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 salad ingredients

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.

Step-by-Step Instructions

To begin, in a medium bowl, combine the bulgur bowl and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

bulgur and salt

Pour 1-1/4 cups boiling water over top and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

bowl covered with plastic wrap Let the bulgur steam for 30 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.

steamed bulgur

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.

soaking red onion in water

Once the chopped onion has soaked, drain thoroughly.

draining onion

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, sugar, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt.

whisked dressing

Add the cooled bulgur, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, dill, parsley, and chick peas.

adding the bulgur and vegetables to the dressingToss well, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

tossed bulgur saladChill 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.

Servings: 4 to 6 as a side dish (2 to 3 as a main course)
Total Time: 40 Minutes


  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 lemons
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small English (or hothouse) cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed


  1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Place the bulgur in a large bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1-1/4 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • 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.

    • — Carrie on October 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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

    • — Donna on October 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jenn, what do you recommend as a substitute for the chickpeas? I have made many of your recipes and all were delicious. Thank you.

    • — Rebecca H on August 31, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! You could use cannellini beans in place of the chickpeas. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 31, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is really delicious and fresh. I have made it multiple times and just love it. Great with a BBQ as a side.

    • — Jennifer on August 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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
    a plus!

    • — Christine on July 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wonderful summer salad. I served this with a cold poached salmon with tzatziki sauce. Another winner Jenn….

    • — Linda K on June 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — S on May 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • Would you recommend fine or coarse bulgar in this recipe?

    • — mary on May 20, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I used #2 which is medium. Hope you enjoy the salad if you make it!

      • — Jenn on May 20, 2021
      • Reply
      • Yes, it is turned out to be very delicious as are most all of your recipes…and healthy, too.

        • — Mary on May 21, 2021
        • Reply
  • 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!!!!

    • — Patricia Donnellan on March 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — GrandBob Moylan on March 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Claudine on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Patty G on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Laura Moberg on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Lia on January 17, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Barbara Armstrong on January 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious, easy to make & goes with anything. I added leftover bbq steak, thinly sliced to my bowl of bulgur salad. Complete meal & totally satisfying.

    • — Arti on November 30, 2020
    • Reply
  • Don’t use plastic wrap – instead, just use a pot lid. Et voilà, zero waste!

    • — Myriam on October 29, 2020
    • Reply
    • I used a tea towel – voila! Delicious recipe. thanks from England 🇬🇧

      • — Emma on August 19, 2021
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! I make this often. Light, wonderful flavors, and very satisfying. Thanks for another wonderful recipe, Jenn!

    • — Eileen on September 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Carolyn on September 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Dave Shawley on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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!!!!

      • — Sue on January 28, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made this the first time for a big family get together. A hit with youngsters and adults alike with many requests for recipe.

    • — Aliz52 on August 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Emma on September 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Laura on July 22, 2020
    • Reply

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