Bulgur wheat salad with chickpeas, red onion and pine nuts is packed with flavor. It’s also fast and easy, making it a hit for weeknight dinners. This tasty side dish is ready in less than 30 minutes.
Chewy, roasted chickpeas and toasted pine nuts are tossed with bulgur or cracked wheat, sautéed with sweet red onions and finished with fresh herbs.
This vegan side dish, or meatless main, uses pantry items like canned chickpeas to make this a quick and easy dish. It is also a great option for meal-prepping, as it will keep in the fridge for days.
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Warm Bulgur Wheat Salad with Chickpeas
Bulgur is also known as cracked wheat. You may have eaten it in the form of tabbouleh, the Lebanese salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers and a hefty amount of fresh parsley.
That’s how I was introduced to it. When I was a teenager, I worked with a woman from Beirut. I had many amazing meals at her house and that is when I had tabbouleh for the first time.
I was hooked from the first bite. Since that time, I’ve come to appreciate a bulgur wheat salad in pretty much any form.
How to cook bulgur wheat
One of the things I really like about it is, you really don’t “cook” it. It simply soaks up boiling water in roughly 20 minutes flat.
Give it a little fluff with a fork and you’re done. It could not be any easier, which makes it a great staple to have on hand when you need something quick.
Recently, I took a poll on facebook and asked people what they wanted to see more of on the blog. There were quite a few requests for sides.
I think it’s challenging to come up with new, exciting or interesting side dishes. So, I set out to come up with at least a handful and this one was a resounding favorite.
Warm bulgur wheat salad
I wanted to create something that was flexible as a side but hearty enough for a meatless meal. This ticked all the boxes – full of flavor, easy, fast, something different and easily customizable to different palates.
When I made this, it was a side dish for lamb. However, I would eat this on it’s own for a meat-free dinner. It filled me up without leaving me feeling “heavy”.
We had friends over for dinner and everyone loved this bulgur wheat salad. They were also in love with the purple Moroccan tea glasses that were on the table.
The beautiful golden color is helped along by a pinch of turmeric, the red onions and fresh herbs provide a nice bit of color in this dish making it really lovely. Can you tell that I am a fan of this warm salad?
Bulgur wheat salads can be as varied as you make them. Whether it’s with tomatoes, cucumber and parsley or chickpeas, pine nuts and red onion like this one.
Use this recipe as is, or as a jumping off point. Try adding different vegetables and herbs to change up the flavor. The possibilities are almost endless.
What can I serve with this bulgur wheat salad?
I served this warm salad with grilled lamb loin chops. We had a big green salad and that was dinner.
Here are a few more options that would go perfectly with this bulgur salad:
- Mediterranean lamb meatballs
- Rosemary lemon chicken thighs
- Sauteed broccolini
- Pavlova with raspberry coulis
Used in this bulgur wheat salad
- This is the exact bulgur wheat I used in the recipe
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- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups medium, #2 bulgur wheat
- 1- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, optional
- kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C.
- Bring water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in bulgur. Remove from heat.
- Cover with a light-fitting lid and let stand, until all the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- In an ovenproof skillet, combine chickpeas, pine nuts, onion, oil, lemon juice, cumin, turmeric, paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Stir over medium high heat until it starts to sizzle. Then transfer to the oven and roast for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and stir in the bulgur. Add the parsley (and mint, if using).
- Stir to combine and serve warm.
This salad can be served room temperature as well, making it perfect for lunches the following day.
It is also a great meal prep option for the week because it will keep in the fridge for days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 432mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 9gSugar: 10gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
Originally published: 4/2/18, most recent update: 4/22/20.