Spinach Quinoa Tabbouleh

SpinachQuinoaTabbouleh3I grew up in Florida with parents that were very much Southern.  In a culinary sense, my life was very sheltered.  Dinners were dishes like fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.  About the most ethnic food ever got around our house was lasagna made with Prego.

There were so many things I never ate as a child. Asparagus, beets, avocados and  sauerkraut are a few things that come to mind.  I was in my 20’s before I had Chinese or Thai food for the first time and it was even later that I had any type of Middle Eastern Food. (Unless you count Gyros from the food court in the mall – I don’t.)

I guess that may be why I’m so comfortable making traditional ethnic food…well, less traditional.

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern dish that is typically made with bulgur. A less traditional but still common alternative is to make it with couscous.

I, of course, shun both of these options and make mine with quinoa. To mix things up a little more, I’ve added spinach, roasted red pepper and a splash of tamari.  The result is a bright, fresh and flavorful dish that also happens to be quite versatile.

It is a great side dish and makes a nice vegan lunch served with hummus and pita chips.  Today I enjoyed it with fresh spinach and sprouts in a gluten free wrap.


Spinach Quinoa Tabbouleh

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4

Calories per serving: 156

Fat per serving: 2.7g

Spinach Quinoa Tabbouleh


  • 5 cups spinach
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (or cilantro)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten free tamari
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil OR ½ tablespoon chia seeds + ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped


  1. If using chia gel in place of oil, combine chia seeds and water and stir well. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until a gel forms.
  2. Combine spinach, mint and parsley in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add in garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce or tamari, and olive oil or chia gel and pulse a few more times until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl combine quinoa, grape tomatoes, cucumber and roasted red pepper. Top with spinach mixture and stir until combined.


With Olive Oil Servings 4, Calories 255, Fat 14.7g, Carbohydrates 27.5g, Protein 7g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 534mg, Fiber 4.7g, Sugars 4.1g, WW Points 7 With Chia Gel Servings 4, Calories 156, Fat 2.7g, Carbohydrates 28.3g, Protein 7.3g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 534mg, Fiber 5.3g, Sugars 4.1g, WW Points 4


  • Gabby

    Loooove quinoa and tabbouleh- love the sound of them together!
    My recent post healthy vegan friday #28

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks Gabby!

  • Terry

    Wendy: It appears you have the headings mixed up in your Notes for this recipe – the olive oil version would have the higher fat and calories

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks for letting me know Terry. Apparently my case of pregnancy brain is more serious that I'd thought. It's corrected now.

  • kathleen in AZ

    thanks for the idea about chia gel. I never would have thought of it. i've been following your site for the last few months and have tried tons of your recipes. Your narrative makes me smile and I am delighted with your innovative approach to things. Loved your idea of how to make your own taco molds. I hope you keep at it after the baby is born!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much for your kind words Kathleen! I do plan on keeping it up after baby…in fact, I actually have a non-quinoa specific site in the works. (Because I'm crazy like that. :)) Thanks so much for reading!

  • Deborah

    HI, Wendy, new to the site. How do I access the free cookbook that comes with signing up? Deb

    • Wendy Polisi

      Hi Deb! You would have gotten an email at the email address you subscribed from with a link to download. We've sent you another email in case you didn't get it. Thanks for reading!

  • Pat @ Healthy Eating

    Wow – this sounds so easy! I love anything with spinach in it. I have all the ingredients except mint which I am adding to my shopping list right now. Can't wait to try this.
    My recent post Spicy Cauliflower Soup

    • Wendy Polisi

      Hope you enjoy Pat!

  • Judith

    Whoa – this does look great! As soon as things are back to normal here in the Northeast (Blizzardville), I will pick up the missing ingredients and make this. PS – Wendy – I am so excited to hear that you have a new site in the works! I have learned so much from you over the last year or so. I'm not a vegan, but I'm eating a lot of healthy, vegan food thanks to all the new things you have shown me. Not just the wonderful quinoa, but flax and chia and lots more!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much Judith! I hope you guys are staying warm this weekend. I'm really looking forward to branching out with the new site. There is just so much I want to share beyond quinoa! I'm praying for an easy baby (like my 2nd) that loves to hang out in the kitchen with mom!

  • Jennifer

    Hi Wendy: love this tabbouleh recipe! It is versatile; I didn't have mint or spinach on hand, so made it like I do regular tabbouleh except with quinoa. (tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, lots of parsley, lemon juice, some apple cider vinegar, some dried onion flakes, S & P and some olive oil.) Not only did it taste great, but you really cannot tell the difference between this and bulgar wheat tabbouleh, except that it is much kinder to your system.. Great idea!

    • Wendy Polisi

      So glad you enjoyed it Jennifer!

  • Ayesha

    Should the quinoa be chilled?

    • Wendy Polisi

      It should be chilled or at room temperature.

      • Ayesha

        Thanks! This turned out great, and was super easy!! It passed the boyfriend (who doesn't usually like traditional tabbouleh) test too.

  • Tia

    You could also make this with sprouted and uncooked quinoa. Just substitute the sprouted quinoa for the cooked quinoa. Quinoa will sprout in about a day or a little more. It makes a great salad that is very healthy. Some brands won't sprout, however. Ancient Harvest brand does sprout. Thanks for the great recipes!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Great idea Tia!

  • Joel

    What is the exact serving size on all your recipes? I can't find whether the serving size is 1 cup, 1/2 cup, or otherwise. I take one of your recipes (such as this one) and multiply it to yield 2+ qts of food each workday (8 qts minimum for the work week) for energy and stamina. If I don't, I get hungry and lethargic due to my fast metabolism. Thanks, Joel

  • jns8182

    I need to know what the exact serving size is in cups, so I can prepare the right amount of food. I multiply the recipe to yield 8 qts, enough for 4 days' lunch at work. I have a fast metabolism, and if I don't eat that much, I get hungry and lethargic. I'm trying to get myself 100% better, and I'm about 90% gluten-free already. (only have 1-2 oz of bread products 1-2x's per week.)
    I came across your recipes for quinoa, and I have noticed I feel better with more energy than with brown rice or other grains. All your recipes are fantastic!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks Joel – glad you are enjoying the recipes!

      Unfortunately, I don't typically make a recipe and then measure out how many cups it makes. (I don't personally count calories and just provide the info because a lot of readers do.) This may be something I do in the future, but right now I'm typically in the kitchen with a newborn in her sling so I probably won't be adding any steps in the near future.

  • Wendy Polisi

    YEAH! I love it when my recipes pass the boyfriend/husband test. :)