Cauliflower Tabbouleh is a low carb remake of a popular Mediterranean dish. This delicious refreshing salad maintains the flavors of traditional Lebanese tabbouleh by substituting cauliflower rice and walnuts for bulgar. The result is a gluten-free dish full of freshness from parsley, lemon, and mint.
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Now that warm weather season is upon us, the time for light dishes with refreshing, bright flavors is here. Kiss boring salads and side dishes goodbye with this refreshing, bright cauliflower tabbouleh.
Fresh herbs including parsley, mint and scallions, will awake your taste buds. Crunchy walnuts, crisp, sweet tomatoes and zippy red onions give this salad a fun yet elegant combination of flavors and textures. This cauliflower tabbouleh salad is the perfect summer lunch or an excellent accompaniment to a picnic, barbecue, or Mediterranean dinner.
Have you ever tried tabbouleh? Tabbouleh is a Lebanese, vegetarian salad traditionally flavored parsley, mint, tomatoes, and onion. It’s dressed with a light combination of olive oil and lemon juice and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Unfortunately most tabbouleh recipes are grain based, made with bulgur or couscous, and not low carb friendly. Bulgur comes from the parboiled, cracked groats of different varieties of wheat. Couscous, made of flour and water, is similar to pasta. Grains and pasta are a problem for those trying to manage blood sugars with a low carb, keto diet.
Luckily, my low carb tabbouleh salad recipe keeps all the classic flavors of tabbouleh but eliminates the bulgur or couscous.
How to Make Low Carb Tabbouleh taste great!
The key to making tabbouleh without bulgur or couscous comes down to two key ingredients: cauliflower and chopped raw walnuts.
Walnuts provide the chew and deeper flavor found in bulgur. Walnuts are low in carbs carb and a source of protein and healthy fats while cauliflower provides a tasty and nutritious low carb base.
Cauliflower is a powerhouse ingredient for low carb and keto diets. It’s an excellent low carb grain and rice alternative and when mashed, makes a great a potato substitute. It is now a mainstream ingredient and easily found in most grocery stores. Look in the produce section for raw cauliflower rice and in the frozen food section for frozen. I prefer fresh because frozen cauliflower rice is sometimes mushy.
I make my own cauliflower rice at home with a box grater or a food processor. Food processors have gotten considerably less expensive over the years and will save you money in the long run if you plan to use cauliflower frequently as a substitution in of your keto diet.
I recommend having both a larger food processor for making big batches of cauliflower rice or even things like low carb bagels dough and a smaller food processor for the convenience factor for smaller jobs.
I lightly steam the cauliflower rice in the microwave or quickly saute in oil on the stovetop. While this is totally optional, I find cooking mellows the taste of the cauliflower.
When the cauliflower rice is ready, remove the stems from the parsley and give it a quick chop. Add it to the food processor with the walnuts and pulse until finely chopped. Then, spoon them into a bowl with the chopped tomato, onion, mint, and cauliflower rice. To finish, dress the tabbouleh with olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle of salt and pepper.
What to Serve with Cauliflower Tabbouleh
Serve this Tabbouleh as a light lunch salad or as part of a lovely Mediterranean dinner. You could plan a full Mediterranean night with a refreshing cucumber salad, baba ganoush, and a meat dish like this grilled Mediterranean flank steak, shrimp, or chicken kebabs. The sky’s the limit!
- 1/2 cup raw cauliflower rice, slightly packed
- 1/3 cup raw walnuts
- 1 large bunch curly parsley, stems removed (about 2 ounces)
- 1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced (3 ounces)
- 1/3 cup minced purple onion (or 4 scallions)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced mint
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- To rice cauliflower, cut the cauliflower into florets and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal serrated blade. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles small crumbles or grains of rice. Alternately, use the large holed grating disk and feed the cauliflower florets through the tube to grate. If you don’t have a food processor, simply use the large holed side of a box grater.
- Lightly steam cauliflower rice in the microwave or cook quickly in a pan on the stove to remove the raw taste, but not make it soft. This is optional, but I think the tabbouleh tastes better. Cool.
- Cut the stems from the parsley and give it a rough chop. Add the parsley and walnuts to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Scrape the cauliflower and parsley mixture into a medium bowl and add the tomato, onion, lemon juice and olive oil, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning and serve.
- Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days. Serve alongside grilled meats and/or grilled vegetables.
- Serves 4 people at 3.7 Net Carbs per serving.