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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
So, its your turn to tell me. When was your first taste of Tabouli and what did you think of it?
Tabouli Recipe with Amaranth
- 1 cup cooked amaranth
- 1 cup curly parsley finely chopped
- ½ cup red onion finely diced
- 1 roma tomato diced
- 1 Tbsp Za’atar
- 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 lemon juiced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 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