Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, Chickpeas, Lemon & Dill
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With fresh herbs, chopped vegetables and chickpeas, this Middle Eastern-style bulgur salad is like a bulked-up tabbouleh.
Made with nutty bulgur, fresh herbs, chopped vegetables, and buttery chickpeas, this Middle Eastern-style salad is like a bulked-up tabbouleh. I like to make it over the weekend and keep it in the fridge all week long for healthy lunches.
What you’ll need to make bulgur salad
Bulgur is a chewy and nutty-tasting grain made from whole wheat kernels that have been parboiled, dried and cracked. In addition to being delicious, it’s super healthy — high in fiber and protein, rich in vitamins and minerals, and low in fat and calories. You can find it in most supermarkets near the pasta, rice, or hot cereal, and many stores also carry it in the bulk bins.
To begin, in a medium bowl, combine the bulgur bowl and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Pour 1-1/4 cups boiling water over top and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Let the bulgur steam for 30 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.
While the bulgur soaks, prepare the vegetables and herbs.
I like to soak the red onions in cold water to remove the raw onion taste. This is totally optional — if you like raw onions, skip this step.
Once the chopped onion has soaked, drain thoroughly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, sugar, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
Add the cooled bulgur, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, dill, parsley, and chick peas.
Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Chill until ready to serve or up to two days. Serve cold or room temperature.
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Bulgur Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, Chick Peas, Lemon & Dill
With fresh herbs, chopped vegetables and chickpeas, this Middle Eastern-style bulgur salad is like a bulked-up tabbouleh.
- 1 cup medium-grind (#2) bulgur
- 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small English (or hothouse) cucumber, seeded and diced
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
- ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place the bulgur in a large bowl with ½ teaspoon salt and 1¼ cups boiling water. Cover the bowl tightly with saran wrap and let sit for 15-30 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Let cool, then fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, to soften the bite of the raw onions, place them in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for ten minutes, and then drain. (Feel free to skip this step if you don't mind the strong taste of raw onions.)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, sugar, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add the cooled bulgur, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, dill, parsley, and chick peas. Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Chill until ready to serve or up to two days. Serve cold or room temperature.
- Per serving (4 servings)
- Calories: 336
- Fat: 15g
- Saturated fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 46g
- Sugar: 7g
- Fiber: 11g
- Protein: 9g
- Sodium: 1085mg
- Cholesterol: 0mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Added toasted pistachios and feta. Turned out fantastic! Very fresh and summery and delicious.
Please specify the kind of bulghur? There are many and they have different cooking times.
Hi Joseph, haven’t made this recipe in a while, but I believe I used #2 which is medium. 🙂
I made this salad and it was delicious. I did make a few changes due to what I had at home. I substituted farrow because I had no bulgar and it was probably a bit chewier. The dressing was a bit tart for me and rather than adding more sugar, I added a few tablespoons of some Rose’ I had left over from the weekend. I will definitely make this again. I love having a side or lunch all ready to go.
This is a great salad, just delicious. Didn’t have chickpeas so substituted a can of 4-bean mix. Otherwise made as written. Thought hubby wouldn’t go for it much but I noted he kept digging in. It’s a winner for sure.
Loved this recipe. Didn’t have English cucumbers so used regular cucumbers and came out great. Husband isn’t a fan of raw bell peppers but due to dicing the peppers he didn’t seem to mind. I could eat this regularly. I didn’t have bulgur and used couscous instead. Loved the idea of soaking the onions and preferred that method and will use again for other recipes. Again no fresh herbs so used dried dill and parsley and mixed in with the dressing. Definitely keeping this recipe.
This is a great recipe packed with fresh flavor! I followed it faithfully except that I substituted green onions (scallions) for the red onion. I will definitely make it again.
Thanks for a 5 star recipe. I usually like more lemon than recipes like this call for, as someone else noted, so I will go back and add a little more after just tasting the results. But that is just me. With the combination of wheat and chickpeas it has a complete protein and the fresh veggies make it a one dish meal. I will finish with a piece of fruit. Lovely recipe.
