Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad

5 from 10 votes

Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad is based on the traditional Mediterranean salad recipe, but made with cauliflower rice instead of bulgur as a low carb alternative

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Cauliflower tabbouleh is a low-carb twist to a classic Middle Eastern dish. Instead of traditional bulgur, this tabbouleh recipe utilizes grated cauliflower, offering a lighter and grain-free alternative that’s still packed with authentic flavors. With its combination of fresh herbs, tangy lemon, and rich olive oil, this cauliflower tabbouleh salad is a delicious and nutritious side or main.

Cauliflower tabbouleh made with cauliflower rice instead of bulgur
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Tabbouleh is one of the most popular Mediterranean salads. My go-to tabbouleh is made with parsley and bulgur. In this low-carb version of tabbouleh, I swap the bulgur for cauliflower rice. It has a similar texture and appearance to bulgur wheat but with fewer carbs than the authentic recipe. That’s great for anyone trying to limit wheat products but still craving the taste of tabbouleh.

Why You’ll Love This Cauliflower Tabbouleh

  • Grain-Free Goodness. Using cauliflower as a base means you’re getting a serving of vegetables while enjoying a grain-free version of tabbouleh.
  • Quick to Prepare. With a food processor or box grater, turning cauliflower into the right texture is so easy. Tossing in the fresh ingredients doesn’t take much time, either.
  • Versatile Dish. It’s not just a side salad. This tabbouleh works great as a filling for wraps, an accompaniment to grilled proteins, or even a stand-alone light lunch.
  • Nutrient-Dense. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the cauliflower, herbs, and tomatoes, every serving offers a health boost.
  • Fresh and Zesty. The combination of lemon juice, fresh herbs, and olive oil ensures a refreshing and tangy flavor profile that’s hard to resist.

Ingredients to make cauliflower tabbouleh

I based this cauliflower tabbouleh recipe on my traditional tabbouleh recipe, so it’s a lot of the same ingredients but with a swap for cauliflower instead of bulgur and in larger quantities.

  • Cauliflower: Using half a head, cut into florets, cauliflower serves as a low-carb alternative to traditional grains. It’s a versatile ingredient that takes on the flavors around it while providing a satisfying, grain-like texture.
  • Seasonings: A simple combination of salt and black pepper. Starting with basic seasonings lets you adjust the taste according to your preference later.
  • Olive Oil: Not only does it add richness, but quality olive oil also carries the flavors of the herbs and veggies, melding them together.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is best. It brightens up the dish and balances the richness of the olive oil.
  • Parsley: Traditional tabbouleh is parsley-heavy. This fresh herb is vital for the dish’s characteristic taste and vibrant green color.
  • Tomatoes: Opt for firm tomatoes. They provide a juicy contrast to the dry ingredients and don’t make the mix soggy.
  • Green Onions: Their mild, sweet flavor complements the stronger flavors without overwhelming the dish.
  • Fresh Mint Leaves: A touch of mint is refreshing and helps highlight the other flavors. Fresh is key here; dried mint won’t provide the same pop of flavor
Ingredients to make recipe: grated cauliflower, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice, green onions, mint

How to make easy cauliflower tabbouleh recipe

Now that all the ingredients are prepped, you can start to put the cauliflower tabbouleh together. Start with the grated cauliflower in a large bowl. You can microwave the cauliflower for 2 minutes to soften, but I found that it’s not necessary. Pour the olive oil and lemon juice mixture over and stir to combine. The dressing will help soften the cauliflower and improve its taste.

Collage of the cauliflower rice before and after adding the dressing

Next, add the chopped vegetables on top.

Collage of cauliflower rice with the addition of the vegetables and herbs

And finally, stir to combine. The texture will be soft and the dressing will be plentiful, but that all helps to create a juicy delicious tabbouleh salad.

