This falafel salad bowl is beautiful, delicious and super filling thanks to the falafel and quinoa, bulgur blend. Perfect for lunch or supper.
I love whole grain and pulse salads. This time, the pulses are in the form of tasty falafels – chickpea patties. So dang good. You can make the falafel from scratch, from a mix or buy them premade – whatever works for you. Don’t want falafel? No problem, this salad would work equally well with a can of chickpeas or whatever bean you prefer.
Did you know, when you mix whole grains with pulses you get complete protein – yup, you get all nine essential amino acids. You also get a host of nutrients including fibre, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals like iron, zinc, copper and magnesium. Mix all that with colorful veggies and you have a gorgeous looking plate and a brain healthy meal.
For the whole grains, I mixed quinoa and bulgur and cooked them together. You can buy pre-made blends like this in the grains or organic section of major grocery stores or you can mix them yourself, like I did for this salad. Check this chart on cooking whole grains and find grains that have similar cooking times. Or use individual grains like wheatberries, barley, buckwheat, freekeh, couscous, hulled oats, brown or wild rice. Again, choose whatever you prefer.
Rather than tossing everything in a bowl, I like to assemble the bowls to showcase all the different ingredients. I either assemble them for guests, or more often, I put the ingredients in separate bowls and put them on the table so everyone can make their own, just like how we do taco nights. One or two salad dressings on the side and everyone’s happy!
Recipe for Falafel Salad Bowl
Falafel Salad Bowl with Quinoa and Bulgur
- 1/2 cup raw quinoa
- 1/2 cup raw bulgur
- 11/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (1 tsp dried)
- ½ long cucumber diced in small cubes
- 2 medium tomatoes diced in cubes
- 2 Tbsp finely diced red onion
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- ½ cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 large carrot, shredded or julienned
- 4 cups dark leafy greens, roughly chopped
- 12-16 prepared falafel
- 1 cup tzatziki
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- Combine quinoa and bulgur and rinse well. Add to large pot with 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest 5 minutes until any remaining liquid has soaked in.
- Rinse grains under cold water. Drain well and set aside.
- Combine chopped parsley and mint.
- Add half of parsley and mint to quinoa and bulgur.
- Mix other half of parsley and mint with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions and 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper.
- Massage shredded red cabbage with 1/2 tsp salt and set aside. This will soften the cabbage slightly.
- Combine dressing ingredients in tightly sealed jar and shake vigorously. Add spoon and serve next to salad platter.
- Option 1: Place individual ingredients in serving dishes with tongs or spoons on table to allow every guest to assemble their own bowl. Serve tzatziki and dressing on the side.
- Option 2: Pre-assemble falafel salad bowls for guests and serve.
- Option 3: Toss everything together and have at it!
Making Extras & Leftovers
There’s nothing difficult about making this salad, but prepping all the ingredients and cleaning up afterwards can be tedious. To make it as efficient as possible, I prep extras of everything I can.
- I double the grains and freeze them in convenient portion sizes, so I can quickly thaw them and add them to a quick lunch time salad.
- I chop twice or three times as many veggies as I need for one meal. Once they’re chopped and ready to use, they’re easy to use in other salads, meals or even to top sandwiches.
- If I make my own falafel mix, I double the batch and freeze the raw patties. If we have leftover cooked falafel, they get cleared out of the fridge by hungry snackers. In our house, people just grab ’em and eat them cold. If my snackers aren’t around, I’ll also freeze cooked falafel – not quite as tasty when reheated, but good for falafel pita pockets.
- The dressing will last in the fridge for a week or two.
- The tzatziki needs to be eaten within 2-3 days, so I don’t make too much extra of that. Although, whatever is leftover, it gets gobbled up pretty quickly as a dip for veggies, crackers or pita wedges. It’s also a great topping for sandwiches.
More Grain Salad Bowls
If you’re interested in more whole grain salads, here are some others on this website. You can easily switch the whole grain in any of these recipes. For gluten free options consider hulled oats, quinoa or buckwheat.
I’d love to know what you and your dinner guest think of this whole grain salad. Leave a comment or, if you make it, share a photo on Instagram and tag @getgettys so I can see it and like it!
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.