Turkish Bulgur and Vegetable Pilaf

Bulgur and vegetable pilaf is flavored with grated tomato, pepper and onion and cooked in stock. Photo © Elizabeth Taviloglu
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings (4 portions)
Ratings (59)

Are you looking for a new and tasty side dish? Maybe your goal is to get your family to eat healthier. If so, it's the perfect time to try this traditional Turkish recipe for bulgur pilaf with vegetables. It is an easy and delicious way to get all the nutritional benefits of bulgur wheat, as well as tomatoes and peppers, while enjoying a recipe from Turkey.

If you've never tried bulgur wheat, don't worry--it's more familiar than you think. This dish most resembles Spanish rice, but with a heartier, nuttier flavor. Like many Turkish dishes, it is made with very economical ingredients that are easy to find. You may already have most of them on hand. You can find bulgur in most supermarkets in the ethnic foods, Latin or organic food sections. You can also buy it online and at any Middle Eastern or Greek grocery.

Bulgur pilaf with vegetables is the perfect side dish to go with grilled meats and chicken, or just about any time you might eat rice.

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, grated and drained well
  • 1 large tomato, grated, with juice
  • 1 small green pepper, grated
  • 2 cups coarse bulgur
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water

How to Make It

  1. Melt the butter together with the oil in a covered skillet or shallow pan. Fry the drained grated onion until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. It's important that the onion is drained or else the liquid will cause the mixture to taste bitter.
  2. Add the grated tomato and juice and the grated pepper and continue to fry until the vegetables have softened and the liquid is reduced.
  3. Add the bulgur and stir well to combine using a wooden spoon.
  1. Add the salt, pepper, tomato paste, sugar and broth and stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low.
  2. Let the bulgur simmer gently until all the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Keeping the pan covered, remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool down.
  3. The bulgur will continue to steam inside the pot. For more even steaming, place a few paper towels or a sheet of newspaper under the lid.
  4. Gently stir the pilaf before serving to make sure all the ingredients are well blended. Garnish each serving with a piece of fresh or grilled pepper and tomato and some fresh Italian parsley.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 401
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Unsaturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 785 mg
Carbohydrates 67 g
Dietary Fiber 11 g
Protein 13 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)