Oil-Free Quinoa Tabbouleh

Oil-Free Quinoa Tabbouleh

Last week I promised the most delicious green smoothie! I credited all the flavour to fresh basil and tried to convince you to buy fresh herbs, especially during the summer! Here’s the recipe for the best Tropical Green Smoothie in case you missed it!

I hope it worked! 

Fresh basil, mint, parsley and cilantro are so gorgeous and delicious (I’m partially lying, I think cilantro tastes like soap!)

Now that you have your fresh herbs, what else can you do with them? Before we get to making this oil-free Quinoa Tabbouleh, I want to give you some helpful tips about how to store fresh herbs so you get the biggest bang for your buck!

The first thing to understand about herbs is that they can be divided into 2 types – delicate and hardy.

Delicate herbs include :

Hardy herbs include

Whether an herb is hardy or delicate will determine your method of storage.

Follow the following steps for storing more hardy herbs:

-Rinse them and pat dry

-Discard any bruised or browned leaves

-Roll in dry paper towel

-Store in a plastic Ziploc baggie in the fridge

-They will last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge

Follow the following steps for storing more delicate herbs:

-Rinse them and pat dry

-Discard any bruised or browned leaves

-Snip the bottoms of the stems 

-Place in a glass with about 1 inch of water and tent the glass with a plastic baggie

-Secure the bottom of the baggie with an elastic band and place in the fridge

-Change the water every 2-3 days

-They will last for 2 weeks (maybe 3)

Have you noticed that I left out one really important herb? Perhaps the mother of all summer herbs? Where’s the basil?

Ok I’m fibbing again. There are technically two categories of herbs but basil is in a category all by itself.  

Basil is definitely delicate but also finicky, it’s sensitive to cold temperatures and can brown and wilt in a matter of hours if not stored properly. Basil requires a little extra attention but again it’s worth it! 

Follow these steps for storing fresh basil:

-Discard any bruised or browned leaves

-Snip the bottoms of the stems 

-Place in a glass with 1-2 inches of water and leave on the kitchen counter in a warm (not hot) area and out of direct sunlight.

-Tent the basil with a plastic baggie and change the water every couple of days. (Some culinary experts suggest that tenting is not necessary, in my experience it’s beneficial)

-Basil will last for about a week.

Fresh basil is pretty much like fresh flowers! And just like flowers, they’re a beautiful addition to any kitchen décor!

Now that you know how to store and preserve fresh herbs, let’s get to eating them! You can simply toss mint in a fresh salad or add some thyme to roasted root veggies or you can turn fresh herbs into the most valuable ingredient in a meal. 

Today’s oil-free Quinoa Tabbouleh is all about fresh herbs! Mint & parsley make this salad tasty.

Tabbouleh is traditionally made with parsley, mint, bulgur, garlic, lemon and olive oil. I’ve swapped the bulgur (made from wheat) for the more nutrient-dense and gluten free quinoa. I also left out the olive oil and leaned more towards the mint flavour than the parsley. I like parsley but love mint! 

For more on fresh herbs, go here

Cherry tomatoes are widely available in the summer, this quinoa tabbouleh makes great use of them! The picture on the right shows me removing the seeds from the cucumber. This is the secret to avoiding watery cucumber in salads and other similar recipes. You simply cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape a spoon down the middle to remove the watery seed portion.

I like to spread just-cooked quinoa out on a baking sheet to speed the cooling process. Be sure the quinoa is cooled before mixing with other ingredients for this quinoa tabbouleh! You don’t want the heat from the quinoa to cook and wilt the fresh herbs.

Oil-Free Quinoa Tabbouleh

Author : Ashley Madden
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: herbs, oil-free, quinoa
Fresh herbs and filling quinoa makes for a fresh and vibrant salad!


  • 1 cup white quinoa rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium cucumber seeded and diced (see how-to picture in post)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
  • ½ red or orange pepper small diced
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea or Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup packed mint finely chopped
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped


  • Rinse and drain the quinoa and transfer to a small pot. Add 1¾ cups water and ¼ teaspoon salt to the pot, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Don’t remove the cover while the quinoa is cooking except to quickly check if all the water is absorbed. Once cooked, remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes. Then remove the cover, fluff the quinoa with a fork and spread it on a baking sheet to cool. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile prepare all the veggies and add them to a medium-large bowl and set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt. Set aside.
  • When the quinoa is cooled, add it to the bowl of veggies and mix. Add the mint and parsley and mix again. Drizzle in the lemon vinaigrette and mix well. Keep in the fridge, covered until ready to serve.


This will keep in the fridge for 2 days.
Cook time does not include quinoa cooling time.
Keyword herbs, oil-free, quinoa
Did you make this recipe? Tag @riseshinecook on Instagram or hashtag it #riseshinecook


  1. Reply


    November 10, 2020

    Your quinoa tabbouleh looks so beautiful and delicious! I have never made this dish so I will definitely try this recipe and hope that it turns out great. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      November 10, 2020

      Thanks Alerbtina! Nice to meet you! I hope you enjoy!

  2. Reply


    September 4, 2022

    This was amazing. I cook without oil. This recipe is so yummy, you wouldn’t want it in it.
    This is also well combined for us that try to do food combining. Quinoa is highly protein. Anyway, 5 stars, I would give it 6.😋😋😋

    • Reply

      Ashley Madden

      September 5, 2022

      So good to hear Gloria! And great point about the food combining! I make this regularly, especially in the summer when I can get my hands on all the fresh herbs! I’d love to know what other kinds of recipes you’d be interested in!?



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