Ina Garten's Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

My latest summer salad recipe, a big batch of homemade tabbouleh salad using Ina Garten’s recipe, an easy combination of bulgur wheat, lemon juice and olive oil with cucumber, tomato, green onion, fresh parsley and fresh mint. Hint-Hint: The secret ingredient in this classic Middle-Eastern salad is ... fresh mint!

Ina Garten's Tabbouleh Salad, another fresh summer salad ♥, starring bulghur wheat, cucumber, tomato, green onion, fresh parsley, fresh mint. Middle-Eastern Classic. Hearty & Filling. Great for Meal Prep. Vegan.

A Middle-Eastern Classic Salad Made from Scratch. An Easy, Healthy Side Dish, Fresh & Summery. Hearty & Filling. Great for Meal Prep. Picnic & Potluck & Party Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real.

Uh Oh. No TV = No Ina Garten = No Barefoot Contessa.

TV’s been banished from my house, “Gone, I say, gone”. You see, my relationship with TV is “love-hate” and “on again – off again”.

Right now it’s hate and off and has been for, hmm, let’s see, when did Congress in all its wisdom decide that all televisions must be digital? That long, quite a few years.

What’s this to do with Ina Garten and her Tabbouleh, you’re wondering?

Well, no TV, no Food Network, no Food Network, no Ina Garten.

Luckily, my friends Jim and Kathy are, well, “normal” and own a TV. And thank goodness they are Ina Gartner fans otherwise, I’d have missed Ina Garten’s Tabbouleh Salad recipe, the best homemade tabboulleh salad this side of a Middle Eastern restaurant.

It’s just so simple. So perfect. So unassuming. So fresh. So balanced.

And easy – that’s E A Z Y easy. Just soak bulghur wheat, then perform some quick knife work and there you go, homemade tabbouleh salad.

Best-Ever Lentil Salad with an unusual cooking technique ♥ A Veggie Venture

Ina Garten Fan Girl

So thanks to Jim and Kathy, call me a fan of Ina Garten's recipes. Here are a few of her recipes that are staples in my kitchen.

Favorite Barefoot Contessa Cookbooks

My friend Jim owns five – five! – of Ina Garten's eleven cookbooks but mostly, he says, watches her shows on the Food Network, not just once but multiple times! Now that's a fan!

But I'm old school, I like to cook from cookbooks. Here are the Ina Garten cookbooks from my own shelves, I turn to each one for inspiration.

JUST SO YOU KNOW I personally selected these items —and if you buy something through these links, Kitchen Parade may earn a small commission. Every bit helps, so thank you! My Disclosure Promise

Ina Garten's Tabbouleh Salad, another fresh summer salad ♥, starring bulghur wheat, cucumber, tomato, green onion, fresh parsley, fresh mint. Middle-Eastern Classic. Hearty & Filling. Great for Meal Prep. Vegan.

What Is Bulgur Wheat?

But back to Ina's Tabbouleh Salad!

SIMILAR SPELLINGS First, bulgur wheat is also called BULGHUR and BURGHUL and BULGAR WHEAT. But don’t let that confuse you. However this healthy grain is spelled, know that it's highly nutritious because it’s made from the whole kernel of wheat, with just a touch of the bran removed, then parboiled and dried, so that when it reaches our kitchens, it cooks quickly. It even “cooks” just by soaking it for an hour in boiling water. In fact, the soaking method is how Ina Garten "cooks" the bulgur to make her Tabboulleh Salad.

BUT THEN THERE'S CRACKED WHEAT TOO Bulgur wheat and cracked wheat are often confused. They’re both wheat but bulgur wheat and cracked wheat are not the same thing. Cracked wheat is, well, cracked, but it’s not pre-cooked so in fact, cracked wheat takes longer to cook than bulgur.

WHERE TO BUY BULGUR WHEAT If your grocery carries Bob’s Red Mill products or has a bulk food aisle, look for bulgur wheat there. Otherwise, check Whole Foods or a natural foods store. It’s worth seeking out!

HOW TO STORE BULGUR WHEAT Like all whole grains, bulgur should be stored in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator. I’ve actually converted a vegetable bin in my fridge to storage for roasted nuts, grains and whole-grain flours – kinda handy, especially because I’m less prone to buy too many vegetables since fridge storage is limited!

