Simple ingredients come together in this flavor-packed 30-minute Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Chickpeas. A hearty, portable, and make-ahead zesty quinoa salad for lunches, picnics, light dinners, or for sharing at potlucks. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free | Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.
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Quinoa Salad for Meal Prep
Do you meal prep? If you do, this is the ideal salad to make! Having a hearty salad prepped and ready to go helps me make better choices come lunchtime. I’m not scrambling at the last minute for lunch or to find something healthy to eat… it’s right there waiting in the fridge, ready to go.
Fresh quinoa Dinner Salads are among our favorites, whether it’s a full-size portion, snack or lunch size.
Quinoa tabbouleh salad with chickpeas is also ideal for impromptu picnics and lazy alfresco dinners on the porch – two summertime favorites. So, having this salad on hand means lunch is ready for the work week, or a lazy summer dinner is at our fingertips!
What is Tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh is an Eastern Mediterranean salad traditionally made with bulger (cracked wheat), parsley, cucumber, onions, tomatoes and mint. It’s finished with a lemony-olive oil dressing, and I always add a good dose of garlic. Traditionally tabbouleh does not include chickpeas, but they’re an easy add-in for a hearty and protein-rich vegetarian and vegan salad.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Quinoa: use tri-color or white quinoa for this salad so the color of the fresh ingredients really pop! They taste the same.
- Cooked Chickpeas: canned or home-cooked chickpeas.
- Slicing Cucumber: I prefer Kerby cucumber or the variety you’ll find at most grocery stores, not sleeved in plastic.
- Tomatoes: I love cherry tomatoes in this recipe, but have also used Roma when cherry tomatoes are not available. If opting for Roma, choose three firm tomatoes and dice them small.
- Green Onions: also called scallions, you’ll use the green and white parts.
- Curly Parsley: adds freshness and color.
- Mint: opinions vary on this, but I sometimes find mint to be overpowering in Mediterranean tabbouleh salad recipes. I’ve included 2 tablespoons in this recipe, which yields a mild hint of mint. Adjust to taste and add a tablespoon at a time if you prefer more.
- For the Dressing: lemon zest and juice, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic and salt.
At a Glance: How to Make Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad
Simple ingredients and easy preparation make this tabbouleh salad ideal for meal prep and crave-worthy weekday lunches. In summary, here’s how to make this quinoa salad (see recipe card for details):
- First, cook and chill the quinoa.
- Meanwhile, chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, mint and parsley.
- Next, whip up the dressing by mixing lemon juice and zest, olive oil, garlic and salt.
- Last, assemble the salad by gently tossing all the ingredients, including the chickpeas and dressing in a large mixing bowl.
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad can be made up to two days ahead of when needed. It makes a fabulous weekday lunch!
Quinoa: The Perfect Salad Base
I’ve been a fan of Bob’s Red Mill ingredients for as long as I can remember because choosing the best ingredients is important. Bob’s Red Mill is a brand I trust to provide key recipe ingredients to fuel my days and share with family and friends. I’m super excited to partner with them again, bringing you a new recipe using their fabulous quinoa!
This time of year, with farmer’s markets in full swing, it’s a perfect time to get creative with salads. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Tri-Color Quinoa offers a blank canvas of whole grains to create something special using the freshest veggies and homemade dressings. Quinoa has an earthy flavor, with a fluffy-like yet chewy texture; it’s naturally gluten free and offers all 9 essential amino acids. Best of all, quinoa only takes 15 minutes to prepare.
It’s an ingredient I keep in my pantry because of its versatility and healthy benefits. And I can whip up a zesty Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad in no time!
Related: Do you Love Meal Prep Ready Salads? Find more like this salad on my 10 Salad Recipes to Try this Summer post!
- To soak or not to soak: Some recommend soaking quinoa at least 8 hours, others say it’s not necessary. If you choose to soak, the cook time will be reduced slightly from 15 minutes to about 8. However, I always rinse quinoa under cool running water through a fine mesh strainer. This helps reduce the bitter taste of the saponin coating on its outer hull that can remain after processing.
- Meal Prep: Quinoa can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator up to two days in advance. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
For more recipes using Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Quinoa, recipe inspiration and so many other fabulous ingredients head to their website!
More Quinoa Recipes to Love
- Black Bean Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad with Smoky Pepitas
- Market Quinoa Salad with Fresh Mozzarella
- Quinoa Mango Black Bean Salad
- Roasted Stuffed Poblanos with Smoky Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Chickpeas Recipe
- 1 C (190g) Bob's Red Mill Tri Color Quinoa
- 2 C (472g) Water
- 1 1/2 C (220g) Cooked Chickpeas, from one can, drained or home cooked from raw
- 2 C (350g) Cherry Tomatoes sliced in half, some quartered. Roma tomatoes may be subbed, about three, diced small.
- 2 C (240g) Slicing Cucumber diced in small cubes, skins on if organic, about one large or two small
- 3/4 C (40g) Curly Parsley chopped fine, about one big bunch
- 2/3 C (35g) Green Onions / Scallions sliced thin, white and green parts
- 2 Tbs Mint* see note, chopped fine
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Soak the quinoa over night covering it in at least 2" of water (if desired). Otherwise, simply rinse the quinoa through a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear, then cook as directed. In a medium sauce pot add the soaked (or unsoaked and rinsed under running water) quinoa and 2 C water. Stir in a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender and the 'tails' are showing. Soaked quinoa will take about 8 minutes and need to be drained while unsoaked quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook (no draining needed). Drain any excess water and spoon into a large mixing bowl. Set in the refrigerator to cool, for at least 20 minutes.
- To the large mixing bowl with the quinoa, add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, onions and mint. Add plenty of fresh ground pepper to taste. Pour dressing (see below) over the ingredients and gently toss to incorporate. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with extra lemon wedges.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving. Store in a lidded container for up to three days.
For the Dressing:
- In a small lidded jar, add the oil, zest, juice, garlic and salt. Shake until an emulsion is formed. Store at room temperature until ready to use.