Hearty bulgur is tossed with tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, & plenty of parsley & it's all finished with the simplest lemon vinaigrette. Not only is it absolutely delicious & easy to make, this Mediterranean Bulgur Salad is incredibly versatile – serve at room temperature or cold, as a side dish or plant-powered main, or meal prep it for the best weekday lunches ever. Nothing not to love! Naturally vegetarian, easily dairy-free & vegan.
Bulgur Salads for All!
Do you ever go a kick of making something, and then suddenly stop.
I know I sure do… it’s like being in a vicious cycle with grain-based salads, the “vicious” thing being that I’m constantly forgetting how much I love them and how much my body thanks me for eating them. So I’ll go on a kick of making them and then suddenly stop.
But it’s time to remember and show them a little love again! And why not?
There’s just so much to love about them —they’re healthy, hearty, easy to make and they last in the fridge(Really last, if you know what mean 😉) — They’re the perfect salad for this time of year—when the signs of summer are everywhere, but we’re not quite in the hot days that leave you craving big bowls of leafy green salads.
If you're anything like me, you still want something that’s hearty, but with lively flavours and no heavy dressings ⏤ sorry, tahini, we’re still BFFs. Light but grounding! That’s the affirmation I’m feeling these days!
Luckily, the Mediterranean-styled Bulgur salad is the true manifestation of this affirmation! A refreshing taste like the oh-so-popular Tabbouli salad but with the grounding of the abundance of whole grains and chewiness.
What is bulgur?
Bulgur is wheat that’s been parboiled. The people of the Eastern Mediterranean have been cultivating and eating this nutty, delicious, whole grain for thousands of years. Filled with fibre and other healthy minerals, it’s one of my favourite grains to keep around. Fun fact: It’s very quick to prepare! You can find out more on the How to cook Bulgur Wheat post.
What do you need to make this Bulgur salad?
- Cooked bulgur
- Tomato paste
- Fresh veggies: tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes & green onions
- Lots of parsley!
- lemon & olive oil
How to make a bulgur salad?
You know all about bulgur now, and you’ve gathered all your ingredients—let’s make a salad!
- Use cooked #3 coarse bulgur. This is the only “cooking” this salad requires. You can find out how to cook bulgur. (HERE) You soak the bulgur for 3 hours, but I’m not sure why anyone would do that, but if you’re that “anyone,”…you do you! ✊🏼
- Rub the tomato paste and bulgur together in a big bowl
- Throw everything into the big bowl!
- Make the dressing! Shake the dressing in a jar or just pour it straight into the salad. Then, massage everything and let those ingredients mingle and meet one another⏤ It’s a party in the bowl!
- Wait…I’m sorry, this is the hardest part, you must let the party continue for at least 30 minutes but an hour is preferred it’s a very social salad. 😅
Tips on how to make the best bulgur salad
- Cook the bulgur in a large batch and freeze some for future uses. It'll reduce your time in the kitchen. Who doesn't want that? 😉
- Ensure the parley is dry before chopping. Chopping wet parsley will result in breaking down the leaves, an unpleasant look and texture.
- Chop the parsley finely. Personally, I don’t enjoy eating chunks of garnish in each bite; I find there's nothing worse than biting into large whole pieces of parsley.
- Don’t skimp on the freshest ingredients. Because there are so few ingredients in the salad, try to use the freshest produce you can find. Also, you must use extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice since those are the only two ingredients for the dressing.
- Use your hands to mix. Mixing with your hands allows the ingredient to become well mixed together and help release some of the juices from the vegetables.
- Rest before serving. With all the fresh herbs and vegetables in this salad, it’s ideal if you let the salad rest in the fridge or on the counter for 30-60 minutes before mixing and serving. This helps give it that refreshing irresistible Mediterranean flavour.
Yes, any grain can be substituted for bulgur, except quinoa. Quinoa is very delicate and doesn’t hold up well in a salad that needs to marinate in its flavours. Brown rice, barley, & sorghum are great alternatives.
Yes, you can make a large batch of bulgur and freeze it for later us. It lasts in the freezer for up to 3 months.
This bulgur salad should last 3-4 days in the fridge. Unfortunately, bulgur tends to get soggy after days 3-4, very unappealing to look at.
No! I recommend that you avoid using a food processor because it can wilt the parsley and ruin the texture.
Unfortunately, no. Bulgur is actual wheat so people with celiac, allergies and intolerances can not eat wheat.
Delicious recipe to pair with this bulgur salad
- Easiest Greek Grilled Chicken
- Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken
- Za'atar Chicken
- Authentic Hummus
- Middle Eastern Zucchini Dip
- Baba Ganoush
- 1 cup cooked bulgur #3
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 fresh tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 mini cucumbers finely chopped
- 1 head of parsley washed, drained, finely chopped
- 6 sprigs of mint remove leaves, finely chopped
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 4 green onions finely chopped
- 4-6 radishes thinly sliced or chopped
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Mix. In a large bowl add the tomato paste and bulgur, rub the tomato paste into the bulgur. It should be really well incorporated and the grains should be red.
- Toss in the Fresh Veg. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, shallots, green onions, radishes and parsley into the large bowl of bulgur. You don't need to just yet!
- The Dressing! Now, you have two ways to make this: First, add everything into a jar shake and pour onto the salad or second option, add the ingredients straight to the salad, no fuss!
- Time to mix! Mix all of the ingredients together with your hands you want to slightly break down the vegetable so they can release some of their flavours. A spoon just won't cut it!
- Wait. Sorry, but you're going to have to allow this salad to rest for 30-60 minutes. The flavours develop better once the ingredients have a chance to mingle and get well acquainted.