Word Dancing!

HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE TABBOULEH? Tabbouleh is one of those words you hear pronounced different ways. I’ve always pronounced it [ta-BOO-lee] but am working on a more authentic pronounciation, [TA-boo-lay]. Then again, Merriam-Webster says it’s pronounced [ta-BOO-la], rhymes with Missoula.

How you do you pronounce tabbouleh? Extra points if you share this information between bites of Tabbouleh Salad!

HOW DO YOU SPELL TABBOULEH? Okay so it seems that the most consistent way to spell tabbouleh comes from Arabic and is just that, double b, single l. But there’s also tabouleh (single b, single l) and tabouli or tabbouli – or my favorite, the phonetic spelling, tabooli!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for a classic grain salad inspires you, please do save and share! I'd be honored ...

Ina Garten's Tabbouleh Salad, another fresh summer salad ♥, starring bulghur wheat, cucumber, tomato, green onion, fresh parsley, fresh mint. Middle-Eastern Classic. Hearty & Filling. Great for Meal Prep. Vegan.


Hands-on time: 40 minutes over 90 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes (but best after resting several hours)
Makes 6 cups
  • 1 cup (170g) bulgur wheat
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, cut in small dice
  • 2 cups (8oz/227g) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (don’t skip)
  • Additional salt & pepper to taste

BULGHUR Combine the bulgur and boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

Let rest for an hour, stirring occasionally. (The bulgur will soften and expand. Let the kids check it once in awhile, it grows!)

VEGETABLES & HERBS Stir the vegetables and fresh herbs into the bulgur.

FINISH Stir in the pepper and any additional salt or pepper to taste.

REFRIGERATE Cover and refrigerate, it's best if left to rest for several hours before serving.

LEFTOVER REPORT Homemade tabbouleh salad stays fresh and inviting for several days.

ALANNA’s TIPS What makes this salad special, Jim and I agree, is the combination of fresh parsley and fresh mint. There are two styles of tabbouleh, one that’s hearty with the wholesome grain bulgur, another that’s a light and airy green salad, all about the parsley. Yes, I have a recipe for that, too! Coming soon!
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 104 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 107mg Sodium; 15g Carb; 4g Fiber; 1g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle 3 & myWW green 3 & blue 3 & purple 3 & future WW points.

WEIGHT WATCHERS TIPS WW fans, you’ll love this recipe, because it’s naturally low in WW points but sticks with you. I ate it for breakfast – yes, breakfast! – a couple of mornings with a piece of toast and a little feta cheese. When lunch came, I could have skipped it – though didn’t, of course, knowing how important it is to not skip meals.
Adapted from Food Network.

Seasonal Cooking: This Same Week, Across the Years

Fat Rascals Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Homemade Finnish Mustard Healthy Waldorf Salad Ina Garten's Tabbouleh Salad Oaxaca Tlayuda (Mexican Flat Tacos) Grilled Flatbread How to Make Grilled Flatbread Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas Cornmeal Muffins with Apple

This Week, Elsewhere

~ Grbic's Chuck Roast Steak with Mushroom Gravy ~
from Grbic's Restaurant & Banquet Center (now Grbic Events)
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Weekly Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

~ Broccoli & Tomato Thai Curry ~
~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture

If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, you'll love A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables with more from-scratch recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, home to the famous Alphabet of Vegetables and vegetables in every course, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

More Recipe Ideas for Grain Salads

~ salad recipes ~
Quinoa & Black Bean Salad ♥, a great make-ahead salad recipe. Hearty with quinoa and crunchy with vegetables, bright with lime.

Whole-Grain Salad with Beets, Beans & Corn, another healthy salad ♥

Wild Rice Salad ♥, a favorite summer salad, made with wild rice for heartiness, celery for crunch, red pepper and green peas for color, volume from mushrooms.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ bulgur wheat recipes ~
~ lemon recipes ~
~ cucumber recipes ~
~ tomato recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Kathy (a la Jim & Kathy)9/17/2012

    I'm always so flattered when my name gets associated with a good recipe, even when I haven't actually made the dish!!

  2. I've been making Ina's tabbouleh for YEARS!!! I like to use quinoa instead of bulgur, quinoa is gluten free and higher in protein. I also like to add feta. That makes it more of a main dish that I can take to work with me.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna