This Bulgur Pilaf recipe is packed with flavor in each bite. It's nutritious and filling thanks to all the fiber and has the classic Middle Eastern taste the whole family will love. What's best is that it's also easy to make and customize.
Bulgur has a delicious nutty flavor, and this bulgur pilaf perfectly showcases that It's a classic side dish I love having with all my favorite Middle Eastern recipes. The nutty taste and chewy texture are perfectly balanced with the tomato flavor, garlic, and pepper.
This bulgur pilaf is the perfect quick and easy recipe to throw together on busy weeknights. It's incredibly easy to make, and you can add any of your favorite veggies and fresh herbs to elevate the flavor even more.
❤️ WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
Easy to make: This recipe is incredibly straightforward to whip up. With simple steps and common ingredients like bulgur, tomato paste, and olive oil, it is a breeze to prepare; even beginners can make it.
Family favorite: With ingredients like tender chicken and flavorful bulgur, this recipe is a definite crowd-pleaser. The blend of spices like black pepper, paprika, and coriander makes this bulgur pilaf a dish that everyone in the family will love.
Versatile: This bulgur wheat recipe is incredibly versatile. You can easily substitute the chicken with tofu or other proteins and play around with the spices to cater to your family's taste preferences.
Delicious: The blend of spices, the rich tomato paste, and the hearty bulgur come together to create a dish that is not only filling but delicious. The tender, spiced chicken adds an extra layer of flavor that makes this dish irresistible.
More details about the ingredients and measurements are in the recipe card below!
Bulgur: This is the star ingredient in bulgur pilaf. Its slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture make it a great addition to your meal.
Tomato Paste: This condiment will add a tangy and rich tomato flavor to the pilaf, enhancing its overall taste.
Tomato Puree: This will give your pilaf a slight sweetness and a vibrant color, making the dish even more appealing.
Garlic: Minced garlic will infuse the dish with its unique, pungent flavor, complimenting the other ingredients.
Chicken: The protein in this recipe. The chicken cubes will absorb the flavors of the spices, making the dish rich and hearty.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE
Begin by washing the bulgur thoroughly. Then, soak it in water for about ten to fifteen minutes. After this time, drain the bulgur and set it aside for later use.
In a large pan, heat olive oil and then add onions to it. Cook until the onion becomes translucent and slightly brown.
Now, add the garlic to the pan and cook for one minute on medium-low heat. Then, pour in the tomato puree, stirring it into the mixture for two minutes. Follow this by adding the tomato paste.
Once the oil starts to separate from the mixture, it is time to add the black pepper and salt. Stir it in, then pour in boiling water. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, add the drained bulgur.
Stir the mixture once more, then cover the pan and cook on the lowest heat setting for about seventeen minutes.
After turning off the heat, uncover the pan and fluff the bulgur. Then, cover the pan again and let it rest for five minutes so the flavors can meld together.
Take your chicken and season it with all the spices and salt. In a separate pan, add some oil. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken. Cook the chicken for about three to four minutes, or until it is completely cooked through.
Once everything is ready, serve the cooked chicken with the flavorful bulgur pilaf. Enjoy your homemade, delicious meal!
👩🏽🍳 PRO TIPS
Soak the Bulgur: It is important to wash and soak the Bulgur for at least ten to fifteen minutes before you start cooking. This helps guarantee that the bulgur is tender and fluffy when cooked.
Low and Slow Cooking: Cook the bulgur on the lowest heat setting for around seventeen minutes. This slow cooking method allows the bulgur to absorb the flavors for a perfectly cooked, fluffy pilaf.
Rest the Pilaf: After turning off the heat, fluff the bulgur and let it rest for five minutes. This allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more flavorful dish.
Season the Chicken: Don't forget to season the chicken with spices and salt before cooking. This guarantees that the chicken is flavorful and complements the bulgur wheat pilaf perfectly. You can always skip the chicken and serve the pilaf as a side dish.
