What You Need to Know About Cooking with Bulgur Wheat

Learn the best techniques for cooking bulgur wheat every time with this comprehensive guide. In the Mediterranean diet, bulgur wheat plays a prominent role due to its high fiber content and satisfying nutty chewiness. It's healthy, adaptable, and simple to prepare.  

close up of cooked coarse bulgur wheat in a bowl

You probably already know what bulgur wheat is if you've tried my tabouli recipe. Nonetheless, this seemingly unremarkable super grain is a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet, and it can be used to excellent effect in many different recipes. My go-to places to buy bulgur wheat are listed below. And once you figure out the best method for preparing bulgur wheat, you'll be making it frequently.  

Bulgur is a type of wheat.

Bulgur is a whole grain that originated in the Mediterranean and is made by partially dehulling hard red winter wheat berries. Bulgur is typically ready in 12–25 minutes, depending on the coarseness (we'll get into this more later), and it is typically par cooked.

Tabouli (tabbouleh), a popular Mediterranean salad made with lots of chopped parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, and fresh herbs, is perhaps the best-known dish in which this grain plays a central role. With high levels of protein and fiber, it's a powerful source of nutrition. In place of rice as a side dish, in soups and stews, and in many other applications, it is a staple in my kitchen.   

Don't be afraid to experiment with bulgur wheat after reading my recipe. You won't believe how simple it is to prepare bulgur wheat after reading my instructions. Finding the right kind of bulgur means you can get cooking right away.

labeled image comparing fine and coarse bulgur wheat

Bulgur wheat varieties

Fine, medium, coarse, and extra coarse bulgur grains are the most common. Because of the variety of dishes to which they can be put, my two favorite types of bulgur are fine and coarse.  

Similar to couscous in texture, fine bulgur can be prepared in under ten minutes and requires no boiling. All it takes is a quick soak in some hot water (more helpful hints below). ) However, coarse bulgur wheat is a whole grain that can be prepared in a few minutes with some water and a dash of salt. Both varieties can be ready in a matter of minutes with minimal effort.  

Can bulgur wheat be consumed by those who are gluten intolerant?  

Those who are on a gluten-free diet should stay away from bulgur wheat. Although quinoa has a very different flavor, it can be used as a gluten-free substitute that is most similar to brown rice.  

If you know the approximate time it will take to cook, please tell me.  

Bulgur wheat can be quickly and easily prepared in a stovetop oven. If you want to make tender bulgur, you'll need to boil it in water or broth for about 12 minutes on the stove until the liquid is absorbed and it's no longer coarse. Bulgur should be allowed to sit, covered and undisturbed, for 10 minutes to achieve the ideal fluffy, tender, and chewy texture.  

Fine bulgur wheat doesn't require any cooking beyond soaking in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes in a heat-safe bowl.

How much liquid should be added to bulgur?  

In cooking, the water-to-grain ratio is crucial. For soft, coarse bulgur that's light and fluffy as air. It takes 1 1/2 cups of liquid to cook 1 cup of dry coarse bulgur wheat. to the cup of dry bulgur Cooking bulgur in water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth are my three favorite options.  

One cup of fine bulgur requires two cups of liquid to become tender and fluffy, but you don't even have to cook it for dishes like tabouli; all you have to do is soak it. For every cup of dry bulgur, use two cups of hot water.  


Similar to barley, 1 cup of dried bulgur wheat grains can be made into 3 cups of cooked, fluffy bulgur.  

coarse bulgur wheat in a bowl next to The Mediterranean Dish bulgur wheat

Methods for preparing bulgur

The preparation of this bulgur wheat dish consists only of washing, boiling, and fluffing. To prepare fine bulgur, scroll down to the section below, but first, here's how to cook coarse or medium bulgur. ):

  • Rinse First, thoroughly wash and drain 1 cup of bulgur.  
  • Get the bulgur wheat nice and chewy. A medium saucepan filled with 1 1/2 cups of low-sodium broth (or water) should be brought to a boil. Mix in 1 tablespoon of olive oil (optional) and the drained coarse grind bulgur. Add a generous amount of kosher salt for seasoning. Reduce the temperature once the liquid begins to bubble again. Cover and cook on low for about 12 minutes. You want the bulgur to be soft, and all the liquid to be absorbed. Take it off the stove and let it sit (covered) for 10 minutes.  

    cooked coarse bulgur wheat in a saucepan

  • Lightly fluff and serve Before serving, fluff with a fork and sprinkle with parsley.  

