Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

Parsley and Quinoa Tabbouleh with Pita and Spiced Yoghurt | Simple Provisions

Curly parsley, the 70s food garnish of choice, has perennially been left on my plate uneaten. Pub meals were the main culprit, employing a tuft of green in an attempt to counter balance the deliciously greasy fare served out of their deep fryers and grills. But curly parsley doesn’t have to be the unflattering herb bound to adorn otherwise empty plates heading back to the kitchen. It has a fragrant and robust flavour that can be harnessed for good.

Tabbouleh (or tabouli or tabouleh), the crisp and flavoursome lebanese salad, uses curly parsley as its base. Traditionally made with bulgar and served as a side salad as part of a mezze, tabbouleh lends itself well to improvisation. Parsley, lemon and mint will keep the basic DNA of the salad in tact, but variations in grain, supporting herbs and onion type are acceptable.

My recent holiday to Byron Bay has inspired me to eat healthy, fresh food (take me back!). And now that Spring has arrived in Kyneton, evidenced by a sea of wildflowers in my garden, and the accompanying hay fever, a salad based meal is more than appropriate. So instead of using tabbouleh as a side dish, I promoted it to the main attraction of my lunches this week.

Parsley and Quinoa Tabbouleh with Pita and Spiced Yoghurt | Simple Provisions

For this version I replaced bulgar with red quinoa, which lends a nutty flavour and a finer texture to the salad. I mixed in some flat-leaf parsley along with the generous handful of curly, to add visual interest, but also because I found an italian parsley plant in my front yard that I didn’t know was there! Pita bread is another traditional accompaniment in a mezze, so I used that as the base for this dish, adding a generous smear of gently spiced yoghurt made pink with paprika and cayenne. This adds a pleasing creamy texture to offset the crunch and sharp bite of the salad.

Parsley and Quinoa Tabbouleh with Pita and Spiced Yoghurt | Simple Provisions

It’s lovely as a light lunch, but you could also serve this combo with poached chicken, seared tuna or grilled steak on top to make it a more robust meal. I like to serve the elements individually so guests can pick their hot pita from a stack wrapped in a tea towel, smother it with the yoghurt and then top it with the salad and protein, getting a bit messy, but staying true to the mezze roots of the dish. It also works great as a packed lunch, as the salad will keep in the fridge for a day or so.

Parsley and Quinoa Tabbouleh with Pita and Spiced Yoghurt | Simple Provisions

Parsley and Quinoa Tabbouleh with Pita and Spiced Yoghurt

Serves 4



  • 1 cup black or red quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1 lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 2 cups curly parsley
  • 1/2 cup mint
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of half a lemon

Spiced Yoghurt

  • 1 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprka
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 pita breads


Rinse quinoa under running water. Place in a pot with two cups of water, cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer until all the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool (you can place it on a tray and put it in the fridge to speed this up).

While quinoa is cooking, dice tomato and cucumber, slice the spring onions and finely chop the herbs.  Place the dressing ingredients in a small jar, screw on the lid and shake to combine, set aside. Place all the yoghurt ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine, set aside as well.

When quinoa is cool, stir in the vegetables and herbs, and then the dressing.

Place pita breads on a hot griddle to toast.

To serve

Serve pita with accompanying yoghurt and salad for your eaters to assemble themselves, perhaps with some chicken breast or grilled steak on top, or spread each pita with yoghurt and top with salad to serve prepared, ready to eat.

To store

Salad can be stored in the fridge for a day, just keep the dressing aside and stir through when you’re ready to serve.

24 thoughts on “Parsley and Quinoa Tabbouleh with Pita and Spiced Yoghurt

  1. Andy did a knife skills course recently and the chef who ran it said, ‘you mark my words: curly parsley is BACK’. Seems like he was on the money. PS love the idea of quinoa – which i always have sitting around – rather than burghul – which I don’t.

    1. Amelia says:

      Andy did a knife skills course? How cool!

  2. Thanks for posting a higher-protein tabbouleh recipe. I love traditional tabbouleh and can eat it by the gallon, but it’s not the heartiest meal. Switching out for the quinoa will help.

    1. Amelia says:

      It definitely helps, and makes it more of a main course kind of salad (well, one that won’t leave you feeling hungry an hour later).

  3. aeflinn says:

    I am definitely making this this week! Now I know what to do with my less than stellar cucumber (it’s quite sour tasting). I don’t think it will be noticeable in such a lovely tart salad.

    1. Amelia says:

      Hiding it amid a forrest of parsley with a hit of lemon juice will help that poor cucumber for sure!

  4. Leah says:

    Yum! This looks amazing. I’ve never been a fan of tabbouleh as I have vivid memories of disliking it as a child but your photo’s (and recipe) make me think its time to try it again as an adult :-)

    1. Amelia says:

      I thought the same Leah. I think limp, supermarket tabbouleh is to blame for my aversion. But crisp, fresh ingredients and not dressing the salad till you’re about to eat it make all the difference.

      1. Leah says:

        I’ll definiately give it a go. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

      2. Leah says:

        I tried this salad last night… and I loved it! Thank you so much for the inspiring post to push me past the bad memories. I’ve given you a little plug in my post coming up in a week or so. :-)

      3. Amelia says:

        Awesome! So happy you tried it and liked it Leah! And thanks so much for the upcoming plug :)

  5. Sarah P says:

    I dont usually eat tabbouleh however this looks really appealing. I love the quinoa substitution. As an aside, something I’ve noticed about your recipes/posts is that you include both Australian and American explanations for ingredients etc and as an Aussie who has just moved to the USA and is trying to figure the whole thing out, this is really helpful. Lots of my old recipes will require “translation” so in the mean time I’m loving yours!

    1. Amelia says:

      Hi Sarah. Congrats in the move! It took me ages to get used to American measures when I lived there, especially at delis where I’d have no idea how much to order! Good luck with it :)

  6. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Big YUM Amelia. Spring means swapping soups for salads here. I love carting salads to work for the husband and I, and I’m tiring of the usual conga line of roast veggies/couscous/rice. We love quinoa but I’m yet to try the black variety. The lightly spiced yogurt looks beautiful too.

    1. Amelia says:

      Thanks Saskia. I like the black quinoa – it’s a bit more interesting than the plain I reckon.

  7. This looks SO good! Gorgeous photos too :)

  8. mataicooking says:

    Sieht köstlich aus, schmeckt sicher auch so. . .

  9. JennyB says:

    Ameeeeelia, just made this for lunch with some roasted chicken drumettes. Delicious. We have a lemon crisis so I swapped in preserved lemon in the yoghurt – which is often used as condiment in our house.

    1. Amelia says:

      Nice work JB! (Hello!!) I hope this was part of fabulous birthday celebrations for you xx

  10. Dena says:

    This looks really amazing.

  11. milkandbun says:

    Ive never triedTabbouleh with Quinoa , but it sounds and looks interesting! :)

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