Nailed it again!
Just finished making this for our lunches and a healthier start to 2023! Had to pry my husband away so I could get it in the fridge! Cant wait for lunch tomorrow after this has had a chance to “marinate” some more. Definitely a keeper!
Love it! Nailed it and made it again to share at work. Such a hit plus a coworker of mine also decided to make it for guests after tasting mine! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Great dish! Curious if you have ever tried toasting the bulgar in a pan before soaking in water? I’ve read a few other recipes/comments and it’s supposed to give it a nutty flavor.
No, I’ve never tried it. Let me know how it comes out if you do!
Really tasty. My husband loved it. He can’t eat anything in the allium family but even though I left the onions out it was so flavorful. I’m not a parsley or chickpea fan but when I read the ingredients I had a feeling I was going to really enjoy it. Plus you’ve literally never steered me wrong. And I was right. It’s so clean and delicious. Perfect for the hot weather.
I made as written and it was a huge hit. I will definitely make again. Jenn I wonder if you could suggest a spice to replace cumin, although we like cumin I would like an option to make without for variety.
Glad you like it. For a little change, you could use coriander or paprika. 🙂
Loved this. Added more salt to brighten the lemon.
A simple recipe but full of flavor, i substituted the bulgur with quinoa.
Love this! Simple, fresh and tasty as is. I did add feta, red pepper and celery along with some lemon zest. Thanks for another fast, easy and delish recipe!
Great idea to add feta! Going to try that too!
This was my first time using bulgur for anything. I brought the finished product to a meeting and everyone loved it, including one guy who isn’t really a salad person. He went back for seconds. One teeny matter: when you listed the ingredients, you didn’t have how much cucumber listed or whether or not one should peel the outer skin, though I saw it in the picture. I used two small ones.
I see she hasn’t responded. Cucumber add what you want, two sounds good and if using Persian or English cucumbers don’t peel.
This recipe was delicious. First time using bulgur. Matched perfectly with a salmon we made. One question: is the one cup of bulgur the measurement before the water is added or after it is absorbed?
Hi Christian, the 1 cup is the measurement before you add the water. (So glad you enjoyed it!)
Think I should have dried the bulgur off a bit like I do with tabbouleh and I didn’t have fresh capsicum so used some from a jar which was yummy but if I did it again, I would reduce dressing.
Flavour was amazing
I made this with riced cauliflower instead of bulgur, didn’t change anything else and it was amazing! Extra crunchy, too!
What size Bulgur do you use? I’ve tried #1 and #2. The #1 bag/brand said to rinse first which I did. Then I added the boiling water according to a different recipe (not yours) which, in the end made the dish mushy. Thanks.
Hi Dorotha, I haven’t made this recipe in a while, but I think I used #2 which is medium sized grain. Hope you enjoy the salad if you make it!
This recipe is FANTASTIC. It is one of the best bulgar salads I have ever made. Thank you so much. This is a keeper.
OMG. I was reluctant to make this recipe because of how much prep is involved and the short keep time, but I am SO glad I did.
It’s delicious and refreshing, I’ve made it twice this week. It’s particularly delicious alongside salmon.
EXCELLENT! My family loved this hearty salad. Rave reviews included perfect taste balance. They had never had anything with bulgur before. I used dried spices except for fresh mint. It was still excellent! Thanks so much
Jenn, what do you recommend as a substitute for the chickpeas? I have made many of your recipes and all were delicious. Thank you.
Glad you like the recipes! You could use cannellini beans in place of the chickpeas. Enjoy!
This is really delicious and fresh. I have made it multiple times and just love it. Great with a BBQ as a side.
I finally found bulgur at the fourth grocery store!
There is a lot of prep work for this recipe, but it
was worth it. My partner really liked it – always
Wonderful summer salad. I served this with a cold poached salmon with tzatziki sauce. Another winner Jenn….
