced
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (about 1 small)
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup curly parsley, finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • ¾ cup fresh mint, finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • large pinch of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, chopped



  1. Add the quinoa and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan on the stove top and cover. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat to low. Let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water has all been absorbed and the quinoa is fully cooked.
  2. Add tahini, lemon juice to a small blender. Blend until creamy.
  3. When the quinoa is done, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the lemon dressing and toss well.
  4. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint, coriander, and cinnamon. Toss well.
  5. Season with extra lemon juice and black pepper to your liking. Add pistachios just before serving.



The salad will have an enhanced flavor when it has time to marinate, so feel free to make it up to 24 hours in advance.

BLE upgrade: Leave out the dates. The dates are used to balance the acid from the lemon and the bitterness from the tahini, similar to how a small amount of can be found near the end of the ingredient list on store-bought salad dressings. However, they are not essential. In general, dates are not a permitted food in BLE, so you can just leave them out.


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