Methods for preparing delicious bulgur

Since the grains of fine bulgur, also called quick-cooking bulgur, are so small, they are rarely cooked in a pot over a stove. Instead, just soak it in water until it's tender and use it as you would any other vegetable. This is how:

  • The first step is to put 1 cup of dry fine bulgur grains in a big bowl. Add 2 cups of boiling water to the top.  

    fine bulgur wheat soaking in a bowl

  • Ten to twelve minutes of soaking time is recommended. As soon as the bulgur has absorbed all the water, it can be fluffed and served, or used in tabouli or other recipes.

    fine bulgur wheat in a bowl

Guidelines for Storing

Bulgur should be kept in an airtight container, out of direct sunlight and warm temperatures. A cold pantry is perfect for these purposes. Dry bulgur wheat can be kept for about 2 years if stored properly. Its shelf life is greatly extended by freezing.

To what extent does cooked bulgur keep?  

Cooked bulgur can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. Additionally, it can be frozen for up to three months in a freezer-safe bag or container. Refrigerated bulgur can be reheated by adding it and a small amount of water to a saucepan and heating it over medium heat until it is hot. If you're using frozen bulgur, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before proceeding.  

fine bulgur wheat in a bowl next to The Mediterranean Dish fine bulgur wheat

How to Track Down Bulgur Wheat  

The best bulgur wheat I've ever had is sold at our store. Both coarse and fine bulgur wheat varieties are widely available and make tasty additions to a wide variety of dishes, including tabouli, salads, soups, and stews. Our bulgur wheat has a wonderful chewy texture and nutty flavor.  

Bulgur wheat, on the other hand, is widely available. Perhaps in the aisle with the rice and other grains, or the aisle with the international foods. Try looking in health food stores if you can't find it in your regular supermarket.  

The many uses of bulgur wheat

The uses for the grain bulgur are virtually endless. A pilaf made with coarse bulgur is delicious. Soups, stews, and casseroles can all benefit from the added substance and nutrition that this method provides. In most cases, coarse bulgur wheat can be substituted for brown rice in any dish that calls for it due to their near-identical flavor and texture profiles.  

When substituting fine bulgur for couscous, you can use it in almost any recipe. For a change of pace, I often substitute fine bulgur wheat in place of regular couscous when making dishes like chicken couscous or shrimp and chorizo. Tabouli, a traditional salad from the Mediterranean, is made with fine bulgur. Kibbeh, or my toasty stuffed eggplant, is a great choice for a comfort meal.  

When paired with a protein like baharat-baked chicken thighs, spicy salmon, or braised leg of lamb, the mild nutty flavor of bulgur makes for a delicious and healthy side dish.   

There are still more unanswered queries regarding this grain.

Is it safe to eat bulgur wheat?

Dietary benefits of bulgur are numerous. It contains a wealth of beneficial nutrients like manganese, copper, and magnesium, and is a great source of both protein and fiber.

Why or why not to soak bulgur before cooking

Bulgur wheat of any variety can be cooked directly from the bag.

Try These Recipes With Bulgur

Check Out Some Delicious Mediterranean Dishes

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  • Drain and rinse 1 cup of bulgur.
  • Bring 1.5 cups of low-sodium broth (or water) to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Combine the drained bulgur with the olive oil (if using) in a bowl. A generous pinch of kosher salt will do the trick.
  • Give it another round of bubbling, and then reduce the heat. When the bulgur is soft and has absorbed all of the liquid, which should take about 12 minutes, remove the lid and let it sit to cool.
  • Take it away from the stove and let it sit, covered, for 10 more minutes.
  • Use a fork to fluff, and sprinkle with parsley, before serving.
  • In a very large bowl, put 1 cup of dry fine bulgur grains. Cover with two cups of boiling water.
  • For best results, let it sit for 10 to 12 minutes. After the bulgur has absorbed the water, it can be fluffed and used in tabouli or other recipes.
  • Can bulgur wheat be eaten by those who are gluten-intolerant? Those on a gluten-free diet should steer clear of it.
  • Approximately 1 cup in yield. produced by milling wheat bulgur into a dry product The equivalent of 3 cups of fluffy prepared bulgur
  • Season your bulgur with aromatics and spices to taste. Season the cooking water with the desired ingredients. When done, give it a try and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Bulgur needs to be kept dry and out of the reach of light, heat, and moisture. It's best to keep pantry items in a cool, dark place. Dried bulgur wheat can be kept for about 2 years if it is stored properly. Another method that significantly lengthens its shelf life is freezing it.
  • What is the shelf life of cooked bulgur? Bulgur, once cooked, can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days provided it is sealed tightly. It can be frozen for up to three months if stored properly.
  • We have a wide selection of Mediterranean foodstuffs like extra virgin olive oils, grains (like coarse and fine bulgur wheat), and more in our Shop that you can peruse right now.
Calories: 100.4 kcal Carbohydrates: 17.7 g Protein: 2.9 g Fat: 2.6 g Animal Fat: 0.4 g Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: 0.4 g MCTs, or Monounsaturated Cholesterol: 1.7 g Sodium: 7 mg Potassium: 95.7 mg Fiber: 4.3 g Sugar: 0.1 g Vitamin A: 2.1 IU Calcium: 10 mg Iron: 0.6 mg
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