Made this with quinoa since I could not find bulgur at the store, but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. It was delicious! Fast, tasty, and fresh – the perfect trifecta. Served with grilled chicken and chunks of feta cheese. Adding to our summer recipe rotation. Bet it would be outstanding for a potluck too. Thanks, Jenn!
Would you recommend fine or coarse bulgar in this recipe?
Hi Mary, I used #2 which is medium. Hope you enjoy the salad if you make it!
Yes, it is turned out to be very delicious as are most all of your recipes…and healthy, too.
Oh my gosh this is soooo good! I know it is HEALTHY and it tastes GREAT! Easy to make and tonite I am serving this with grilled chicken (for the meat eaters in my family). The most work involved is cutting the vegetables and herbs. Now, personally, I am not a lover of dill so I did omit it and I added some cubed up feta cheese. DELICIOUS!!!!
A little over 6 months ago, I had never heard of bulgur. And then I was fortunate to be chosen to be a recipe tester for Jenn’s upcoming 2nd cookbook and one of the recipes I tried was (spoiler alert) “Mediterranean Bulgur Salad with Cedar Plank Salmon”. So this weekend, I thought I would check to see if Jenn had other Bulgur salads and I found this one.
As expected, Jenn came through not only with another delicious recipe but also one that improves my culinary education.
This salad is delicious and one of the first recipes I tried from this website. I was concerned that the dill would be too overpowering, but all the ingredients are in perfect balance with one another. It’s the perfect summertime meal and leftovers make a great side for the following day.
I have been making this salad for a few years and love it! I sometimes switch it up with cooked pearl couscous add sliced black olives. Do not skip the onion soak. It keeps the crispness of the onions without the onion taste. I chop the onion small so that my kids do not complain and eat them no problem. A must try!
Great as a side with protein at dinner, amazing for lunch the next day! Have on occasion substituted quinoa with great success. For longer storage I keep lemon/olive oil dressing on the side until serving.
delicious salad! have made several times with success. have substituted other grains- cooked farro works especially well. thanks for the great recipes over the years.
Made it tonight exactly as directed. Wasn’t sure I’d like it but thought it was a healthy option—and OMG—loved it. So did my husband. It’s def going into the rotation!
Delicious, easy to make & goes with anything. I added leftover bbq steak, thinly sliced to my bowl of bulgur salad. Complete meal & totally satisfying.
Don’t use plastic wrap – instead, just use a pot lid. Et voilà, zero waste!
I used a tea towel – voila! Delicious recipe. thanks from England 🇬🇧
Absolutely delicious! I make this often. Light, wonderful flavors, and very satisfying. Thanks for another wonderful recipe, Jenn!
Absolutely delicious! I’ve made it with bulgar but the times I haven’t been able to find bulgar, I made it with farro and it was equally delicious!
Just “wow!” Made this three times now and each time it was perfect. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses or sprinkle with crumbled cojita. This is simply perfect. Thank you for a great recipe!
One of the best salads I have made!!! So fresh and delicious. Made this recipe so many times I almost know the ingredients by heart !!! A big hit at potlucks. Thank you – love your recipes!!!!
Made this the first time for a big family get together. A hit with youngsters and adults alike with many requests for recipe.
I made this recipe this summer for my big birthday party. 100+ people, so I made 10 batches! plus one batch with quinoa for a gluten-free version.
Everyone loved it, no leftovers!
My husband and I absolutely love this salad. I started making it in mid-June and have made it (at least) every other week since. It is a great summer salad to have in the fridge when you need a quick bite. The flavors all marry together so nicely — especially the dill. I, too, have added feta and even olives, at times. For some reason, bulgur has been hard to find at surrounding grocery stores so I have also made with Israeli couscous and a bulgur/ quinoa mix. All have been great. My husband is picky about his salads, but he has requested me to make this on several occasions. Thank you, Jenn, for another top-rate recipe!