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This zesty Cajun salad is a grain salad with an unexpected spin: bulgur wheat, corn, and kidney beans are flavored with fresh oregano and Cajun seasoning.

Cajun salad with red beans

Looking for something a little different with your salad? We’ve been hooked on veggie and grain salads, a wonderful way to enjoy raw veggies with a whole lot of flavor. Most of our salads have Mediterranean or Latin flavors, but what about Cajun? This Cajun salad recipe has a unique twist by using Cajun seasoning to ramp up your favorite summer veggies! It also features one of our favorite grains: bulgur wheat. Keep reading for this Cajun salad recipe.

How to cook bulgur wheat

Ever eaten bulgur wheat? It’s a whole grain that originates in Middle Eastern cuisine. Bulgur is commonly used in tabbouleh, which you may have had at Greek restaurants, a Mediterranean bulgur salad. Not only does bulgur wheat have a delicious chewy texture, nutty flavor, and a high nutritional content, but it cooks in just 15 minutes! Bulgur wheat comes in different grind sizes, which changes the cooking time significantly. As in this Cajun salad, we like to cook with fine-grind and medium-grind bulgur wheat since they are the quickest cooking. Generally we avoid coarse-ground or extra-coarse bulgur as they takes longer to cook.

How to make bulgur wheat? Just heat up water to boiling, then pour it over the bulgur wheat and let it stand for 7 minutes for fine-grind bulgur or 15 minutes for medium-grind bulgur. As it sits, the grains absorb all the water and the grains become large and tender. It “cooks” without having to cook on the stovetop! Which seems like it’s not cooking at all.

Cajun salad with red beans

How to make Cajun salad

Aside from cooking the bulgur wheat (see the instructions above), this salad is as breeze. Simply slice up the raw veggies while the bulgur cooks, and when it’s done mix it all together with the Cajun seasoning, oil, and vinegar. I loved the mix of textures and flavors in this salad, with the spicy kick of the Cajun spices punctuated by the sweet corn kernels, juicy tomatoes, and the bite of the fresh oregano. While this was a great combination, it would be easy to get creative with the bulgur base and add your own favorite veggies, herbs, and seasonings!

And that’s it: how to make Cajun salad! Let us know if you make it in the comments below.

Looking for salad recipes?

Outside of this Cajun salad recipe, here are a few favorite salad recipes:

This Cajun salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, plant-based, vegan, and dairy-free.

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Cajun Salad with Red Beans

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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This zesty Cajun salad is a grain salad with an unexpected spin: bulgur wheat, corn, and kidney beans are flavored with fresh oregano and Cajun seasoning.


  • 1 ½ cups fine-grind or medium-grind bulgur wheat*
  • 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes
  • 3 ears corn
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 handful fresh oregano
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice blend
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Kosher salt


  1. Heat 1 ½ cups water in a teapot. Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl or lidded container. When the water boils, pour the water over the bulgur and seal the container (or place plastic wrap over the top of the bowl). Allow to sit until tender: about 7 minutes for fine-grind and 15 minutes for medium-grind bulgur.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into bite sized chunks (cut cherry tomatoes in half). Slice the corn off the cob. Dice the green pepper. Finely dice the shallot. Chop the oregano. Drain the kidney beans and rinse them.
  3. When the bulgur is done, place it in a large bowl with the tomatoes, corn, green pepper, shallot, and beans. Then add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Cajun seasoning, fresh oregano, fresh ground pepper, and kosher salt (to taste). Mix and serve.


*Avoid coarse or extra-coarse bulgur, since the cooking instructions are different.

Notes: The amount of spice to add depends on the Cajun spice blend you purchase, and your tolerance for heat. Make sure to start conservatively, and taste until you find the desired spice level!

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cajun Inspired

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Sahrazade says:

    Sonja, thanks for this recipe. I added 1 more tablespoon of cajun and few radishes as my family loves spicy. I thought 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar would be too strong but we could hardly notice and it is actually really tasty! Best thing is that we can use whatever vegetables are in the fridge. So quick and simple. :)

  2. Shayna says:

    First off, I LOVE your website!!!! I made this recipe as-is a couple weeks ago and it tasted fabulous! Tonight I substituted the bulgur for quinoa with good results too. :)

    1. Alex says:

      Yum! It’s always great to hear feedback! :)

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