Thanksgiving Tabbouleh Salad

This succulent tabbouleh salad combines the best flavors of fall with a Middle Eastern classic to create a fusion dish that will knock your socks off. Hearty bulgur is cooked in a shallot-infused broth and then tossed with crisp cucumber, tender butternut squash, earthy kale, and tart dried cranberries. Cilantro takes the place of parsley in this herb-forward dish to complement the savory ingredients with an aromatic tang. A simple dressing of lime juice, maple syrup, and dijon mustard tie everything together so you have a meal-worthy salad that’s bursting with the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.

Tip: Cut any large pieces of butternut squash into uniform bite-size pieces.

For more hearty salads, check out these tasty ideas:

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups dry bulgur
  • 1 12- to 16-oz. package chopped fresh butternut squash
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped (2½ cups)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced kale leaves, stems removed
  • ½ cup dried tart cherries or cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a large saucepan cook shallots and garlic over medium 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Add vegetable broth, bulgur, and 2 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until bulgur is tender. Drain any remaining liquid. Cool completely. (Bulgur can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated up to 3 days.)
  • Meanwhile, steam butternut squash according to package directions, about 7 minutes. Cool completely.
  • In a large bowl combine bulgur, squash, cucumber, kale, cherries, and cilantro. In a small bowl whisk together lime zest, lime juice, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard. Add half of the dressing to salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir remaining dressing into salad just before serving.

Comments (5)

(5 from 3 votes)

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Fabulous! And hearty! Had it as our main course one evening. This one's a keeper!


How can I get nutritional information for this and other recipes?


I recommend importing it into an app like MyFitnessPal.


Lovely recipe with Fall flavors … I would need to substitute or leave out bulgur as I am grain free.


I made a tabbouleh this summer and used riced cauliflower as a replacement. It was delicious!! I actually planned on using it as a substitute with this recipe as well.

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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