Home Eat Cauliflower Tabbouleh (a.k.a. Tabouli Salad) with Roasted Red Peppers

Cauliflower Tabbouleh (a.k.a. Tabouli Salad) with Roasted Red Peppers

by Laura Duffy

Roasted red peppers in lieu of tomatoes makes this cauliflower tabbouleh unique! It’s as fresh and flavorful as traditional Lebanese tabbouleh (tabouli salad), but cauliflower rice instead of bulgar wheat means it’s gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, Whole30 and keto-friendly. Pair it with Za’atar chicken for an easy and delicious meal!

cauliflower tabbouleh a.k.a. tabouli salad on a plate with forks next to it

I mentioned in my one pan Lamb Meatballs over Saffron Cauliflower Rice post that I love Mediterranean food and truly, I love it. It’s so fresh and healthy, and the herbs and spice combinations common in Mediterranean cooking are epic. Truth be told, I find myself craving Mediterranean food more than I like to admit!

Often called Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad, tabbouleh or tabouli originated in the middle east part of the Mediterranean region that we now call – you guessed it – Lebanon. The traditional recipe calls for parsley, bulgar wheat kernels, tomatoes, mint, olive oil, lemon juice and green onions. It’s a simple recipe that allows the flavor of the parsley to shine, but since it contains bulgar wheat, the traditional recipe is not gluten-free. It’s also not grain-free or paleo, which is how I typically eat.

Cauliflower rice was an obvious solution to make this tabbouleh (tabouli) gluten-free and grain-free, and roasted red peppers in lieu of the tomatoes makes this cauliflower tabbouleh unique. It’s the perfect twist on the traditional Lebanese tabbouleh recipe!

Health Benefits & Nutrition Information

Parsley is used as a salad green in tabbouleh (tabouli salad), but it is technically an herb. Like other herbs, parsley is extremely rich in nutrients, including vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, iron, copper, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Vitamin K is found in particularly high amounts as well as powerful antioxidants called flavonoids (source). Together, these nutrients have been found to support everything from heart health to digestion (source). Yet despite all of these nutrients, 1 cup of parsley contains only 21 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrate, making it a great base for this low calorie, low carb, keto, paleo and Whole30 friendly tabbouleh (tabouli) salad!

Cauliflower also offers quite a lot of nutrients, among them vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, choline and manganese (source). But perhaps the most beneficial part of cauliflower is the antioxidants it gets from being a member of the Brassica family along with broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. Research has found that these glucosinolates benefit the heart, digestive, detoxification and immune systems as well as the body’s ability to fight inflammation (source). And of course, cauliflower does all of this with only 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate per cup. You can see why cauliflower has gained popularity!

Olive oil adds flavor to tabbouleh, but it also provides heart healthy monounsaturated fat, vitamin E and antioxidants called phenols and polyphenols that help the body fight inflammation. Most importantly, it helps your body absorb all of those fat soluble nutrients in this cauliflower tabbouleh, such as beta carotene, so they can be effectively used in your body (source).

Using cauliflower rice instead of bulgar wheat means that this cauliflower tabbouleh (tabouli salad) is not just gluten-free, low-carb, paleo and Whole30-friendly, at just 93 calories and  6 grams of carbs per serving, it really packs a nutritional punch!

overhead picture of cauliflower tabbouleh a.k.a. tabouli salad on a plate with forks next to it

Tips, Tools & Ingredients

Links to products are included below as part of this section. Some of them are affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you purchase a product through one of my links. Don’t worry, it doesn’t change the price you pay. Thank you for supporting Taste Abounds!

Parsley: Of the two varieties commonly found at supermarkets, curly parsley actually works better than flat (Italian) parsley for this recipe. The curls not only add bulk to the salad, they catch the olive oil and lemon juice used to dress this cauliflower tabbouleh (tabouli) salad.

Cauliflower Rice: You could make your own cauliflower rice using a food processor or box grater, but I prefer to save myself the time and mess by buying cauliflower that has already been “riced”. Costco sells it frozen and fresh, and an increasing number of traditional supermarkets are following suit. Check Whole Foods, King Soopers (Kroger) or even Walmart.

Roasted Red Bell Peppers: I prefer to buy red peppers that have already been roasted and packed in a jar, but you could roast your own on a gas stove or grill. If you roast your own, the equivalent amount for this recipe is one large red bell pepper. Whichever method you choose, just be sure to buy organic red peppers since bell peppers are one of the most pesticide-laden types of produce. It got bumped off the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, but it’s still a runner up at #13. See the full list here.

What to Add or Serve with this Cauliflower Tabbouleh

If you are able to eat a little bit of dairy or garbanzo beans, try topping this cauliflower tabbouleh with crumbled feta cheese. It’s also good with a little hummus or babaganoush.

