A simple vegan tabouli recipe made with Amaranth grain that takes minutes to make and can be the perfect healthy lunch or an easy side dish. 

Have you eaten a recipe so many times, and, yet never made it yourself?

This is the case with me and tabouli!

Its one of the most colorful recipes ever and its crazy simple to make.

Yet, it never occurred to me to make it at home.

Until now….

Overhead view of a brown bowl filled to the top with Amaranth Tabouli
Eat the rainbow with this tabouli recipe

What is tabouli?

– Tabouli is a traditional Levitan recipe, which is the common name for the area of Eastern Mediterranean sea.
– Traditionally, its made with cooked bulgur and parsley
– They put onions, oil and tomatoes into the tabouli with simple spices
– Its served in a Mezze setting which is similar to Spanish Tapas
– In many parts of the world, its also served as an appetizer by itself to visiting guests
– Tabouli is derived from the word, “Tabil” which means spice. Its also translated as “Dip”

Is it “Tabouli”, “Tabouleh”, “Tabbouleh” or “Tabbouli”?

I think the traditional version to say it is “Tabbouleh” which is how I have seen it being spelled out by middle Eastern chefs and bloggers.

Personally, I have always referred to it as “Tabouli” because that’s how I saw it the first time. I was in Zeytuna restaurant circa 2006. This is a grocery store / buffet type recipes located in lower Manhattan. This restaurant had a wide variety of world cuisine and they were famous for their 2-story building.

There wasn’t any food item you didn’t find in their location. That, to me, is the definition of a world market.

They still have tabouli on their menu which they make with Bulgar wheat. I remember tasting it for the first time and it was the most delicious salad I had tasted.

After that, I have tasted tabouli in many places and it was delicious everywhere. Hummus and tabouli are the best levitan recipes.

Speaking of hummus, have you tried my parsley hummus or my beet hummus?

Front view of a brown bowl filled to the top with Amaranth Tabouli

Amaranth tabouli FAQs

Can Tabouli Be Frozen?

Tabouli should not be frozen because it’s mostly parsley. Parsley doesn’t do well when frozen because it will look black in color when thawed. Also, parsley looses its flavor when frozen without oil or butter.

The best way to store it is to place it in glass container(s) and put it in the warmest part of your refrigerator. Also, use it within 3 days to get the best taste out of it.

If you want, you can make the amaranth in advance and freeze it. Amaranth can stay about 1-2 weeks after its cooked. Be sure to warm it up and burn off any liquid in it before you put it in any recipe.

Is it healthy?

Tabouli has many healthy ingredients like bulgurm tomatoes, za’atar and parsley.

However, traditional recipes call for a heavy dose of extra virgin olive oil. That may not be considered too healthy by some

I decided to make mine healthier by uses a lot less oil in mine. You won’t miss the extra oil because all the ingredients are blended perfectly together.

Which parsley to use in tabouli?

Italian flat-leaf parsley is the best and the most commonly used parsely in tabouli. It has strong flavor and it blends with with bulgur, onions and other ingredients.


I am a fan of curly parsley only and I make no bones about it. I prefer the texture, color and flavor of curly parsley any day.

Also, I LUH-ved how well curly parsley and amaranth worked together.

There was no question in my mind that they were a match made in heaven.

Overhead and closeup view of a brown bowl filled to the top with Amaranth Tabouli
A quick and healthy lunch recipe packed with a ton of nutrition

What grains can be added to tabouli?

Taboli, traditionally, is made with bulgur. However, it has evolved in the last few years to include a variety of grains or even rices. Here are 11 grains or grain-free options to make Tabouli

