Cajun Bulgur Salad

In Salads

Cajun Bulgur Salad

It’s high summer, and we can’t get enough of the produce that’s flooding the markets – and our garden!  We still can’t bring ourselves to fire up the stovetop or oven – partially because of the heat, but mainly because it tastes so good fresh!

We’ve been hooked on veggie and grain salads, which are a wonderful way to enjoy the raw goodness. This recipe uses not only a few of my favorite seasonal veggies (sweet corn and garden tomatoes), but a new favorite grain – bulgur wheat.

Ever eaten bulgur? (It’s commonly used in tabbouleh.)  Not only does it have a delicious chewy texture, nutty flavor, and a high nutritional content, but it cooks in just 15 minutes!  And all you have to do is boil some water in a teapot. Now that’s my kind of cooking!

While bulgur is most often served with Mediterranean flavors, I came across this idea for serving it with Cajun spices, which was the perfect compliment to the sweet corn and kidney beans I was hoping to use. The combination of flavors was perfect, and a nice change from the Mediterranean or Latin flavors we tend towards.

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 and 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!

Check our your local markets for in-season produce!  Bulgur is available at most grocery stores, especially in the bulk foods section.

Here are a few other ways to enjoy fresh veggies this summer:
Buckwheat Pasta with Tomatoes and Tahini
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa
Shepherd’s Salad
German Cucumber Salad
And more to come!


Cajun Bulgur Salad

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 4


  • 1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
  • 3/4 pound fresh tomatoes
  • 3 ears corn
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • 10 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun spice blend
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Kosher salt


  1. Heat 1 1/2 cups water in a teapot. Place 1 1/2 cups 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). Let the bulgur sit for about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed, then fluff with a fork.
  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 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (or more spending on the spice level of the blend), fresh oregano, fresh ground pepper, and kosher salt (to taste). Mix and serve.


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! (Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out!)
There are several methods for cooking bulgur; some methods use a 2:1 ratio of water to bulgur and let the bulgur sit for 30 minutes, but we found the 1:1 ratio and 15 minutes worked just as well. The cooking time also depends on the size of the grain; finer bulgur cooks faster. If you buy it in a package, follow the cooking directions; otherwise, follow the instructions below and make adjustments as necessary; the bulgur should be soft but chewy when done.



  • Reply
    Susanne Schanz
    August 9, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I just found your blog via pinterest. Such a beautiful and lovely blog!! So inspiring recipes. I definitly will give the tomato mozzarella panini with tomato mayo (ahh!) a try! Be you newest reader. Cheers from Germany Susanne

    • Reply
      August 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you for the nice comments – so glad you enjoy it! Let us know if you try out any of the recipes :)

  • Reply
    DLG in Mich
    August 9, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Here’s a dumb question – is the corn raw in this salad? Either way, it looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      August 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, the corn is raw! It was delicious right off the cob, but if you’re wary about it you could always boil it for a few seconds too (or grill it)!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    August 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    This sounds wonderful! Spicy and just good!

  • Reply
    Jess @ littlegirlbigappetite
    August 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Love bulgur but have been bored with the same old recipes. This Cajun one sounds so good!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Those COLORS! Those FLAVORS! So HEALTHY! I love this salad :D

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Beautiful picture! And food, of course. :)

  • Reply
    Alea Milham
    August 10, 2011 at 4:10 am

    What a gorgeous salad! It looks delicious and hearty!

    I discovered your site from reading a post on Loving Life. If you have time, I would love for you to share this recipe with the Hearth and Soul Hop. The hop stays open until Thursday night.

  • Reply
    Tres Delicious
    August 10, 2011 at 9:11 am

    It looks delicious and healthy. Nice appealing photos.

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    This looks so good. My one complaint about grains like quinoa and bulgur is that I can never get the flavor quite right… it always tastes a little bland. But this looks so spicy and yummy!

  • Reply
    August 30, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I actually have all the ingredients for this one. I hope I can find the time to try it THIS WEEK!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    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. :)

    • Reply
      September 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm

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

  • Reply
    November 15, 2013 at 9:30 am

    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. :)

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