I have made tabbouleh with bulgur wheat, couscous, and quinoa- But the winner for me is green lentils!! The earthy and nutty undertones of the lentils perfectly complement the fresh and zesty flavors of the traditional ingredients. As a result, you not only get the healthy benefits of the lentils but also a more substantial and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed as a light main course or a side dish.
Tabbouleh has been a staple dish in Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. Traditional tabbouleh recipes have of bulgur wheat, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and olive oil. With its vibrant colors and fresh ingredients, tabbouleh offers a great mix of flavors and textures.
If you have been following me for a while you might have noticed that I am in love with lentils! I love making lentil versions of classic recipes like kofta, green tacos, and Italian stuffed peppers. Lentils are so easy to make for meal prep and are packed with nutritional goodness. They are a convenient and healthy ways to get more plant base protein in all kinds of meals.
What kind of lentils?
I like to use green lentils for this recipe. They hold their texture better than red lentils which would make for a mushy tabbouleh. More tenure than black or French green lentils (puy lentils)- green lentils absorb the flavors of the dressing and herbs beautifully.
How to Prepare Lentil Tabbouleh:
The first step is to make the lentils- unless you have pre-cooked lentils on hand. Add the green lentils to a medium-sized pot and add a few cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer the lentils for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until they become tender.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked lentils, fresh parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the lentil mixture and toss gently to combine.
Allow the flavors to meld together for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Adjust the seasoning if needed and serve chilled or at room temperature.
I highly suggest making a large batch of lentils because there are so many ways to use the leftovers.
What to serve lentil tabbouleh salad with:
- Mezze Platter: Lentil Tabbouleh is a perfect addition to a mezze platter. Arrange the Lentil Tabbouleh alongside other Mediterranean delights such as hummus, falafel, and olives.
- With pita bread: The soft and fluffy texture of the bread, simply scoop a generous portion of Lentil Tabbouleh onto a piece of for a delightful handheld treat.
- Feta: For an extra touch of richness and tang, pair Lentil Tabbouleh with crumbled feta cheese. The salty and creamy feta complements the fresh ingredients and adds a delightful contrast to the dish. Sprinkle some feta over the Lentil Tabbouleh just before serving, or serve it alongside the dish.
- Drizzled with Tzatziki: the cool and creamy nature adds a refreshing element to the hearty lentils.
- Alongside Chicken Shawarma or red lentil kofta.
One of the great aspects of Lentil Tabbouleh is that it often tastes even better the next day. Leftover Lentil Tabbouleh is a convenient option for meal prep.
Transfer it to an airtight container before storing it and refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Lentil Tabbouleh is a perfect side dish for various meals, from grilled meats to vegetarian spreads. Its refreshing flavors and nutrient-rich composition make it a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire. By storing it properly, you can have this delightful side dish readily available for quick lunches or as the perfect side dish for dinner. Make a larger batch in advance, you can portion it into individual containers- ensuring you have a healthy option readily available when hunger strikes.
Looking for more lentil salad recipes- don't worry I have many more to share with you: Lentils and Kale Salad, Broccoli Lentil Salad with Anchovy Salad Dressing, Lentil Salad with Feta and Pomegranate (Lettuce Wrap), Lentil Salad with Avocado, Cherry Tomato, and Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette, and Lentil Quinoa Salad with Sundried Tomatoes.
If you’ve tried this Lentil Tabbouleh recipe or any other recipe on BalancingBowls, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to see more tasty meals and anything else I’m up to.
Lentil Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
- 1 cup of green lentils
- 1 cup Italian parsley flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped Red onion
- 1 cup finely chopped English cucumber
- ½ cups cherry tomatoes
- The first step is to make the lentils- unless you have pre-cooked lentils on hand. Add the green lentils to a medium-sized pot and add a few cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer the lentils for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until they become tender.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked lentils, fresh parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the lentil mixture and toss gently to combine.
- Allow the flavors to meld together for at least 15 minutes before serving.