Tart Cherry Tabbouleh
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  • Food: Cherry Tabbouleh
  • Writer: Lizzie Green
  • Content-Type: Food Blog

Instead of tomatoes, dried sour cherries are used in this inventive tabbouleh dish! When combined with herbs and lemon, they offer a delightful sweet-tart explosion of flavor.

This one is for you if you’re the salad-bringer in your family or group of pals. It’s quite simple and also very tasty and vibrant.

It pairs well with anything you’re grilling and travels well in a picnic basket. It can be prepared in advance, which is, in my opinion, a crucial aspect of summer salad eating.

A twist on my tabbouleh recipe

Tart Cherry Tabbouleh Easy
Food: Tart Cherry Tabbouleh (Source: Love and Lemons)

As you can see, I’ve substituted dried tart cherries, commonly known as sour cherries, for the tomatoes in the traditional tabbouleh recipe.

I adore the burst of sweet, vibrant flavor that they add to this dish; it contrasts so beautifully with the earthy herbs and strikes the perfect balance with the tartness of the lemon juice.

We’re collaborating on this article with the Cherry Marketing Institute. If you didn’t know, Montmorency tart cherries are one of my biggest obsessions (see all previous recipes here).

As their name implies, they add a burst of tart flavor to a variety of foods, and I enjoy the challenge of finding inventive ways to incorporate them into many kinds of cuisines.

They are also known to relieve muscle stiffness following exercise, and studies have revealed that they can improve sleep since they are a natural source of melatonin.

If you haven’t tried these superfruits yet, do so now! I get mine from Whole Foods’ bulk sections, but some of you have also mentioned finding them at Costco.

Millet was used in place of bulgur in this recipe since it is gluten-free and has a texture that is quite similar to bulgur. For each, I’ve provided cooking instructions in the recipe’s notes.

Ingredients for a Traditional Tabbouleh Recipe

I combine traditional tabbouleh ingredients like a ton of herbs, sliced cucumber, red onion, and scallions with the unusual millet and cherries. I simply season it with lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and a little bit of white wine vinegar before mixing everything in a bowl and serving.

This salad is best on the second day when the tastes have had time to meld together, so I’m fighting the want to eat the leftovers that are still in the fridge as I write.

Cherry Tabbouleh

Print Prep time 10 mins
25 minutes for cooking
Duration: 35 minutes

In this unusual tabbouleh recipe, millet is used in place of bulgur, and tart cherries are used in place of tomatoes. They enhance the flavor of this excellent, make-ahead-friendly picnic salad by adding a delightful sweet/tart burst.


For the millet:

  • 1 cup uncooked millet (or bulgur*), rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced

For the salad:

  • ½ cup Montmorency dried tart cherries
  • ⅓ cup chopped scallions or red onion (or a combo)
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Tart Cherry Tabbouleh Yum
Food: Tart Cherry Tabbouleh (Source: Love and Lemons)
  1. The rinsed millet should be added to a dry pot. For one to two minutes, toast over medium heat. Salt and water are stirred in before being heated to a boil. For 15 minutes, simmer with a cover on and reduced heat. After 10 more minutes, turn off the heat and let the food sit covered. Garlic is added, then the mixture is fluffed with a fork and let to cool.
  2. The cooked millet should be mixed with cherries, onions, cucumber, parsley, and mint in a sizable bowl.
  3. Stir once more before adding the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If necessary, add more salt and pepper or more vinegar for extra zing to taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. For up to two days in the refrigerator, serve or keep in an airtight container.


  • If using bulgur, cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed, by bringing 1 1/4 cups water to a boil, adding the bulger, turning off the heat, covering the pan, and setting it aside. With a fork, fluff the mixture with the garlic, then set it aside to cool.