Simply Homemade: Tabbouleh Salad/Dip

What do you do when your sister makes this strange salad/dip thing with a strange name you had never heard of? You say that sounds…interesting and slowly step away from the counter so someone else tries it first. What about when she says she got the recipe from her best friend who you’ve never eaten with and don’t know all that well? You nudge the nearest person in front of you saying they should try it while I go grab us drinks! What if that same sister says that “this will sound crazy but my friend swears this super healthy and fresh summer recipe is the best served with Doritos”? You stop hiding behind the fridge door holding the drinks and remind yourself that she wouldn’t have bothered making it and making seemingly outrageous claims like that if she hadn’t tried and loved it herself…or that’s what you hope as you silently grab a Dorito and take a tentative first bite of this stuff called tabbouleh. Then you try to ignore your sister’s gloating face because you haven’t swallowed the first bite before you’re already reaching for a handful of chips and a bowl to serve yourself a large scoop of it.

Welcome to my life. About a year ago. I could care less that I questioned it at first. Fast forward and I made this to bring to a family get together this weekend because my little garden had mint, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes in abundance and I figured we could use something that resembled “healthy-ish” on the menu. Yes, I realize Doritos aren’t healthy but, trust me, compared to the rest of the deliciously decadent menu, this dish practically had a halo hovering over it!

Anywho…back to this weekend. One of my brother-in-laws hadn’t had this before. He noticed all of us digging into the party size bag of Doritos and dipping into the large bowl of tabbouleh and joined in. After a few bites he declared that it was so good it didn’t even need the chips, he could eat it just as-is with a spoon! We laughed and said that it is actually intended to be a salad and enjoyed without chips but it was introduced to us as a dip so that’s what it became for all of us. Moral of the story, whether you enjoy it on its own as a salad or choose to join our crazy path of dipping with Doritos, this quinoa tabbouleh is just plain light, refreshing, and delicious!

It’s a great use of garden fresh veggies and herbs plus it is versatile. Add more of whatever ingredients you like best or tweak the simple dressing to your liking. You can add in some grilled chicken to make it a meal or double it to bring as a salad to your next party! However you make it, I hope you enjoy it 🙂


  • Servings: Approximately 7
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This is an extremely refreshing summer salad that (or dip) that can easily be made and enjoyed however you like!


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa (rinse well before cooking!)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced with seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Persian cucumbers, chopped (can use regular or English cucumbers they just have more seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • Doritos (if you want to try my family’s version of treating this as a dip)


1) Rinse quinoa well then cook according to package directions with 3 cups water and a couple sprinkles of salt. It is done when the water is absorbed (similar to rice for those of you not familiar with quinoa!).

2) Place cooked quinoa into fridge to cool while you prep veggies and dressing.

3) Wash and chop cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, parsley, and mint and put in medium size bowl large enough to fit those and cooked quinoa.

4) Once quinoa has cooked slightly you can add that into the medium bowl with the veggies and herbs and mix to stir well.

5) Cut lemons and squeeze to juice them into a small bowl (being careful not to get the seeds in the juice). Whisk in minced garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon pepper. Gradually add in extra virgin olive oil while whisking so everything combines.

6) Pour dressing into large bowl and mix everything together well. Refrigerate for a couple hours then stir and add more seasonings to taste then serve as a salad or dip as you choose!

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