quinoa tabouli with garlic shrimp

quinoa tabouli with garlic shrimp

The weather is hot and you want a satisfying dinner on the table quick; enter quinoa tabouli with garlic shrimp. Tabouli is a mediterranean dish traditionally made with soaked bulgar wheat. My mom, aka the best Persian chef in the world, has been making tabouli salad my whole life. It’s one of her signature dishes and her friends request is constantly.

quinoa tabouli with garlic shrimp

When my brother got married a couple years ago, my mom started making a quinoa version for my lovely sister in law. We all fell in love with the gluten free tabouli and now request it for all family gatherings. I’ve intended to write down my mom’s recipes for years but now that we live on opposite coasts, documenting her recipes is compulsory.

Several phone calls with mom and tinkering of my own resulted in this quinoa tabouli with shrimp. I wanted a fast way to add protein to this salad so I used tasty shrimp. Shrimp is delicious and takes less than 5 minutes to cook; win/win! Nutritious quinoa and garlicky shrimp turn this salad into a complete meal.

serving suggestions

You can serve this salad warm or toss the shrimp with the tabouli and serve it cold for your next picnic or potluck. This salad can also be prepared in advance. Just keep the lemon dressing separate and toss it with the tabouli just before you serve.

Planning a summertime dinner party or picnic? Why not serve a few Persian inspired recipes for a delicious meze spread?!

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quinoa tabouli with garlic shrimp

  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos


  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 pound raw, deveined shrimp
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil


  1. In a mason jar with a lid combine the red onion, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Place the lid on the jar, shake vigorously and set aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Make the quinoa per package directions. Let the cooked quinoa cool.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, tomatoes, and parsley together. Leave the salad undressed until just before serving.
  4. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Toss with minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and smoked paprika and olive oil.
  5. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook the shrimp until it’s browned in spots and starting to turn pink, about 1 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and flip the shrimp over on the second side. Let the shrimp cook with the residual heat until opaque and fully cooked, 1-2 minutes.
  7. Toss the quinoa mixture with half of the lemon dressing and toss to combine. If the quinoa is dry, add more of the dressing, a bit at a time, until you get the flavor and texture you desire.
    Divide the tabouli among serving bowls. Top each bowl with the desired number of shrimp. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
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