  • Bulgur – This was the first grain I experienced tabouli and it will be my all time favorite.
  • Quinoa – Quinoa is the most obvious and safe substitute for bulgur. Its light, airy and just flavorless enough to soak up the flavors of parsley. If you want to be a little daring, try the sprouted quinoa that I used in this rustic quinoa recipe.
  • Amaranth – Amaranth is the perfect grain to put in a tabouli recipe. Its mild in flavor, so, it will not over power the parsley and it will also give a wonderful contrasting color to the greens and reds of the recipe. In my amaranth post, I show you all the brick-and-mortar or online locations you can purchase Amaranth.
A mound of amaranth grain with more grain being poured over it
This is a fluffy amaranth grain that anyone can use.
  • Brown rice – Brown rice is dense and starchy. Putting it in a tabouli recipe might be taking a leap of faith which will pay off! I have used it in a vegan meatloaf recipe and it was the best way to make meatloaf.
  • Farro – I have found farro to be very versatile and it would be perfect substitute. If you haven’t had the chance to try it in a recipe before, make a healthy farro salad and you will see how delicious it tastes.
  • Cauliflower Rice – I saw Alton Brown make this recipe almost 15 years ago, in true Alton Brown fashion.
  • Kamut – Better known as Khorasan Wheat, its a whole wheat ancient grain. I haven’t worked with it before, so, I am not sure how great it will be, but, I have seen several recipes made with it. Its definitely something I would love to experiment.
  • Wheat Berries This grain fascinates me mainly because I haven’t made anything with it. Its supposed to be a healthy and light grain that’s supposed to be good for the body.
  • Couscous – Couscous would be the ideal ingredient for tabouli. It has the same texture and size like bulgur and its easy to cook. I have actually cooked couscous in a pressure cooker and it turned out to be so delicious
  • Barley – Barley is slightly denser in texture and its a tad larger in size. However, it would still be delicious with parsley in a tabbouleh recipe. Check out my barley pilaf recipe for a completely different way of using this grain.
  • Orzo – This is more of an outside-the-box ingredient to use in a tabbouleh recipe. I have never tried in a recipe like that. Since I know how great it tastes in soup and with cauliflower, I am confident that cooked orzo will work in a tabbouleh recipe. Try it and let me know how it turns out.

How to store parsley

  • Wash the parsley bunch thoroughly
  • Cut of the stems of the stalk from the bottom. The ends are normally browned or dead from the bottom and that means they pores are not open. Cutting of about 1-2 mm of the bottom stems will remove the dead ends
  • Fill a small vase or even a mason jar with distilled water. You can use tap water, but, I prefer distilled water
  • Place the parsley in the mason jar and spread out the stalks as much as possible
  • Cover with the top with a (affiliate link) clear shower cap and place in the refrigerator. The shower cap with prevent the parsley from getting freezer burns. It will also prevent the aroma of the parsley to overwhelm when you open the fridge.
  • The parsley will be good for about 2 weeks, as long as the shower cap is on
Front view of a parsley bunch in a mason jar with water
This will preserve parsley for a long time.

How to use leftover parsley?

Parsley, like any other herb, will go bad and make me sad! I spend so much money on it and it makes me sad to see it go to waste.  Most of the time, I can’t use it up in time which just means I wasted $3 on a perfectly good bunch of parsley.

Lucky for me, parsley can be used in tabouli and so many other recipes. So, I have a few recipes which are the perfect way to preserve parsley:

Make parsley hummus

A few years ago, I had so much parsley leftover that I didn’t know what to do with it.  I gave it to friends and family, but, I still had so much left over.

So, I turned the remaining parsley into a delicious parsley hummus recipe and its been a fan favorite since then.

Navy beans salad

This navy beans salad is my favorite salad of all time.  I mixed navy beans, parsley and other ingredients to make this awesome year round salad recipe.

It has a healthy amount of parsley in it, so, you may end up eating the whole bowl and not feel an ounce of guilt.

Homemade panko breadcrumbs with parsley

There is nothing better than making homemade panko breadcrumbs,

Except, maybe adding your leftover parsley into those breadcrumbs.  I love this recipe because I got use up stale bread and leftover herbs

I created a special search option, so, that you can see all my parsley recipes by clicking here.

Using za’atar and hemp seeds

This recipe also allowed me to make use of my favorite spice.  Za’atar is so aromatic and flavorful which makes it the perfect spice to add in this tabouleh recipe.

Za’atar was the main ingredient in this mixed nuts, tabouli, and muhammara recipe I made.  Trust me you haven’t had nuts taste so delicious and healthy.

Hemp seeds are not at all normal in tabbouleh recipe, but, I thought they would be perfect in this one  It adds an added nutrition to it, which just makes me so happy.

If you like this hemp recipes, I think you will love my pineapple jalapeno smoothie, Chocolate smoothie bowl and my turmeric smoothie bowl where its front and center.  Do you like hemp seeds?

So, its your turn to tell me.  When was your first taste of Tabouli and what did you think of it?

