Chickpea Tabbouleh

In this very fresh, herby, flavorful dish, the traditional tabbouleh becomes a little more substantial with more bulgur and chickpeas. It makes for a perfect, light, summer meal, or a healthful snack. I prepare it in the morning for the evening meal and make extra for a weekend lunch. The flavors deepen with time, and this will stay fresh for a couple of days in the fridge. For those who do not like cilantro, feel free to omit it and double the parsley. Adjust the herb combination to personal taste. There is very little cooking here—it is mainly chopping and mincing.

Chickpea tabbouleh can also be a wonderful appetizer (this could serve 12 people) on its own or with pita chips.


  • 3/4 cup bulgur  (use quinoa or brown rice for gluten-free and cook accordingly)
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup (a big handful) flat-leaf parsley (remove tough stems and mince)
  • 3/4 cup (a big handful) fresh cilantro (remove tough stems and mince)
  • ½ cup (a small handful) fresh mint (remove tough stems and mince)
  • 1 scallion (remove any tough outer leaves, trim, and mince both the green and white parts)
  • 1 ½ cups/ 1 large tomato or two medium, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon hot green chili pepper, minced (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 1 ½ cups or 1 15 oz. can chickpeas/garbanzo drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I prefer unfiltered)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the bulgur according to the package instructions, or bring the water to a boil in a small, heavy pot. Add the cracked wheat and salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low/medium-low, keeping it at a slow simmer and partially covering the pot with a lid. Cook for 7-8 minutes or till the water level goes below the wheat. Cover the pot completely and cook on low heat for another 5-7 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Keep the pot covered after switching off the heat. After a 5-10 minutes, turn out the bulgur into a wide bowl to cool. There should be no water left. If there is, put the bulgar in a fine sieve, gently press with a spoon to remove excess water.
  2. In the meantime, thoroughly rinse all of the gritty sand from the herbs. Mince and chop the herbs, scallion, tomato, and chili.
  3. Place the chopped and minced ingredients in a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and taste. Adjust the seasoning as necessary and remember that as the dish sits, the flavors will develop and seep in.
  4. Chill for 3-4 hours and serve cold or at room temperature.

Serves 6. Preparation and cooking time: 30-40 minutes.

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