Quinoa Tabbouleh

I’ve been on a minor mission this year to use quinoa whenever possible. Quinoa is the current “it” grain, and that’s for some very good reasons. What’s not to love about an ancient, gluten-free, nutrient-dense, protein-packed powerhouse, cultivated by the Incas more than 5,000 years ago?

a quinoa side or salad

Quinoa Anything can be a vegetarian main course, and it can almost always be switched out for cous cous or rice. I say almost, because a few months ago, I went a little haywire and decided to try quinoa pudding — instead of rice pudding.  Bad idea. It tasted like freshly mowed grass. Lesson learned: stick to savory quinoa dishes.

As far as Quinoa Tabbouleh: Perfect


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large cucumber chopped well
  • 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup parsley chopped very fine
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil*

*Classic tabbouleh calls for mint, which is not on my 100 Ingredient List — and I like it better with fresh basil.


  • Rinse quinoa and add to a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat for 10 minutes until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together minced garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Set aside
  • Chop cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, green onions and basil.
  • In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa with chopped vegetables and herbs. Add dressing and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


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