Za’atar chicken is my favorite protein to serve with this cauliflower tabbouleh, and it’s so easy that you don’t need a even need a recipe! Buy Za’atar seasoning at Penzey’s Spices or Amazon (or make your own using this simple recipe) and mix with equal parts of avocado or olive oil (I use 2 tablespoons each of za’atar seasoning and oil for 2 pounds of chicken thighs). Marinate your chicken for about an hour, if you can, and then roast at 400 for about 25 minutes. It’s easy and delicious!

I like both the Penzey’s Spices Za’atar Seasoning and the Za’atar Seasoning by The Spice Way on Amazon. One uses thyme and the other uses hyssop, so they taste different. My advice is to try both and see which you prefer.

Roasted red peppers give this cauliflower tabbouleh a unique twist! It's as fresh and flavorful as traditional Lebanese tabbouleh (tabouli salad), but it's gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, keto-friendly and Whole30 friendly. Click To Tweet

Cauliflower Tabbouleh (Tabouli Salad) with Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Ready for the recipe? Check it out below. I hope you enjoy it!

close up picture of cauliflower tabbouleh a.k.a. tabouli salad with roasted red peppers instead of tomatoes

cauliflower tabbouleh a.k.a. tabouli salad on a plate with forks next to it
5 from 13 votes
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Cauliflower Tabbouleh (Tabouli Salad) with Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted red peppers in lieu of tomatoes makes this cauliflower tabbouleh unique! It's as fresh and flavorful as traditional Lebanese tabbouleh (tabouli salad), but cauliflower rice instead of bulgar wheat means it's gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, Whole30 and keto-friendly. Pair it with Za'atar chicken for an easy and delicious meal!

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 93 kcal
Author Laura Duffy

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups chopped parsley about 3 bunches
  • 12 oz cauliflower rice
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh mint leaves chopped
  • ½ cup roasted red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 scallions chopped finely (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place cauliflower rice in microwave safe dish and cook according to package directions (about 3 minutes for fresh cauliflower rice, 5 minutes for frozen). Transfer to a colander and let strain.

  2. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. Add the scallions and cauliflower rice and toss to combine.
  3. Chop the mint and parsley and add to the cauliflower rice. Toss again until the salad is thoroughly mixed.

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Tabbouleh (Tabouli Salad) with Roasted Red Peppers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 93 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 388mg17%
Potassium 372mg11%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 2650IU53%
Vitamin C 76.6mg93%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for convenience. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Roasted red peppers in lieu of tomatoes makes this cauliflower tabbouleh unique! It\'s as fresh and flavorful as traditional Lebanese tabbouleh (tabouli salad), but cauliflower rice instead of bulgar wheat means it\'s gluten-free, low-carb, paleo, Whole30 and keto-friendly. Pair it with Za\'atar chicken for an easy and delicious meal!

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12 comments

STACEY CRAWFORD May 21, 2019 - 4:23 pm

5 stars
A perfect, fresh Summer side dish & it is keto friendly. I love it!

Reply
Jean May 21, 2019 - 11:17 pm

5 stars
Such a brilliant idea to use cauliflower for tabbouleh! Looks so delicious and healthy.

Reply
Raia Todd May 22, 2019 - 4:42 pm

5 stars
I don’t think I’ve ever tried tabbouleh before. Looks yummy, though!

Reply
Renee Kohley May 22, 2019 - 6:27 pm

5 stars
Such a great lunch! Thank you for the great and tasty idea!

Reply
Kelly May 23, 2019 - 12:11 am

5 stars
I like your version of tabbouleh much better than the traditional variety. I plan to carry it to many summer events!

Reply
paleoglutenfreeguy May 23, 2019 - 3:40 pm

5 stars
Love replacing tomatoes with red peppers! I mean, tomatoes are fine but peppers would add a lovely crunchy and not get as watery. This is perfect for the summer!

Reply
Joni Gomes May 24, 2019 - 9:04 pm

5 stars
The herbs is what makes the dish, so fragrant and beautifully green!

Reply
yang May 25, 2019 - 4:35 am

5 stars
I can eat tabouli a cup at a time. What a great idea with mix with cauliflower! I am always in for more vegetables. <3

Reply
Megan Stevens May 26, 2019 - 12:09 am

5 stars
So pretty! Love all that parsley and mint! It’s so nice to still be able to have a favorite after going grain-free, thank you!

Reply
chihyu May 26, 2019 - 12:57 am

5 stars
I love all the delicious flavor from this dish and it’s healthy low carb, too!

Reply
Hope May 26, 2019 - 5:27 am

5 stars
I loved how you have used cauliflower rice in here! It looks like such a refreshing salad – the perfect side dish!

Reply
Meredith May 27, 2019 - 12:59 am

5 stars
Tabbouleh is one of my favorite middle eastern dishes. I love a quinoa version but want to branch out to a grain free. I can’t wait to try your cauliflower recipe… and I love that I can use frozen cauliflower rice from the freezer!

Reply

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