Mediterranean Bulgur Salad

This tangy and tasty Mediterranean bulgur salad features bulgur wheat, garlic, tomatoes, lemon, and lots of fresh parsley.

Mediterranean bulgur salad

On our recent trip to Greece, Alex and I had a bulgur salad similar to this one. There was a breathtaking sunset over the Mediterranean, and we had just ordered a list of small plates so large that the server looked at us like we were crazy. With my husband and sister on my right and my best childhood friend and her fiance on my left, it was like one of those “happy place” daydreams where all your favorite people who live on different continents converge together in some gorgeous island destination. It’s now a distant memory (sigh!), but we still have that bulgur salad. Keep reading for the recipe!

Mediterranean bulgur salad

How to make bulgur salad

The bulgur salad we had in Greece was made a bit differently and called “pligouri” salad (meaning, bulgur wheat), but this rendition is close. It’s also very similar to tabbouleh, though tabbouleh actually originates further East across the Mediterranean.

What is bulgur wheat? Bulgur wheat is a whole wheat grain that has been cracked and partially pre-cooked. Not only does it have a delicious chewy texture, nutty flavor, and a high nutritional content, but it cooks quickly. All you have to do is boil some water in a teapot and then let the bulgur soak: no oven required! Now that’s our kind of cooking! (For more about different types of bulgur, head to How to Cook Bulgur.)

This is a fabulous summer bulgur salad since it’s easy to put together and deliciously light and herby. We love the fact that the bulgur wheat makes this dish a “no cook” grain salad: just pour boiling water over the bulgur and let it sit. It seems like magic each time we do it! Bulgur wheat is a quick-cooking whole grain that you should be able to find at most supermarkets. This Mediterranean bulgur salad and our Greek salad are perfect options to bring to a summer picnic or barbecue.

Or, do you have an Instant Pot? You also can cook bulgur wheat in a pressure cooker: see our Instant Pot Bulgur Wheat recipe.

Looking for easy Greek recipes?

Outside of this Mediterranean bulgur salad, here are some of our favorite easy Greek recipes:

This recipe is…

This recipe is vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free tortillas.

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Mediterranean Bulgur Salad


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x

Description

This tangy and tasty Mediterranean bulgur salad features bulgur wheat, garlic, tomatoes, lemon, and lots of fresh parsley.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fine- or medium-grind bulgur wheat*
  • 4 medium tomatoes (enough for 2 finely diced)
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley (one large bunch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 2 lemons
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt to 1 ½ cups water and bring it to a boil. Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and pour over the boiling salted water. Cover and allow to sit until tender: about 7 minutes for fine-grind and 15 minutes for medium-grind bulgur.
  2. Meanwhile, finely dice the tomatoes, removing the core and seeds. Thinly slice the green onions and mince the garlic. Chop the fresh parsley and fresh mint. Zest 1 lemon.
  3. When the bulgur is finished, fluff it with a fork. Add tomatoes, green onions, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon zest, olive oil, lemon juice, a few pinches kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Stir gently to combine. Serve with additional lemon wedges.

Notes

*Avoid coarse or extra-coarse bulgur, since the cooking instructions are different. Here’s more about types of bulgur.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Mediterranean Bulgur Salad, Bulgur Salad, Summer Salad, Salad Recipes, Bulgur Wheat, Tomato Salad, Parsley Recipes

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    July 2, 2014 at 6:30 am

    We eat a lot of tabbouleh and love it so much!! This is such a nice summer meal :)

  • Reply
    Sophie
    July 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

    This looks and sounds absolutely beautiful, I have so many of your recent recipes bookmarked ready to try!

    Sophie
    http://what-sophie-said.blogspot.co.uk/
    xxx

  • Reply
    kristie @ birchandwild.com
    July 2, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    This salad looks so perfect! I have wanted to go to Greece, so I am living vicariously through you posts related to you trip there!

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 7, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Love tabbouleh! What kind of bulger did you use? It looks smaller and lighter than the Bob’s Red Mill that I use.

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Bulgur that is!

    • Reply
      Alex
      July 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      :)

      I believe we used bulgur from the Whole Foods bulk bins.

  • Reply
    Lori Cahill
    January 21, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Is it possible to substitute something for the Bulgur as I am not eating wheat. Would love to try this if it is possible. Thanks

    • Reply
      Alex
      January 21, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      You could try quinoa! Not quite the same but I bet it’d be tasty.

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