Quinoa tabbouleh with avocado

Quinoa Tabbouleh (Vegan, Gluten Free)

One of Guatemala’s blessings is our wonderful markets, filled with fresh local fruits and vegetables. Yesterday I went up to one of my favorite vendors, where I often buy basil and leafy greens. There was no basil on display, so I asked for it. The vendor pulled out a small paper bag: “Sí, hay.” She handed me a beautiful bunch of basil and said “También hay perejil”…”There is also parsley.” She handed me two gorgeous, fresh bunches of flat-leaf parsley.

I hadn’t though about parsley in months! My brain quickly went into planning mode: I have mint growing in the garden. Stop and get some tomatoes and cucumber. In my mind, I could already see the tabbouleh prepared for lunch.

While bulgur wheat can be found in specialty stores here, it’s not a common ingredient. I knew I had quinoa, however, and a new version of my favorite tabbouleh was born. If you prefer bulgur to quinoa, no problem! Use 1 cup of dried bulgur instead of 1 cup of dried quinoa.

Most tabbouleh recipes call for olive oil. I don’t add oil to mine–just some lemon or lime juice for moisture. Instead of oil, sliced avocado adds a whole-food source of richness.

Makes 8 servings.


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • avocado slices (optional)


  1. In a large saucepan, mix the quinoa and water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and allow the quinoa to simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, stir gently, and allow to cool while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the parsley, mint, chopped tomatoes, diced onion, diced cucumber, and lemon or lime juice.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add more lemon juice if needed.
  5. When the quinoa is cooled, gently stir it into the mixture in the bowl.
  6. Refrigerate for an hour to allow the flavors to blend if possible.
  7. Serve garnished with sliced avocado, if desired.

Share this post!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *