This gluten-free tabbouleh uses a simple swap of millet for bulgur wheat with all the other traditional tabbouleh ingredients. A delicious herb filled lemony side dish that goes great with a variety of dishes!
Straight out of college, I lived in New Haven, Connecticut.
Having passed up job opportunities in D.C., New York and Boston for one in Madison, CT, it was the most “metropolitan” substitute possible and while it failed in pretty much all aspects of being a “cool” place for a 22 year old to reside, it had the best hole in the wall falafel place ever.
I’m pretty sure my first experience at Mamoun’s Falafel was also my first experience with tabbouleh.
Aka the most perfect side dish to ever exist.
Maybe that’s a stretch but man, do I love the excessive chopped herbs, bright lemony flavor and subtle garlicky undertone in a good tabbouleh.
I’ve made tabbouleh-esque recipes before with the traditional grain used in the recipe, bulgur wheat (like this bulgur wheat salad) but these days, since I mostly stay away from gluten, I decided a gluten-free tabbouleh recipe was a necessity.
Enter millet, one of my favorite gluten-free grains.
We often eat it as a simple side dish to dinner (as you would rice) and that’s sort of when the gluten-free tabbouleh idea dawned on me.
With some leftover millet in the fridge and an excessive amount of parsley (not really sure why I had 2 bunches of it on hand), this millet tabbouleh recipe was concocted.
And personally, I think the timing is superb.
Tabbouleh is the perfect summer salad side dish.
It gets better as it sits (the millet has more time to absorb the dressing) and can stay out at room temperature and even tolerate heat without issue.
This is true of the regular grain type tabbouleh as well as this lentil tabbouleh which is a higher protein, higher fiber riff off the classic recipe.
Can’t say that about most of the mayo-laden typical American side salads, can you?
Better yet, it’s truly a simple recipe to throw together.
Outside of the millet, tabbouleh uses very basic fridge staples like a cucumber, tomato and some green onions.
The dressing is olive oil and lemon based and the star of the show is the most ubiquitous fresh herb of them all, parsley.
Ready for this recipe? You can do it and you’re gonna love it!
GLUTEN-FREE TABBOULEH INGREDIENTS
- dry millet
- English cucumber
- green onions
- extra virgin olive oil
- lemon juice
- lemon zest (optional but I love the extra tang!)
- salt and pepper
The list may look a little long but when you actually read the ingredients, you realize how basic the recipe is.
If you’re not sure where to source millet, most grocery stores sell it now in the organic or gluten-free section. Bob’s Red Mill and Arrowhead Mills are two popular mainstream brands you might find.
Of course, there’s always amazon. I’ve purchased this brand before.
And, I’ll also buy from the bulk bins at my natural foods store.
HOW TO MAKE MILLET TABBOULEH
There’s two parts to this recipe.
First up, cook the millet. Millet is cooked like rice in that it’s a 2:1 water to grain ratio.
For this recipe, bring 1 1/3 cups water and the millet to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover and let cook until the water is completely absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Fluff the millet with a fork once it’s done cooking then transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, prep all the other ingredients.
The key to a good tabbouleh recipe is having very finely chopped, aka minced ingredients.
There should be no big chunks of anything in this salad!
So this is the part that takes a little more time than a “normal” salad would but the end result is worth it.
To make the dressing, simply combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest if using, garlic, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Whisk until homogenous.
Once the millet is cooled, add the finely chopped vegetables and herbs to the bowl and pour the dressing over top.
Toss well until everything is thoroughly combined and set aside.
The tabbouleh can be served right away or, refrigerated for later.
Since tabbouleh is not gluten-free by nature, this simple swap of using millet in place of bulgur wheat makes this delicious Lebanese side dish available for everyone to enjoy.
Personally, I think I even prefer it better to bulgur wheat.
There’s a certain heartiness and nuttiness to millet that wins me over.
When it’s combined with all the fresh ingredients of tabbouleh, the combination just sings with synchronicity.
HOW TO SERVE TABBOULEH
Traditionally, tabbouleh is often paired with falafel.
However, I love it most with almost anything off the grill. Beef kafta would be a truly authentic pairing.
We often serve it with fish too and use it as a bed for either air fryer cod or some baked wild salmon.
Need a lunch idea? Open a can of tuna, sardines or wild salmon and mix it up with leftover millet tabbouleh – delicious! I highly suggest a drizzle of creamy tahini (<–the BEST tahini ever) on top too!
Honestly, there are so many options when it comes to using this gluten-free version of tabbouleh there’s no reason not to give it a try!
MORE GREAT SUMMER SALAD RECIPES:
Click to find all my summer recipes.
Or, give this easy farro salad recipe a try instead if gluten agrees with you. It’s one of my favorite chewy grains!
- 2/3 cup dry millet
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 1/2 bunches fresh parsley, minced
- 2/3 cup diced and seeded English cucumber
- 2/3 cup diced tomatoes
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Place millet and water in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook until millet has absorbed all the water, about 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile, add the parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, green onions and mint to another large bowl.
- Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and lemon zest (if using) together in a small bowl.
- Once millet is cooled, add the vegetables to the bowl with the millet and pour the dressing over top. Mix until thoroughly combined and season to taste with Kosher salt.
- Serve or refrigerate until serving. (*see note)
*Tabbouleh stores well and can be made ahead (day of or even a day in advance) and refrigerated until serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.