A vibrant and fresh cucumber and quinoa tabouli salad displayed in a rustic wooden bowl. The salad is bursting with color from the finely chopped cucumber, red and yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes

Refreshing Cucumber and Quinoa Tabouli Salad

The Cucumber and Quinoa Tabouli Salad is a delightful twist on the traditional Middle Eastern tabouli. Brimming with fresh vegetables, herbs, and nutrient-rich quinoa, this salad is both refreshing and nourishing. Perfect for a light lunch, side dish, or even a main meal, this salad is versatile and can be customized according to your preferences.


To create a memorable Cucumber and Quinoa Tabouli Salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Steps

Step 1: Cooking the Quinoa

Begin by rinsing the quinoa under cold water to remove its natural coating, which can taste slightly bitter. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes. The quinoa should absorb most of the water and become tender. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it stand, covered, for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.

Step 2: Preparing the Vegetables and Parsley

While the quinoa is cooling, take this time to prep your vegetables and herbs. Dice the cucumber into small pieces, halve the cherry tomatoes, and finely chop the red onion. For the herbs, finely chop the parsley and mint leaves. Fresh, finely chopped herbs will enhance the flavors of your salad tremendously.

Step 3: Making the Dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together the fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. The bright, zesty flavor of lemon juice combined with the richness of olive oil will provide the perfect complement to the fresh ingredients in the salad.

Step 4: Combining Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, diced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, parsley, and mint. Pour the lemon and olive oil dressing over the mixture. Toss everything together gently until well combined. Be sure each ingredient is evenly coated with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt or lemon juice, if needed.

Serving Tips

This Cucumber and Quinoa Tabouli Salad can be served immediately, but allowing it to sit in the refrigerator for about an hour can help the flavors meld together even better. Serve it chilled on its own or alongside grilled meats, seafood, or as part of a larger spread with hummus and pita bread.

Nutritional Benefits

The combination of quinoa and fresh vegetables makes this salad not only delicious but also highly nutritious. Quinoa is a complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The fresh cucumber, tomatoes, and herbs add hydrating properties along with antioxidants, making this dish a powerhouse of nutrients.

Customization Ideas

Feel free to experiment with this recipe by adding other ingredients to suit your taste. Some great additions include:

  • Crumbled feta cheese for an extra layer of flavor
  • Chopped bell peppers for added crunch
  • Chickpeas for additional protein and fiber
  • Olives for a briny touch

The Cucumber and Quinoa Tabouli Salad is a testament to how simple ingredients can come together to create a dish that is both satisfying and refreshing. Whether you are looking for a quick meal or a dish to impress your guests, this salad fits the bill perfectly.

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