This healthy Mediterranean-inspired salad is loaded with fonio, cucumber, and juicy tomatoes! The dressing is zesty, garlicky, and packed with lots of fresh herbs like parsley, mint, and green onions! Delicious served chilled, this fonio tabbouleh makes a great appetizer or side dish. Plus, it’s meal prep friendly!
📔 What is Fonio
Fonio is a small grain mainly produced in West African countries. It is a type of millet with a nutty and earthy flavor. It has a super light and fluffy texture.
This ancient grain looks a lot like couscous but is naturally gluten-free, high in fiber, and packed with nutrients. Just like quinoa, it is considered a superfood.
🥣 How to Make Fonio Tabbouleh
This recipe is inspired by Mediterranean tabbouleh but with a twist! Instead of using couscous or bulgur, we will be using fonio!
Here is what you will need to make this delicious fonio tabbouleh:
- Fonio – Obviously the star of this recipe! I recommend using the white kind, not the whole fonio that is darker in color. Tips for cooking fonio below!
- Tomato – Fresh and ripe is best. Remove the core and juice before cutting it into small cubes.
- Cucumber – For crunchiness. You can peel it or leave the skin on to add color.
- Fresh herbs – Parsley, mint, and green onions. Do not omit any of these, as fresh herbs bring a ton of flavor to this tabbouleh.
- Olive oil – Preferably a high-quality olive oil.
- Lemon juice – To add a lot of freshness and a zesty flavor!
- Maple syrup – Adding maple syrup helps balance the earthiness of the fonio.
- Garlic, salt, and black pepper
Where to Buy Fonio
This ancient grain is not only gluten-free, but also loaded with antioxidants. It is versatile and has a texture similar to couscous.
How to Cook Fonio
What I love about fonio is how easy and quick it is to prepare! It takes less than 10 minutes to cook, and there is very little active time required. Here is how to cook fonio on the stovetop:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. You want to use a ratio of about 2 cups of water per cup of fonio.
- Add the dry fonio and cook covered for 3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5-7 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and let cool for a few more minutes. That’s it!
Making the Tabbouleh
Once the fonio has cooled down to room temperature, stir in the diced tomatoes, cucumber, and chopped herbs, and toss with olive oil and lime juice!
Fonio has an earthy flavor, but it mellows down once chilled as it soaks up the dressing.
How to Serve Fonio Tabbouleh?
You can serve it as a main meal, with your plant-based protein of choice on the side, or simply as an appetizer! It’s also delicious served in wraps!
I recommend using white fonio for this recipe. The whole fonio will work as well, but the flavor will be more earthy.
Fonio can be found in almost every African store or online.
It will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Give it a good stir if you see some water has separated.
This delightful salad is healthy, fresh, zesty, and so quick to make! Whether you are new to fonio or not, you are going to love this vibrant salad!
🌾 More Vegan Fonio Recipes
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- 2 cups water
- 1 cup dry fonio
- 1 small tomato diced
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 1 small white onion diced
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint finely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- Add the water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, add the fonio, cover with a lid, and cook for 3 minutes over low-medium heat. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 5-7 minutes or until fonio is tender. Fluff with a fork.
- Transfer the cooked fonio to a large mixing bowl and let it cool for 20 minutes. In the meantime, dice the tomato, cucumber, and white onion and finely chop the herbs. Add to the fonio.
- For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, tomato paste, minced garlic, salt, and ground black pepper. Pour over the fonio and stir well to combine everything.
- Serve at room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. This fonio salad will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
About the Author
Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.