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. (Recipe hint: Mint is the secret ingredient!)

Ina Garten's Tabbouleh Salad, easy salad with bulgur wheat, cucumber, tomato, green onion, fresh parsley, fresh mint. Recipe hint: the secret ingredient is ... !

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 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.

WHAT IS BULGUR WHEAT? First, bulgur wheat is also called BULGHUR and BURGHUL and BULGAR WHEAT but don’t let that confuse you. 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, like in this recipe for tabboulleh.

WHAT IS CRACKED WHEAT? Bulgur wheat and cracked wheat are often confused. They’re both wheat but not the same thing. Cracked wheat is, well, cracked, but it’s not pre-cooked so 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 it 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 and grains – kinda handy, especially because I’m less prone to buy too many vegetables since fridge storage is limited.

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!
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite Ina Garten recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via 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, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


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
  • 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 bulgur and boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in 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 Stir the vegetables and fresh herbs into the bulgur.

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

Cover and refrigerate, best if left to rest for several hours before serving.

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

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 1.5, WW PointsPlus 3.
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.


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?

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!

Adapted from Food Network.

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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!!


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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