Ready in about 10 minutes, this vegan mashed chickpea tabouleh salad makes the perfect quick and easy meal. Mash up the chickpeas, chop a few veggies, mix with tahini and lemon and you’re all set for a healthy plant-based meal.

A bowl of tabouleh salad with a tomato in the background.

What is Tabouleh Salad?

Tabouleh is a Middle Eastern vegetarian dish traditionally made from fresh vegetables, bulgur or couscous, olive oil, parsley and herbs such as parsley and mint.

This grain-free version uses mashed chickpeas in place of bulgur or couscous. Mashing the chickpeas or pulsing them in a food processor creates somewhat of a grain-like texture and consistency. The chickpeas also complement the rest of the flavours and add some healthy fiber and protein to the dish. I love making tabouleh with couscous too but I really enjoy this twist on the classic.

Traditionally, tabouleh salad recipes also call for olive oil. I left out the oil and use tahini to add creaminess. Plenty of garlic, fresh lemon juice, parsley and sea salt add the rest of the flavour.

Tabouleh recipes usually call for fresh mint as well but I don’t use any in this recipe. Feel free to add some in if you desire! I’m sure it would be a delicious addition.

Chickpeas, tahini, bell pepper, onion, parsley and red onion on a cutting board.

Hemp Seed Benefits

Adding flavour, texture and nutrition, nutty, chewy hemp seeds are another key ingredient in this salad. Hemp seeds, or sometimes called hemp hearts, are one of my favourite superfoods. They’re a complete protein and contain an excellent balance of proteins, essential fats, vitamins and enzymes.

Hemp seeds are a fantastic food for vegans and vegetarians thanks to their high omega-3 essential fatty acid content. They’re also an good source of protein, including all 20 known amino acids, plus fiber and vitamin E.

Squeezing lemon into a bowl of parsley and bell pepper.

Parsley Benefits

Did you know that parsley is one of the healthiest foods out there and contains plenty of antioxidants and important vitamins?

It’s a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A, both powerful antioxidants that can help reduce the risk of disease. Parsley is also a good source of folic acid, important in cardiovascular health and cancer prevention.

Chopped parsley in a bowl.

How to Make this Salad

The best part about this salad is you only need about 10 minutes to make it!

Mash the Chickpeas

Start by mashing up the chickpeas. You can do this in a bowl using a fork, potato masher or immersion blender or pulsing them in a food processor for a few seconds. Mix the hemp seeds into the mashed chickpeas.

Mashed chickpeas in a bowl with a potato masher.
Hemp seeds and mashed chickpeas in a bowl.

Chop the Veggies

Time for the veggies! You’ll need bell pepper, red onion, parsley, tomato and garlic. Chop them all up, add them to the chickpeas and hemp seeds and mix it all up.

Chopped bell pepper on a cutting board.
A bowl of chopped parsley being added to a bowl of fresh chopped veggies.

Mix with Tahini and Lemon

Finally, mix in the tahini and lemon then season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix it all up and enjoy!

A spoonful of tahini being added to a bowl of fresh chopped parsley and bell pepper.
A bowl full of tabouleh salad on a cutting board.
Chickpea tabouleh salad on a small plate with a fork.

Easy Chickpea Tabouleh Salad

This grain-free tabouleh salad is made with mashed chickpeas instead of bulgur or couscous. The recipe is easy to make in about 10 minutes and is oil-free, vegan and high in plant-based protein and fiber.

Enjoy this healthy and satisfying salad on its own or added to a pita, wrap or falafel bowl. It’s also good with a big scoop of hummus on top!

More Healthy Salads

Loving this chickpea salad? Here are some more healthy salads to enjoy:

This recipe can also be used in my cauliflower quinoa tabouleh bowls instead of the quinoa salad.

A bowl of tabouleh salad with a tomato in the background.

Mashed Chickpea Tabouleh Salad

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Entree, Side
  • Cuisine: Vegan

This wonderfully light and fresh chickpea salad is a take on traditional couscous tabouleh. Serve as a light side salad, main dish or in a pita or wrap with hummus and falafel.



  • 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas (approx. 1 15 oz can)
  • 2/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 large or 2 small diced tomatoes (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1/2 diced red onion (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste


  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and use a masher or fork to mash into small pieces. Alternatively, make quick work of it and pulse them a few times in a food processor or blender.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

Keywords: grain-free, gluten-free, oil-free, spring, light, easy, quick

This post was originally published on September 16, 2016. It was updated February 2020 with new photos and text.