If you’ve ever been to a middle-eastern restaurant, you’ve probably tried tabouli (also spelled tabbouleh) – a parsley-spiked salad often served alongside falafel, hummus and pita.

Traditionally made with bulgur – or cracked wheat – tabbouleh boasts a bright and fresh flavor thanks to lemon, parsley, mint and onions.

But despite tabbouleh’s colorful veggies and healthy appeal, don’t be fooled…

It’s mostly just wheat.

Wheat Tabouli: A Dangerous “Filler” Food

Wheat-based foods are high on the glycemic index. That mean they rapidly (and often dramatically) increase blood sugar levels. This contributes to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.

Worse still, wheat is one of the most inflammatory and immune-meddling foods in the modern diet. It has been associated with a myriad of health issues, symptoms and diseases including:

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • IBS
  • Allergies
  • Celiac
  • Lupus
  • GERD
  • Many more.

But most of what we love about tabouli isn’t the wheat – it’s the unique combination of flavorful ingredients: The bite of thinly sliced raw onion… the tartness of lemon… the richness of olive oil… and the cleansing taste of parsley.

Paleo Tabouli: All of the Mediterranean Flavor… Without the Wheat

how to make paleo tabouli

Get the flavors you crave, without the gluten and grains you don’t.

The good news is that you can recreate a delicious tabouli salad with vibrant middle-eastern flavors… sans wheat.

In these grain-free versions, we’ve swapped bulgur for either “riced” cauliflower (Paleo version), quinoa (gluten-free version) or hemp (raw vegan version).

Depending on your palate and your preferences, there’s a gluten-and-grain-free tabbouleh for you!

Cauliflower Paleo Tabouli

Yield: 4 servings
Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1/2 head cauliflower, “riced”
  • 1 bunch organic flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch organic mint, finely chopped
  • 2 medium organic tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 organic green pepper, chopped
  • 4 organic scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 organic lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. To make cauliflower rice, grate cauliflower to make rice-sized pieces. Steam “rice” until tender but firm, about 6-7 minutes.
  2. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl.
  3. Gently mix to combine.
  4. Serve.

Primal Hemp Tabbouleh

Yield: 6 servings
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 6 organic cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup organic hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 2 organic scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch organic flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large handfuls organic kale
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1/4 tsp. organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 organic lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add tomatoes, hemp seeds and sesame seeds to a medium bowl.
  2. Slice the kale and parsley very thin to create slender strips.
  3. Combine with onion, cucumber and herbs.
  4. Season with cinnamon, pepper and salt.
  5. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and toss to combine.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 medium organic spring onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup organic quinoa
  • 3 medium organic tomatoes, diced
  • 2 pieces Mediterranean Organic Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 cups filtered or spring water
  • 1 medium organic cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 pinch Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup organic lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh organic parsley, chopped


  1. First, rinse quinoa in a strainer to remove saponins. Rinse until bubbles no longer form.
  2. In a saucepan bring water to a boil.
  3. Add quinoa and stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove quinoa from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, and parsley.
  6. Stir in cooled quinoa.
  7. Serve.