Overhead view of a brown bowl filled to the top with Amaranth Tabouli

Tabouli Recipe with Amaranth

Simple tabouli recipe made using amaranth
4.96 from 50 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 2 people
Calories 461 kcal



  • In a large glass bowl, add all the ingredients in order listed
  • Mix well
  • Cover with plastic wrap or shower cap
  • For best results, refrigerate for 30mins to Overnight for marination

Serve with pita chips or by itself



    – To get 1 cup of cooked amaranth, place 1/2 cup of dry amaranth in 1 and 3/4 cups of water.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat.  Cook until all the water has been absorbed. Let it cool before adding to the glass bowl


    Calories: 461kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 9gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 320mgPotassium: 538mgFiber: 7gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2900IUVitamin C: 76.7mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 8.4mg
    Keyword how to cook tabouli, how to store parsley
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    1. I made a tabouli with bulgar today and found your recipe afterward. I love tabouli in the summer! I ordered za’atar from Amazon (I’d never heard of it) and I have amaranth in my pantry so I know I will like your recipe! While reading comments I had to chuckle at the first one, is the Jump to Recipe button not obvious?! Anyway, I appreciated your tips and variations in the text and saved links for some of your other recipes, thank you!

      1. Awww, Thank you so much CINDY! You definitely made my day and I am so happy you learned about Za’atar. It’s one of my favorite spices and can’t wait to post a recipe for my homemade version. Please let me know how your recipe for tabouli turns out. I appreciate it very much.

    2. I wish people would put their recipes up front, rather than subjecting us to home spin wisdom! The frustrating time I waste looking for the actual recipe will mean I’ll never use your site again. Sorry if this offends, but let’s get practical?

      1. Why don’t you go complain to Google! They are the ones who make the rules!! Why don’t you try and understand first why “people don’t put their recipes on top”. If everyone is doing it, then surely there is a reason for it?!?!!? Why don’t you use the brain cells provided to you first before writing troll comments. I challenge you to start a blog and put your recipe on top! See how long you last in the business. Besides, you are coming to a free site that the “people” worked hard to experiment, photograph, write up the post, do all the hard work, so you get the recipe for free!!! Stop complaining and do something positive with your life. And if “people’s” recipe sites bother you so much, STOP GOING TO THEIR SITES! Frankly, we don’t need morons like you who want free stuff and complain at the same time.

    3. Hi….thanks for the detailed and nice article about Tabbouleh..I have a comment about your article which never underestimate your effort and excellent presentation….Before i comment I must admit that I am very Classic and conservative person…tabbouleh origin is from Lebanon/ Syria area…Tabbouleh never used COOKED Grains’ BURGUL” ..we never marinate Ready to eat Tabboueh because the Onion which will give bad taste after long time…we use also fresh and dry Mint..we use more Tomato…But to obtain good taste we wash the Burgul and squeeze it to be able to absorb Lemon Juice and easy to eat…I insist to use the word “BURGUL because it is the correct spelling…Thank you for your patience to read this comment…Much pleased to be on your Mailing List..ZOUHAIR

      1. Thank you, Zouhair. I have a lot of respect for the traditional way that tabbouleh is made. Its one of my favorite Lebanese food to eat, so, I am always mindful of the way the recipe is made. I love using “BURGUL” too but my readers don’t know that. I used to get complaints that its supposed to be “Bulgar”, lol. I didn’t use mint in mine because I didn’t like the combination of mint and amaranth. But, I will give it another try. Thank you so much for your great and constructive comments. There needs to be more of you around the internet. So glad to have you as a fan and a subscriber. Thank you.

    4. I was drawn in by the beautiful colors and now I am hooked on the flavor!! My family absolutely loved your tabouli recipe!

    5. I absolutely adore this recipe. Tabouli already has great flavor, but you’ve taken it and expanded it times 10! Love all the tips and facts too, thank you!

    6. I have some tabouli on hand and the rest of the ingredients to make this recipe! I love all the vibrant colors and I think olive oil is a healthy fat, so bring it on! Interested to try this with riced cauliflower too!

    7. I love tabouli! It is so fresh and full of nice herbs. Using amaranth is such a wonderful idea (I wish I thought of it). My son is vegetarian and I know he is going to love this!!

    8. I just found Amaranth at my local Sprouts market and was looking for something to make it with when youre recipe popped into my email box! Hows that for perfect timing! I love tabouli so much… but I too have never tried it at home! Going to fix that asap! Thanks !