This summer quinoa tabbouleh is one of my all-time favorite salads, and it happens to be gluten free! It’s refreshing, lemony, and surprisingly filling. Top it with some falafel or chickpeas for the perfect vegan lunch or light dinner.
I’ve always loved tabbouleh, but the traditional version contains bulgur wheat, which I sadly cannot eat. I’ve been gluten free for about 8 years now (for health reasons), and we finally just got around to creating our own gluten free quinoa tabbouleh recipe. It’s about time!
Quinoa is a great replacement for bulgur wheat in a summery tabbouleh, since the grain is similar in size and texture. Quinoa has a nutty flavor that works well with tart lemon and verdant parsley. I actually usually find quinoa to be a bit “blah”, but I eat this salad like there’s no tomorrow. It’s by far my favorite way to eat quinoa!
There are plenty of good reasons to eat quinoa. It’s relatively low in calories, high in plant-protein and full of essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Compared to other similar grains, it has a high protein-to-carbohydrate ratio. Quinoa is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. In other words, it’s a particularly good option for vegans and vegetarians looking to consume more protein. We love this Sprouted Quinoa – it’s easier to digest and it cooks perfectly in less than 15 minutes!
Ever wondered why you’re supposed to rinse quinoa before cooking? Quinoa has a naturally bitter outer coating called saponin that helps keep insects away. Although some packaged quinoa has already been rinsed, it’s always a good idea to give it an extra rinse at home. Simply pour into a fine mesh sieve, rinse for 20-30 seconds and add to your pot as usual.
To add a bit of extra plant-based protein to this summer quinoa tabbouleh, we also threw in a quarter cup of hemp seeds. You can’t even tell that they’re in there, they just add a nutritional boost! The dressing is as easy as it gets – just olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Fresh, crisp parsley, mint and green onion pack a huge punch, and diced cucumbers and tomatoes add textural contrast.
This quinoa tabbouleh is the perfect addition to your weekly meal prep rotation. It’s easy to make a big batch and even easier to store in tupperware. Prep your favorite protein (vegan or otherwise) to bring along for a complete meal!
Looking for more ways to use up your quinoa supply? Here are a few of our favorite options (all gluten free and vegan):
- Berry Coconut Breakfast Quinoa – a great alternative to oatmeal and perfect for serving a crowd.
- Savory Quinoa Breakfast Bowls – savory breakfast bowls for the win! Customize toppings to your heart’s content.
- Vegan Lentil Quinoa Shepherd’s Pie – quinoa and lentils give this comforting vegan dish a meaty texture.
- Taco Stuffed Avocados – Quinoa + walnuts + taco spices = the best vegan alternative to ground beef!
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This quinoa tabbouleh is one of my all-time favorite salads, and it happens to be gluten free! It’s refreshing, lemony, and surprisingly filling. Top it with some falafel or chickpeas for the perfect vegan lunch or light dinner.
- 2 cups quinoa (1 cup uncooked) seasoned with 1 tbsp olive oil + 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups diced mini cucumbers
- 1 1/2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup curly parsley, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup green onion, finely diced
- 3 tbsp mint, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fine kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once finished, let cool.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add cooled quinoa and remaining ingredients and toss well to combine.
- Enjoy right away or store in airtight container for 5 days.
Be sure to rinse your quinoa before cooking!