Vegan Version: If you're looking for a vegan version of this recipe, simply eliminate the chicken. To compensate for the protein, add a can of chickpeas. They'll blend well with the bulgur and give you a substantial, meat-free meal.
Try it with Lamb: For a more robust flavor, replace the chicken cubes with lamb. Lamb's rich and distinctive taste pairs well with the hearty bulgur, making this variation a must-try for meat lovers.
Add some Greens: If you're looking to add more vegetables to your diet, throw in some chopped bell pepper to the bulgur mix. Not only will it add a pop of color, but it will also increase the nutritional value of the dish.
🍽️ HOW TO SERVE
- For a hearty, wholesome breakfast, pair your bulgur pilaf with a boiled egg and a side of fresh cucumber and tomato salad. The freshness of the salad perfectly compliments the warm, savory pilaf.
- If you're in the mood for a Mediterranean twist, enjoy your bulgur wheat recipe with a side of hummus and some warm pita bread. The creamy hummus and soft pita provide a comforting contrast to the textured bulgur.
- For a light dinner, serve your bulgur pilaf with a serving of steamed vegetables and a drizzle of lemon juice. The zesty lemon and crunchy veggies add a refreshing touch to the hearty pilaf.
- Bulgur pilaf also makes a great accompaniment to a BBQ. Serve it alongside grilled meats, kebabs, or fish for a satisfying, well-rounded meal.
- For a vegetarian option, pair your bulgur pilaf with a generous helping of roasted or stir-fried vegetables. The rich flavors of the roasted veggies perfectly complement the hearty pilaf.
💬 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Bulgur Pilaf is a hearty and flavorful dish made with bulgur, a type of dried cracked wheat, cooked with tomato paste, onion, garlic, black pepper, salt, and olive oil. It is often served with chicken seasoned with a variety of spices.
For this recipe, you should soak the bulgur for about ten to fifteen minutes. This helps soften the bulgur and allows it to cook more evenly in the pilaf.
The chicken is fully cooked when it is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear. This usually takes about three to four minutes over medium heat. Be careful not to overcook it, as the chicken can become tough.
Refrigerate: Store your leftover bulgur pilaf in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last for about three to five days. Always remember to cool it down to room temperature before putting it in the fridge.
Freeze: Unfortunately, bulgur pilaf doesn't freeze well due to its texture. When thawed, it tends to become mushy and lose its original deliciousness. Therefore, it is best to consume it fresh or refrigerated.
Reheating Instructions: To reheat your bulgur pilaf, you can use the microwave or stovetop. If using a microwave, heat it for about two minutes, checking and stirring every thirty seconds to guarantee even heating. On the stovetop, reheat it over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it is heated through.
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⭐PLEASE RATE AND REVIEW
If you have tried this recipe and liked it, please give it a 5-star rating and leave a comment below with your experience!
For the Bulgur
- 1 cup rough/coarse bulgur
- 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tomato pureed
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ¾ cup boiling water
For the chicken
- 280 gm chicken cut in cubes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
For the bulgur pilaf
- Wash and soak the bulgur for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the bulgur and keep aside.
- In a large pan, add the olive oil, when hot, add the onion and cook until translucent and a slightly brown.
- Add the garlic and cook for one minute on medium low heat. Pour the tomato puree and stir for two minutes then add the tomato paste.
- When the oil separates from the mixture, add the black pepper and salt and stir then pour the boiling water. When the mixture comes to a boil add the drained bulgur.
- Stir and then cover and cook on the lowest heat for 17 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and uncover the pan. Fluff the bulgur and then cover again for 5 minutes for the flavor to come together.
For the chicken
- Season the chicken with all the spices and salt.
- In a pan, add the oil and when hot, add the chicken and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked completely.
- Serve with bulgur pilaf.
- You can make this recipe using fine bulgur, but the texture won’t be the same.
- Instead of water you can go for chicken or vegetable stock for more flavor.