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Citrus Tabbouleh Salad

The Citrus Tabbouleh Salad is a creative and nutritious take on the Eastern Mediterranean staple. By incorporating quinoa in place of traditional bulgur wheat, this version is not only gluten-free but also packed with protein. The addition of sweet citrus, both in the salad and the dressing, elevates the dish with a fresh, zesty flavor profile. It's an ideal choice for those seeking a dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-sodium option that doesn't skimp on taste or health benefits.

Hello my happy healthy friends! Today we are making a recipe that has been around for centuries and adding a little twist to it! This delightful variation of the traditional Tabbouleh salad includes a burst of citrus flavors and the wholesome goodness of quinoa. Perfect as an appetizer, snack, or side, this Citrus Tabbouleh Salad is a vegan, fusion, and Lebanese-inspired dish that’s sure to brighten your table and palate!

Ingredients in Citrus Tabbouleh Salad

  • Curly Parsley: Curly parsley is a cornerstone of traditional tabbouleh, bringing a fresh, slightly peppery taste and vibrant green color to the salad. It’s crisp texture and bright flavor are essential for that authentic tabbouleh experience.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa serves as a nutritious, gluten-free alternative to traditional grains, offering a subtly nutty flavor and a boost of protein. If you’re looking for something more traditional, bulgur or couscous are perfect substitutes that still complement the salad’s texture and taste.
  • Orange: The orange adds a sweet, zesty twist to the salad, infusing it with vibrant citrus flavors. For those looking to experiment, grapefruit or mandarins can be used as substitutes, offering variations in sweetness and acidity.
  • Mint: Mint introduces a refreshing, cool flavor that balances the citrusy sweetness of the salad. In cases where fresh mint isn’t available, a small amount of dried mint can serve as a backup, though fresh mint is recommended for the best flavor.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Red bell pepper contributes a sweet crunch and a splash of color, making the salad visually appealing and texturally satisfying. Yellow or orange peppers are great alternatives, providing similar sweetness and a colorful presentation.
  • Red Onion: Red onion adds a mild, sweet crunch that complements the citrus and herb flavors in the salad. 
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil enriches the salad with a smooth, rich texture, binding the ingredients together while adding a layer of flavor. 
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice brightens the salad with its tartness, enhancing the overall flavor profile. 
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Salt and black pepper are essential for seasoning, highlighting the natural flavors of the salad. 
  • Garlic: Garlic brings a depth of flavor to the dressing, offering a warm, pungent note that complements the freshness of the salad.

What is Tabbouleh? 

Tabbouleh is a vibrant, zesty salad that dances on the palate, a celebration of freshness with its roots deeply planted in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s a mixture of finely chopped parsley, mingled with the nutty crunch of bulgur wheat, or in this case; the wholesome goodness of quinoa. Each bite is a burst of sunshine, thanks to the juicy tomatoes and the bright, citrusy notes of lemon juice, all brought together by a harmonious blend of olive oil, mint, and a whisper of spices. Tabbouleh isn’t just a salad; it’s a refreshing embrace of natural, bold flavors made with some of the most simple ingredients.

Can I Make Tabbouleh Salad Ahead of Time?

As mentioned previously it’s actually better to make this salad ahead of time as it gives all the ingredients time to marinate in the dressing! This tabbouleh recipe is an excellent choice for meal prep or when you need a dish that’s ready to go for gatherings or weekday meals.

How to Make Healthy Citrus Tabbouleh Salad

Creating a Healthy Citrus Tabbouleh Salad is simple and satisfying. The first step is to cook your quinoa according to the package instructions, setting it aside to cool. This grain alternative not only adds a delightful texture and nutty flavor to the salad but also packs a punch of protein and fiber, making it a nutritious substitute for traditional bulgur wheat.

Once your quinoa is ready and cooled, the next step is to prepare all of your fresh ingredients that make this salad truly stand out. Finely chop the parsley, mint, bell pepper, and onion. The citrus, cut into bite-sized pieces, introduces a sweet and tangy element that perfectly complements the herbal freshness of the other ingredients. Combine these with the quinoa in a large bowl.

The final touch is adding a blend of crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and orange juice. Whisked together in a small bowl, this dressing is then poured over the salad, ensuring every ingredient is beautifully coated and infused with its zesty flavor. Allowing the salad to rest in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes lets the flavors infuse, enhancing the overall taste experience. This make-ahead flexibility, allowing the salad to be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, ensures that you can enjoy the refreshing taste of Citrus Tabbouleh Salad throughout the week.

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Meet Claire

Welcome to Claire Bear Bites! Here is where we have the most amount of fun with food. I’m an silly, quirky Aussie living in LA, creating and loving bright, colorful, healthy and delicious plant based meals.

This deliciously colorful meals are a direct reflection of me and my love for experimenting. Food should make you happy, smile and make you do a weird lil happy dance cause it taste so dang good. Life can be stressful but your food doesn’t need to be! Let’s have fun and eat the rainbow!

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Citrus Tabbouleh Salad

This fun imaginative take on tabbouleh will be your new favorite side! Creatively inspired by the traditional eastern Mediterranean salad but using the deliciously nutritious quinoa as the grain and sweet, warm citrus flavors both in the incredible dressing and staring in the salad itself. This fresh, vibrant and sweet take on tabbouleh is a must try!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Vegan
Servings 4

Equipment

  • stove

Ingredients
  

  • 1 orange chopped into small bite sized pieces (I love sumo citrus for its sweetness)
  • ½ cup quinoa cooked
  • 3 medium bunches of fresh Curley parsley chopped finely
  • cup fresh mint chopped finely
  • 1 cup red bell pepper finely diced
  • ¼ of a medium red onion very finely diced
  • tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 large glove of garlic crushed

Instructions
 

  • Begin by cooking your quinoa according to package directions and set aside.
  • Next prepare each salad ingredient. For the parsley, I like to use the stems as well. But feel free to remove them if you prefer.
  • Finely chop the parsley, mint, bellpepper and onion and cut the sumo citrus into bite sized pieces.
  • To a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, parsley, mint, bell pepper, onion and Dino citrus and set aside
  • In a small bowl, whisk together crushed garlic, olive oils, salt, pepper, lemon juice and sumo citrus juice.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  • Let the tabbouleh rest in the fridge for 15 minutes if you can, giving the flavors time to absorb 🙂 then toss again and serve!
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days

Notes

** you can sub the quinoa for bulgar or cous cous
** I recommend fresh sumo citrus, but navel or Valencia oranges are also a good choice
Keyword dairy free, easy salad, gluten free, side dish, side salad, vegan

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Picture of Meet Claire

Meet Claire

Welcome to Claire Bear Bites! Here is where we have the most amount of fun with food. I’m an silly, quirky Aussie living in LA, creating and loving bright, colorful, healthy and delicious plant based meals.

This deliciously colorful meals are a direct reflection of me and my love for experimenting. Food should make you happy, smile and make you do a weird lil happy dance cause it taste so dang good. Life can be stressful but your food doesn’t need to be! Let’s have fun and eat the rainbow!

Let's get social!

Search

Most Recent Recipes

Subscribe for more!

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