Chickpea Tabbouleh

A really healthy, easy-to-make, and delicious spin on the classic tabbouleh (a bulgur wheat and parsley dish) recipe.

With the cooked chickpeas, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare. It’s high in fiber and protein, and tastes great. The texture of the mashed chickpeas is similar enough to the bulgur that you won’t miss your traditional tabbouleh one bit. And, it’s low-glycemic, gluten-free, and vegan.

Chickpea Tabbouleh

Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tania Van Pelt


  • 3 cups cooked or canned chickpeas 1 cup dried chickpeas yields 3 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks with leaves chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 6 radishes chopped
  • 2 cups fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint chopped
  • ½ cup scallions white and green parts, chopped
  • 16 large black olives pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cup fresh lemon juice plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper plus more to taste


  1. Cook the chickpeas in large pot for about 45 minutes with a teaspoon of baking soda, drain them, put the in a large bowl and mash them with a fork or potato masher until they break up a bit. OR if using canned chickpeas, rinse and drain them, and put them in a large bowl, mashing them until they break up to the texture of bulgur wheat.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss everything together until combined and coated with the dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. I usually add the juice of another half a lemon and a little more sea salt.
  3. Serve right away or refrigerate.

Recipe Notes

Try using dried chickpeas because they taste much better.  And it’s really hassle-free. You put ’em in water and walk away. Some people also argue they are nutritionally better for you as well. In any event, it’s dead simple to cook chickpeas. Simply soak them overnight and then cook the chickpeas in a teaspoon of baking soda for a few minutes. It speeds the cooking process and softens them. Add water after cooking chickpeas in baking soda and cook for another 45-60 minutes until soft and mashable.
In recipes I often write under the ingredient list, “Juice of 1 (or more) lemons or limes,” instead of offering measurements. It seems simpler for the cook, and it’s easier for me when I prepare food to simply use a whole or half lemon instead of measuring a cup or 1/2 cup or tablespoons of juice. But, in case you’re wondering below are the standard measurements for my two favorite citrus.
1 lemon yields: 3 tablespoons juice
1 lime yields: 2 tablespoons juice

Adapted from Mark Bittman's "The VB6 Cookbook"