I love the idea of quinoa. I know that it’s higher in protein than most grains and is a great alternative to wheat and rice, but I never know quite what to do with it. A friend, who knows I adore Middle Eastern food, suggested that I swap quinoa for bulgur the next time I make tabbouleh. I took her advice and the tabbouleh was fantastic. It was light but super flavorful. Tabbouleh is a pretty forgiving dish, so there’s room to play with the ingredients.  Here’s my recipe:

Add 1 cup of quinoa (I do a quick soak and rub the grains through my fingers and then strain out the water) and 1 1/2 cups of water to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and let it cool.

While it’s cooling, in a large bowl mix together:

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 medium red onion–chopped finely

2 garlic cloves–minced

1/2 cup or more chopped parsley

1/2 cup or more chopped mint

a big handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 cucumber or a few Persian cucumber– diced

Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the quinoa once it has cooled and refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

For an extra kick, add feta or Halloumi–a Cypriot cheese that has the briny taste of feta but the consistency of mozzarella so it doesn’t fall apart or get soggy in salads.


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Comments (7)


  1. Posted by: Andrea

    I am starving and this looks lovely! Do you kids enjoy this?

  2. Posted by: Becca Misner

    Yes, my kids really like it. Even more so when I add feta or Halloumi to it. (In our home, the addition of some sort of salty cheese seems to make most things better!)

  3. I love the idea of quinoa, too! I have a box that has been sitting in my pantry for months, but I’ve always been too intimidated to try to do anything with it. Maybe I’ll try this. Thanks!

  4. Posted by: angela

    YUM- I adore tabbouleh! I’m definitely picking up the ingredients to make this!
    Currently, our favorite way to cook quinoa is with caramelized onions, garlic, cumin and cilantro, and then we add beans and a squeeze of lime, and serve with salsa, cheese, sour cream (or greek yogurt) and avocado slices.

  5. Posted by: Andrea

    Becca, thanks — I don’t normally love Tabbouleh for some reason, but this recipe sounds lovely. I’m trying it soon. Maybe when our CSA with the “pick your own herbs” kicks into gear.

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