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Colorful quinao tabbouleh with red cherry tomatoes, and green cucumbers and herbs, served in a blue ceramic bowl with a wooden spoon.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

dairy free gluten free recipes salads sides vegan

Fresh parsley and mint, pops of fresh tomatoes and juicy cucumber, fluffy toasted quinoa, and the right balance of sea salt, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil make this Quinoa Tabbouleh easy to love.

This wonderfully refreshing salad is full of good things like fiber, plant-based protein, and polyphenols. The lemon juice, mint, and parsley also give it a nice tummy-taming effect that’s sure to induce a condition I like to call “happy belly.”

This recipe also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, vegan, and fairly low-carb (with just over 15 g net carbs) for those of you who are counting your carbs.


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Chef’s Notes:

Tabbouleh is a traditional salad native to the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Lebanon and Syria. There are many variations on traditional Tabbouleh which is made with bulgur, a form of wheat that has been partially cooked in whole “berry” form, cracked, and then dried. Bulgur looks a litte bit like cous cous, but is a bit more chewy. Regardless, bulgur is made from wheat, and therefore contains gluten, which is a no-go for us as Thyroid Thrivers. That's why I wanted to recreate this healthy and delicious salad for those of us who don't eat gluten. 



Quinoa makes an easy understudy for bulgur, adding complete plant-based protein, fiber, texture, and a fairly neutral taste that does a great job of soaking up all those fresh flavors. Specifically, my recipe for Toasted Quinoa is ideal here. Toasting the dry quinoa before cooking helps ensure fluffy, separate grains that toss beautifully into this hearty salad. It also adds a pleasant, nutty flavor. Waterlogged or over-cooked quinoa can be mushy and clumpy, which isn't ideal for any recipe, especially one like this fluffy tossed salad.

I've included ingredients and instructions for the Toasted Quinoa part of the recipe in the recipe card below. 

This recipe makes a big batch and keeps well for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. In other words, this one lends itself well to weekend batch cooking and meal prep. If you want to make it a complete meal, add some shredded chicken to the salad, or serve it with this Lemon Dill Chicken recipe, pictured below. 


Quinoa Tabbouleh pairs well with this easy and versatile Lemon Dill Chicken recipe.  


 Thyroid Healthy Recipe Highlights: 

  • Quinoa is a seed and a versatile gluten-free grain alternative that provides a complete plant-based source of protein. A 1-cup serving of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and several key thyroid-supporting nutrients like zinc, iron, and magnesium. 
  • Tomatoes are a good source of key thyroid nutrients like vitamin A, Iron, and fiber. They are a very good source of vitamin C. A study recently shared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism stated, “In patients with hypothyroidism and gastrointestinal pathology, vitamin C improves the abnormalities in serum free T4, T3, and TSH concentrations.”
  • Cucumbers: While commonly thought of as a vegetable, cucumbers are a fruit that is high in water content, fiber, and several nutrients, while also being very low in calories and sugar. An 11-ounce serving of cucumber (about 1 heaping cup, chopped) provides 2 grams fiber, 2 grams protein, and nutrients like Vitamin K, Potassium, and Vitamin C, for just 44 calories. Watery, non-starchy produce like cucumbers can provide filling nutrition, hydration, and the elements needed to promote weight loss and combat constipation, which are common issues for Thyroid Thrivers.
  • Lemons are a very good source of vitamin C, with one ounce providing 36% DV. A study recently shared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism stated, “In patients with hypothyroidism and gastrointestinal pathology, vitamin C improves the abnormalities in serum free T4, T3, and TSH concentrations.” 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered one of the world’s healthiest fats. Some of its many scientifically-proven health benefits include anti-inflammatory properties, high antioxidants, and reduced risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.


Happy cooking, happy thriving, and enjoy the recipe (below)!

P.S. Need more thyroid-friendly recipe inspiration? I’ve got you covered. My Thyroid-friendly Everyday eCookbook features over 50 quick and easy, thyroid-friendly recipes your whole family will love. To take a peek at what’s inside, CLICK HERE.



Suggested Accompaniments:



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