Collage of the salad before and after mixing

Tips for making the best cauliflower tabbouleh

  1. Don’t cook the cauliflower. You want to use raw cauliflower before grating it to ensure that the texture looks grain-like, similar to couscous. If the taste of the cauliflower is too strong, you can steam or microwave the cauliflower, but make sure to do that after it’s been grated.
  2. Chop the ingredients finely. The iconic look for tabbouleh is finely chopped ingredients. So, in addition to making sure the cauliflower is finely grated, make sure the parsley, mint, green onions and tomatoes are also finely chopped. While it’s tempting to use the food processor to chop the parsley, it may make it wilt and ruin the appearance of the salad.
  3. Use high quality ingredients. Because you only need a few ingredients to make the salad, pay attention to the quality of those items. I recommend that you use ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley, freshly squeezed lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. That attention to the quality of the ingredients is what will make the taste stand out.
  4. Mix the salad immediately before serving. Like all salads, it’s best to toss the dressing right before you serve the salad. This is especially true for cauliflower tabbouleh because of the fine chopped parsley in this salad, which can become soggy if it soaks in the dressing for too long.
  5. Serving temperature. While this tabbouleh can be enjoyed both at room temperature and cold, letting it chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste.
  • For a Nutty Flavor: Add some toasted pine nuts or walnuts. They complement the dish with an added crunch and a richer depth.
  • Additional Veggies: Feel free to include diced cucumbers or bell peppers for extra freshness and crunch.
  • Herbs: While traditional tabbouleh uses parsley and mint, you can experiment with other herbs like dill or basil for a unique flavor twist.
  • Spice It Up: For those who enjoy a little kick, consider adding a dash of cayenne pepper or some finely chopped jalapeños.
  • Protein Boost: Introduce some crumbled feta cheese or chickpeas to make the dish even more filling.
  • Lemon Zest: Enhance the citrusy notes by adding some zest from the lemons you juice. This offers a vibrant and refreshing aroma.
  • Replace Olive Oil: If you prefer a different kind of oil, avocado oil makes a good alternative with its mild, buttery flavor.
Close up shot of the cauliflower rice tabbouleh

Frequently asked questions

How do you eat tabbouleh?

You can eat tabbouleh like any other salad as an appetizer or as a base salad topped with some protein. Because of the fine texture of the tabbouleh ingredients, it’s also very common to use tabbouleh in a wrap or sandwich.

How long does tabbouleh last in the fridge?

Store tabbouleh in an air tight container and it will last in the fridge for two days. I recommend you you eat it within the same day though because it will release a lot of juice as it sits in the fridge.

What else can you add to tabbouleh?

The parsley, mint, green onions and tomatoes with the olive oil and lemon juice are the base tabbouleh recipe. But since my cauliflower tabbouleh is a modern twist on the recipe, there’s lots of ways to customize it. Try adding lettuce, cucumbers, pomegranate or chickpeas to keep that Mediterranean flare.

My other tabbouleh recipes:

More summer salads:

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Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad

Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad is based on the traditional Mediterranean salad recipe, but made with cauliflower rice instead of bulgur as a low carb alternative
5 from 10 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Salads
Calories 151
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
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  • ½ head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1-2 firm tomatoes chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves


  • Using a box grater or food processor, grate half a head of cauliflower to yield about 2 cups grated cauliflower. Place in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and add the olive oil and lemon juice on top. Mix to combine and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients and place on top of the grated cauliflower. Gently toss to combine.
  • Serve at room temperature or cold.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. The salad will last about 2 days in the fridge.
Make Ahead Tips: I would highly recommend washing and drying the parsley a day or two days in advance of chopping it. This gives the parsley time to dry properly so that when you chop it, it doesn’t turn into a wet mess.
Serving Size: One serving is about ½ cup grated cauliflower with the other ingredients.


Calories: 151kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 178mg, Potassium: 366mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1559IU, Vitamin C: 62mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Course: Salads
5 from 10 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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  1. Grace says:

    I made this and follow the recipe and it was so good! My husband, kids and I loved it! will have this regularly now. Thank you! 🙏🏽

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Yay! That’s amazing! You’re so welcome.

  2. Nancy Holtzclaw says:

    I loved this cauliflower tabbouleh salad. I’ve never ever rated another recipe. Made as written, will try steaming the cauliflower next time, just to taste the difference.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Thank you so much! That makes me so happy to hear!