Quinoa Tabbouleh Lebanese-style (SIBO-friendly)

Sibo-friendly Lebanese-inspired Tabbouleh with avocado, pomegranate seeds, harissa & almond butter dressing

Looking for a IBS and SIBO-friendly – and portable – summer lunch idea? I love the freshness and warm, aromatic spiciness of this vegan quinoa tabbouleh – and it’s IBS-friendly too.

This tabbouleh uses gut-friendly, high-protein quinoa instead of couscous (couscous is made of wheat flour). Traditional middle-Eastern tabbouleh uses much more fresh parsley and mint than its Western counterpart – so I have followed that approach here. I’m all for that as it means more veg, and more veg = greater health!

I’ve used traditional Lebanese spice combination, but taken a few liberties with the the addition of non-traditional raw bell pepper. It works SO well…and remarkably, stays fresh for days in the fridge.

Quinoa – to rinse or not to rinse?

I prefer to rinse quinoa before cooking. It usually has saponins – soapy substances – on its surface, which will form a foamy scum on the surface of the cooking water. These can be washed off under running water, but I prefer to soak my quinoa for 10 mins before rinsing because this gets rid of more of the saponins.

Tabbouleh ingredients
Add these ingredients to quinoa to make SIBO-friendly tabbouleh


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 300g cherry or baby plum tomatoes
  • 3 inches of cucumber
  • 1 small red onion or half a large one
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


  1. Soak the quinoa for 10 mins [optional] before rinsing under cold water.
  2. Place in the pan with two cups of water and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for around 15 minutes until light and fluffy. Add a few more tbsp water if it looks a bit dry, and let the quinoa sit in the residual heat of the stove for 5 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, wash and finely chop the parsley, mint and the onion. 
  4. Slice the tomatoes, pepper and cucumber into small pieces.
  5. When the quinoa is cooked, place in a large bowl and leave to cool for a bit.
  6. When the quinoa is warm but not hot, add all the chopped veg,  olive oil, lemon juice and last 1/4 tsp salt.
  7. Give it all a really good stir until evenly mixed, and you’re done.

Lebanese-inspired quinoa tabbouleh – serving suggestions

You can serve this vegan tabbouleh with falafels, hummus, avocado [if tolerated]. Or try a generous pouring of harissa and almond butter dressing, extra tomatoes and toasted mixed nuts and seeds.

Lebanese-inspired Tabbouleh with tomatoes, pumpkin seed, chia seed & toasted pine nuts

Welcome to LOVENUTTY.com!


I’m Dr Sian and I LOVE experimenting in the kitchen with plants and I am so happy to be able to share my recipes with you here. I live in Wiltshire, UK with my partner and two children.

I post new recipes and articles about heath (particularly gut health) regularly – watch this space! xx

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