Winter Quinoa Tabbouleh with Orange Honey Sumac Dressing

This Winter Quinoa Tabbouleh is a refreshing and seasonal twist on the classic tabbouleh, featuring protein-packed quinoa, bursts of juicy fruity flavor from pomegranates and persimmons, a refreshing touch of herbs, a zing from the pickled red onions, and a sweet, zesty Orange Honey Sumac Dressing to pull it all together.

The quinoa tabbouleh strikes the perfect balance between light and filling, making it an ideal addition to your winter recipe rotation. The quinoa, cooked to fluffy perfection, provides a hearty base, while the vibrant mix of persimmons, herbaceous parsley, pomegranate arils, a vinegar bite from the pickled red onion, toasted walnuts for a crunch, cucumber for a refreshing touch, and mint adds layers of flavor and texture.

Fantastic on its own, this Winter Quinoa Tabbouleh with Orange Honey Sumac Dressing is also delicious paired as a side dish for almost anything!

Winter Quinoa Tabbouleh with Orange Honey Sumac Dressing Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil: Always choose the highest quality olive oil for salad dressings, as it constitutes the majority of the recipe and imparts a pungent, fruity flavor.
  • Navel orange: Utilize both the zest and juice to extract as much flavor as possible. Alternatively, 2 limes or lemons can be used.
  • Vinegar: I prefer using the brine from homemade pickled red onions. However, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or white balsamic vinegar would all be excellent choices for the dressing.
  • Pomegranate molasses: While optional, it introduces a unique fruity tartness and thickness to the dressing, complementing the sumac, fruits, and citrus exceptionally well.
  • Honey: My preferred varieties include orange blossom, wildflower, and clover, but any good honey will suffice. Maple syrup or agave are also suitable alternatives.
  • Sumac: This beautiful, berry-colored spice boasts a tart, sweet, and almost floral flavor.
  • Salt: Enhances all the flavors; I usually opt for kosher or sea salt.
  • Aleppo pepper flakes: Optional, but they add a subtle spicy kick to the dressing.
  • Quinoa: A gluten-free, protein-filled alternative to traditional bulgur wheat. Bulgur can be used as an alternative or other grains like rice or farro.
  • Persimmons: An underrated winter fruit, offering a soft, ripe texture and a deliciously sweet, honey-like flavor.
  • Parsley: Use a whole head of parsley to impart a vibrant, herbaceous punch to the recipe.
  • Pomegranate arils: Introduce beautiful color and a crunchy burst of juiciness in every bite.
  • Pickled red onion: Imparts a vinegary, oniony flavor. Spring onions or regular raw onions can be suitable alternatives.
  • Toasted walnuts: Add another layer of nutty flavor and crunchy texture.
  • Cucumber: Provides a refreshing and cooling component.
  • Mint: A more robustly flavored herb that complements all the ingredients exceptionally well.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Winter Quinoa Tabbouleh with Orange Honey Sumac Dressing


Units Scale

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 navel orange
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked in 1 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 2 persimmons, small diced
  • 1 head of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pickled red onion (or regular onion/green onion)
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and small diced
  • 1012 leaves of mint, torn


  1. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake until a smooth emulsified dressing is formed.
  2. For the salad, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Pour about 1/2 or a little more of the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is fully mixed and coated.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Pin This

Keep Exploring

Illustration of shells

let's be friends

Have a Question for Caroline?