This light and refreshing lentil tabbouleh salad recipe puts a delicious twist on the classic tabbouleh that will fill you up without weighing you down! Requiring just three steps to make, this easy Mediterranean dish is perfect for a quick and easy lunch. Or, serve it on a platter with fresh pita bread, fruits, and veggies for a nutritious party snack.
Want to save this post?
Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox. Plus, I’ll send you budget recipes and money-saving tips every week!
I love the diverse flavors and textures that go into Mediterranean dishes, and I can eat them any day for lunch, dinner, and a snack. If you feel the same way and want more delicious Mediterranean recipes to go great alongside this one, try my vegan gyros, veggie shawarma, crispy vegan falafel, and stuffed butternut squash!
❤️ Why you’ll love it
Tabbouleh is a traditional Middle Eastern salad made of finely chopped parsley and mixed in with bulgur wheat tomatoes, mint, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper. Some dish variations include lentils (like this one) or semolina and may even have lettuce.
There are many things to love about this easy lentil tabbouleh recipe. In addition to being vegan, gluten-free, and packed with fresh herbs and nutritious veggies, it is one of the easiest dishes I have ever made. Unlike some tabbouleh recipes, my recipe requires absolutely no cooking at all. All you need is one bowl and 15 minutes of your time: 10 minutes of prep time and five minutes of assembly time!
This recipe is very budget-friendly, using less than ten simple and fresh ingredients you can find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Those with a green thumb may already have most of the ingredients in their backyard! It is light, bright, refreshing, and packs a delicious flavor that only gets better with time.
Because lentil salad is so easy to make, you can quickly whip it up for the day of. It is perfect for meal prepping and preparing large portions in advance for large parties, potlucks, and BBQs! It is also incredibly versatile, ideal as your main meal or a side dish. Check out my Variations and Serving Ideas sections below for even more fun ways to enjoy my lentil tabbouleh!
🧾 Key ingredients
Lentils – We use pre-cooked, canned brown lentils for this recipe. However, you can also use raw, uncooked lentils, provided you boil them until tender before use. Black and green lentils are other options. Avoid using yellow or red lentils.
Fresh parsley and mint – Parsley is the star of the traditional tabbouleh recipes. Some would even go so far as to call it a parsley salad! I recommend using flat-leaf parsley for this recipe. Additionally, fresh mint leaves are what help to bring the flavor of this dish to life. You will need to chop both the parsley and mint finely.
Fresh veggies – This recipe requires a purple onion, cherry tomatoes (you can also use Roma tomatoes), and a large cucumber. I recommend Persian or English cucumber and half of a ripe lemon. Once the tabbouleh is made, you will use the lemon to create the tangy seasoning, so freshly squeezed juice is best!
Raisins and pistachios – These ingredients add a unique blend of sweetness from the raisins and a crunchy, nutty flavor from the pistachios, enhancing the overall taste and texture of the dish.
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Large bowl – Since this recipe uses pre-cooked lentils, the only piece of equipment needed is one large bowl to add all the ingredients.
Wooden spatula – I recommend using the hand-crafted olive wooden spatula from Forest Decor for folding the ingredients.
Making lentil tabbouleh
Prepare the veggies by peeling and chopping the purple onion, washing and dicing the tomatoes and cucumber into small pieces. Next, prepare the fresh herbs by washing and chopping the mint leaves and parsley.
Drain the canned lentils, then add them to a large bowl with the chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumber, mint leaves, and parsley. Then, add the fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and toss the mixture. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
💡 Expert tip
Once the ingredients are combined, allow the lentil tabbouleh to rest for 10-20 minutes. While it marinates, the flavors will set in even more, and the dish will taste even better!
Lentil Tabbouleh is a pretty straightforward dish, but there are a few variations to make it even more delicious. Instead of using lentils, use bulgur wheat (as seen in many classic tabbouleh salad recipes) or quinoa. In place of the tomatoes, you can use pomegranate to add color and tartness.
Add more depth to the flavor with green or black olives or with different spices such as freshly minced garlic, cumin, allspice, or cinnamon.
You can also add veggies such as lettuce, shredded beets or carrots, pickled turnips, bell peppers, or roasted eggplant for extra texture and nutrients. Avocado is another tasty addition!
🥣 Serving ideas
In addition to freshly made pita bread, lentil tabbouleh is also tasty when wrapped into lettuce leaves or paired next to Mediterranean dips such as my creamy sunflower seed hummus, tangy tzatziki, or drizzled with my fresh maple dijon tahini dressing or lemon herb tahini dressing. It is an excellent addition to my Mediterranean grazing board recipe!
You can also top it with crumbled vegan feta cheese or your choice of nuts or seeds (i.e. sunflower seeds, almonds, etc) to add some crunch and protein!
❄️ Storing tips
In the refrigerator – Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. For the best taste and quality, consume within three days. Deseeding and sprinkling the tomatoes and cucumber with salt helps them to release excess moisture and prevents the salad from getting too soggy.
In the freezer – I do not recommend freezing lentil tabbouleh as its veggie ingredients will become watery and soggy when defrosted.
Yes! This dish is perfect for meal prepping and making in advance. Simply prepare it as written in the recipe and store it covered in the fridge for up to four days until you are ready to serve it. The longer it sits, the better it tastes!
Tabbouleh is traditionally served cold or chilled. However, you can also enjoy it at room temperature or warm, if you prefer.
Tabbouleh is traditionally served alongside pita bread to scoop the salad up. While the pita bread helps to enhance the taste and experience of eating it, you can certainly eat it alone or with other toppings.
THANK YOU so much for visiting our website. Please comment below if you have tried this recipe. We LOVE hearing from you! If you loved the recipe, please don’t forget to give us a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ RATING. We appreciate all of our readers.
- 11 oz Brown lentils (canned) 1 can
- 1 Purple onion
- 9 oz Cherry tomatoes
- ½ Cucumber (large)
- 3 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Fresh mint leaves chopped
- 2 Tbsp Parsley (fresh) chopped
- ½ Lemon (only juice, freshly squeezed)
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- 4 Pita bread
- Peel and chop the purple onion. Wash and dice tomatoes and cucumber to a smaller size. Wash and chop fresh mint leaves and parsley.
- In a large bowl add canned lentils, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, mint leaves, and parsley. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. Season with a bit of salt and black pepper. Mix well.
- Serve it with fresh pita bread.