Bulgur salad is the excellent canvas to showcase an array of fresh vegetables, herbs, protein sources, and flavorful dressings. Whether you're looking for a light side dish, a hearty meal, or a refreshing potluck contribution, bulgur salad is a go-to option.
What is bulgur?
Bulgur is a common ingredient in a Middle Eastern cuisine. This wholesome grain, made from cracked wheat kernels, is a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Bulgur has a nutty flavor and a satisfying chewy texture, making it a perfect base for salads. Usually we make tabbouleh salad with bulgur but this salad is a bit different.
Being a cereal and a whole grain makes the bulgur very filling and this salad can even be considered a meal because you will feel very full after eating it. How many salad recipes do you know that can do that?!
Bulgur salad is incredibly versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs. One of the great advantages of bulgur salad is its ease of preparation. With just a few simple steps, you can create a vibrant and satisfying salad bursting with flavors. It's a wonderful way to incorporate whole grains and nutrient-rich ingredients into your diet, providing you with essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
How to cook bulgur?
The bulgur is parboiled and doesn’t need to be cooked. The only preparation you need to do in order to consume it is soak it in water. Easy enough!
In this salad recipe, I was inspired by this recipe who used carrot juice instead of water to soak the bulgur and I wanted to try and soak it in beet juice. It gave the bulgur a very nice pink color and a great taste! With this method, you can use any juice you prefer to soak the bulgur. This is the time to be creative! ☺
Ingredients, process and tools
To complete the salad, I added cucumbers, carrots, yellow peppers, parsley and pomegranate seeds. The outcome is full of color and taste!
The salad looks so pretty and can also be a festive dish for a holiday meal too. To cut the carrots into thin sticks, I used a mandolin slicer and for parsley, I used herb scissors. Of course you can simply use a knife to cut them but with these tools the vegetables look better in the salad and the carrot specifically tastes better, in my opinion, when it’s cut to sticks instead of big chunks.
Tips to make a delicious and flavorful bulgur salad
Add a variety of vegetables
I used cucumbers, carrots, bell pepper and pomegranate. Any other vegetable that you like can be added to this salad. Some popular choices include cherry tomatoes, red onions or radishes.
Include herbs and greens
I used parsley but any fresh herbs and greens can elevate the flavors of your salad. Consider adding chopped mint, cilantro, or basil to enhance the taste. Additionally, you can mix in baby spinach, arugula, or mixed salad greens for added nutritional value.
To make your bulgur salad more substantial, add a protein source like cooked chickpeas, lentils, grilled chicken, roasted tofu, boiled eggs, or make it dairy with crumbled feta cheese. These ingredients will make your salad more satisfying and balanced.
I made a simple dressing using olive oil, honey, lemon, salt and pepper. You can also experiment with different dressings like a tangy vinaigrette, yogurt-based dressing, or tahini sauce for added variety.
Consider adding some final touches to your bulgur salad by garnishing it with toasted nuts, seeds (such as sunflower or sesame seeds), crumbled cheese, or a sprinkle of fresh herbs. These garnishes not only add visual appeal but also add an extra layer of flavor and texture.
Bulgur is a whole grain that is made from cracked wheat kernels. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine and has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture.
No, bulgur is not gluten-free as it is made from wheat. Individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease should avoid bulgur and opt for gluten-free grains instead.
Yes, bulgur salad can be made in advance. In fact, it often tastes better after marinating for some time. Just make sure to store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You may need to refresh the flavors with a little extra dressing before serving.
Bulgur salad can typically be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. However, this may vary depending on the freshness of the ingredients used. Always use your judgment and check for any signs of spoilage before consuming.
If you cannot find or do not have bulgur, you can substitute it with other grains like quinoa, couscous, or even rice. Keep in mind that each grain has its own texture and cooking time, so adjustments may be needed for the recipe.
Other salad recipes you should try:
For all my salad recipes, check out my salad recipe index.
Make this bulgur salad today!
Whether you're a fan of Mediterranean flavors, looking to explore new taste profiles, or seeking a wholesome and filling meal, bulgur salad is sure to satisfy. So grab your ingredients, let your creativity flow, and enjoy the delightful flavors and textures that come together in a refreshing bowl of bulgur salad.
- ½ cup bulgur
- Beet juice to cover the bulgur (~¼ cup)
- 2 carrots cut to thin sticks
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2 cucumbers
- Bundle of parsley
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Lemon juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper by your taste
- In a bowl, place the bulgur and cover with the beet juice.
- Place the bowl in the fridge for 1-2 hours so the bulgur will soak up the liquid.
- Cut all vegetables.
- Add vegetables to the bulgur bowl.
- Add pomegranate seeds to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients.
- Pour over salad and mix well.
- Dig in and enjoy!