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Gluten-Free

Prep This Healthy Make-Ahead Lunch on Sunday and Eat it All Week

This make-ahead millet tabbouleh salad uses protein-rich chickpeas and plenty of fragrant herbs for a delicious lunchtime meal that you can make entirely in advance.

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It’s easy to get into the bad habit of picking up a sandwich or salad for a workday lunch, but here is a healthier and cheaper option to consider: a better-for-you, make-ahead millet tabbouleh salad that’s perfect for a grab-and-go lunch.

Traditional Middle-Eastern tabbouleh is generally pretty healthy for you: it has a base of bulgur and it’s tossed with fresh parsley (and sometimes fresh mint), tomatoes, green onions, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. In this recipe, we’ve made some tweaks, most notably swapping the bulgur for millet.

Millet is gluten-free and extremely versatile, making it the perfect substitute for bulgur for those who can’t eat gluten. It’s considered an ancient grain and has been a staple of cuisines all over the world for centuries, including India (where it’s milled into flour and baked into the savory flatbread roti), China, South America, Russia and several African countries (where it’s cooked up as a porridge and brewed into beer). We love millet here for its nutty flavor but quinoa would also be a great option, or you can even use riced cauliflower if you’re avoiding grains entirely.

We’ve also added protein-rich chickpeas and salty feta to make sure our recipe would be satisfying and can be eaten as a full meal. Make a batch of it on Sunday, and divide it among containers for an easy grab-and-go lunch. We promise, a bowl of this salad in your fridge will make lunchtime this week way more tasty and wallet-friendly! 

Make-Ahead Millet Tabbouleh

Servings
6
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
45 min
Duration
70 min

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup millet
  • Pinch+ 1½ tsp sea salt, divided
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups diced cucumbers
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if very large
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas or BPA-free canned, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. In a dry small saucepan on medium, toast millet until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups water and pinch salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes or longer, up to 2 hours. (The longer millet sits, covered and off the heat, the fluffier it will be.)
  2. Transfer millet to a serving bowl and let cool. Fluff with a fork. Add remaining 1½ tsp salt and all remaining ingredients. Toss to combine. Make ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/6 of salad
  • Calories 323
  • Carbohydrate Content 34 g
  • Cholesterol Content 11 mg
  • Fat Content 17 g
  • Fiber Content 7 g
  • Protein Content 9 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 4 g
  • Sodium Content 631 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 10.5 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 2 g