Naturally gluten-free and grain-free, this sunflower seed tabbouleh salad offers a fun and healthy variation packed with texture and fresh flavors.
This summer the parsley in my garden has absolutely exploded! While it almost feels like there's more than I even know what to do with, I've been adding parsley to everything and even pulling out some old favorite recipes, like tabbouleh salad. Except this time I gave my tabbouleh recipe a gluten-free, grain-free, allergy-friendly spin with a sunflower seed tabbouleh salad.
Why sunflower seeds? Well, I was looking for a gluten-free alternative to traditional bulgur found in tabbouleh. Quinoa is an obvious option (with a zillion recipes calling for it already) but I wanted a little heartier texture than quinoa offers. So I turned to sunflower seeds! When pulsed in a food processor, the raw sunflower kernels have a firm and hearty, slightly chewy texture that reminds you of cracked wheat or bulgur in traditional tabbouleh salad recipes.
Sunflower seeds also pack a ton of nutritional benefits, making this gluten-free tabbouleh recipe one that can add a greater variety of nutrients to your diet. Sunflower seed benefits include:
- Sunflower seeds are high in fat, but they're high in polyunsaturated fat. This polyunsaturated fat may provide benefits to your heart health, particularly when eaten in moderation and in place of saturated and trans fat, according to the American Heart Association.
- Sunflower seeds contain over 100% of the daily recommended intake of selenium, which is important for DNA synthesis and reproductive health.
- Sunflower seeds also contain over 100% of the daily recommended intake of copper and manganese.
- Sunflower seeds contain niacin, which help repair DNA and may lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
- They contain strong antioxidants, like those in Vitamin E, to help prevent free radicals from damaging healthy cells.
- Sunflower seeds are a good source of fiber, which help keeps your digestion running smoothly. Fiber also can positively help manage your cholesterol, blood glucose, and satiety/ fullness.
Now for some Sunflower Seed Tabbouleh Salad FAQs:
How do you make sunflower seed tabbouleh salad?
It's just like regular tabbouleh salad, in that you'll be chopping a bunch of parsley and few other ingredients, like tomatoes, but instead of cooking a grain, you pulse raw sunflower seeds in a food processor several times until they're a coarser texture.
Is this sunflower seed tabbouleh salad gluten-free?
Yes. This sunflower seed tabbouleh salad is naturally gluten-free, and grain-free as well, if you have a medical condition where you're limiting grain consumption.
What do you serve with tabbouleh salad?
Anything, really! Tabbouleh is Middle Eastern in origin, so you could pair it nicely with things like kebabs (try my tomato basil chicken kebabs), roast chicken, and more.
Is tabbouleh salad healthy?
I would say so! Of course if you're allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients, it's not a great choice for you, but if you think it sounds delicious, this sunflower seed tabbouleh salad is certainly packed with whole, real foods full of diverse nutritional benefits.
How long does tabbouleh salad last?
As this sunflower seed tabbouleh salad is full of fresh, real food ingredients (and no preservatives) it may not last as long as varieties you find at your deli. Store this sunflower seed tabbouleh salad in the refrigerator in an airtight container and consume within 3 days.
Give this sunflower seed tabbouleh salad a try and let me know what you think! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below, and be sure to share your creations on social media tagging @nutritiontofit and #nutritiontofit!
Looking for more fresh and healthy side dish recipes? Try these NTF reader faves:
- Broccoli Kale Quinoa Salad
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Cranberry Crunch Broccoli Slaw
- Blueberry Panzanella Salad
- 5-Minute Balsamic Thyme Tomato Salad
Sunflower Seed Tabbouleh Salad
- ½ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 2 cups fresh parsley finely chopped
- ½ cup tomatoes diced
- ½ cup cucumbers diced
- ¼ cup fresh mint finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- Place sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse several times until they are slightly coarse.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine coarse sunflower seeds with all other ingredients. Toss to combine.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.