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Chickpea and Olive Tabbouleh

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 entree servings (6 C) 1x


Perhaps we should call this “faux tabbouleh”. It might not strike you as the herby Greek restaurant version, but it’s built on the same principle of grains and greens, with added plant protein and big, briny olive flavor.


  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 3 T finely chopped red onion
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 1/2 C dry bulgur or quick-cooking farro
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 C finely chopped massaged kale or fresh parsley leaves (or a mix)
  • 2/3 C pitted, sliced kalamata olives (about 2 dozen olives)
  • 1 1/2 C cooked chickpeas (1 can), drained and rinsed, if canned
  • Optional: toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds, and feta, for serving


  1. Combine lemon juice, red onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and garlic clove in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cook bulgur or farro according to package instructions (see notes for no-cook bulgur method). Just before grains are done, remove garlic from lemon juice and whisk in olive oil. Season with pepper to taste. Add cooked, hot grains to bowl of dressing and stir to combine. Add greens/herbs, olives, and chickpeas and stir to combine. Taste for salt and season as needed. Serve at any temperature, alone or over salad greens. If desired, top with crumbled feta (if not vegan) and nuts or seeds.


No-cook bulgur: combine dry bulgur with almost twice as much boiling water in a mixing bowl. Stir once, then set aside for 30 minutes as bulgur absorbs the water and “cooks”. Taste for tenderness–it should be easy to chew, then drain through a fine mesh strainer if excess water remains.

Besides adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to dressing, don’t salt the tabbouleh until after adding olives, as they contribute a lot of flavor.

As written (sans cheese) the recipe is vegan.

The salad will last several days in the fridge. Before serving, taste for more lemon juice, olive oil, or additional salt and pepper and adjust as needed.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean