Bulgur Salad / Pligourisalata

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bulgur salad

bulgur salad

So incredibly simple to prepare, you’ll be floored by how amazing this traditional Greek bulgur salad tastes!  Similar to the Middle Eastern dish tabouli, and in Cyprus actually called tambouli, – this dish is a flavor packed, nutritional powerhouse. Light, fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables, a simple dressing of just lemon juice and olive oil all mixed with hearty bulgur (pligouri/πλιγούρι in Greek or cracked wheat), bulgur salad is another fantastic example of traditional Greek salads that make an amazing meal!

Some packages of bulgur will recommend that you boil your wheat but there’s really no need.  The traditional prep of bulgur is to soak and not boil the grains for about an hour.  Once soaked, you can leave the bulgur aside for 24-48 hours until your ready to use it – a nice window of flexibility. I usually soak 1 part bulgur to 1/2 part water – ex: 1 cup of bulgur soaked in 1/2 cup warm/hot water. This recipe is infinitely scalable so make a little or a whole lot, bulgur salad gets eaten right up.

Keep your herbs chopped as finely as you can get them.  A sharp knife is a good friend to have on bulgur salad day!

chop herbs as finely as possible

chop herbs as finely as possible

In this recipe, I’ve gone ahead and measured the fresh herbs by dry measure scoops instead of just listing ‘half a bunch’ or a ‘big bunch’ both of which I find really annoying and horribly imprecise especially when I’m making a new recipe.  Included with the measurements is an approximate of what I used in terms of ‘bunches’ which should help at the grocery store.

And this is a chop and mix recipe – just that easy.  It’s impossible to mess up! My one suggestion is to add the chopped tomatoes last and toss only once or twice.  They’re much more delicate than rest of the ingredients and you don’t want them to get mushed! Keep all your veggie in small, bite sized pieces as you want to get a little bit of everything in a forkful.

bite-sized veggies

bite-sized veggies

I have to tell you, bulgur salad is one of my favorite quick lunches. With a pita pocket stuffed with humus and a few big spoonfuls of bulgur salad – you’ll never feel that 3pm slump with this for lunch, I promise you!

  • 1 cup dried bulgur (soaked in 1/2 cup  water for 1 hour)
  • 3 cups chopped parsley (just under a bunch)
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro (approx 1/2 bunch)
  • 1 cup chopped mint (1/3 of a bunch)
  • 2 cups chopped cucumber 
  • 1 cup chopped tomato 
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion 
  • 1 tsp each, salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 

Soak bulgur in warm/hot water for an hour until plumped and fluffy. Chop all herbs very finely. Chopped veggies into bite sized pieces. Add everything to large bowl, add salt/pepper and lemon juice/olive oil. Mix all together, gently and completely. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. 

Another great thing about this recipe is it’s endless variations.  Pine nuts and dried currants are added in some parts of Greece and golden raisins with almonds in other areas. And you can certainly switch out the traditional veggie combination here for one that’s more to your particular tastes. Just try to keep to the herb to veggie ratios above for a balanced dish. Enjoy this on it’s own or as a side to most anything – I know you’ll find a hundred ways to love bulgur salad!

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18 Responses to Bulgur Salad / Pligourisalata

  1. Amanda March 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

    My family and I are not vegan, but we are Orthodox, and I just wanted to say thank you so much for your beautiful website! It is so much easier to feed my family this Lent- I just come to your site and pick out something to make!

    • Tiffany March 3, 2017 at 11:03 am #

      Same reason I am here!

    • Ralph Rhineau July 25, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

      I’m not Christian, but I am a whole-food vegan who also avoids adding salt, oil, and sugar to my food.

      Your recipes provide an excellent foundation for my recipes. While Greek cuisine is famous for it’s love of olive oil, I have ways to avoid or replace oil with wonderful results. In fact, I regularly cook as full buffet for 70 – 100 people at my church… from soup, to salads, to entrées, to desserts and I use a lot of your recipes and folks love the results. Thanks for sharing.

    • Carol July 26, 2017 at 11:41 am #

      I don’t know how I got on this website but I know I didn’t sign up, however it happened , I m glad to be here. As a Vegan I am always on the hunt for quick and easy recipes, and this looks great. Haven’t tried it yet but will buying the ingredients tomorrow.
      Thank you very much.

  2. Louanne August 24, 2016 at 6:25 am #

    Your salad makes me so happy! Picking up some bulgur today to make for Thursday and Friday lunches…thank you!

  3. Hilly June 29, 2017 at 11:56 am #

    Is it okay to make this the night before?
    Looks and sounds delish.

    • Kiki June 29, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

      absolutely! and yes, it’s delicious!

  4. Nancy P. Beckham July 25, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    If you were gluten free what would you substitute for the bulgur?

    • Kiki July 25, 2017 at 10:33 pm #

      i think quinoa 🙂

  5. Barbara July 26, 2017 at 1:56 am #

    This sounds easy and delicious. But how many people would this amount serve, and do you mean an ordinary teacup? Thank you. Barbara

    • Kiki July 26, 2017 at 10:07 am #

      This recipe serves 4 well as a main dish and 6-8 as a nice side dish. Cups are stand US measuring cups 🙂

  6. Anne Guffey July 26, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Is that 1 tsp each of salt and pepper? It looks delicious Kiki!

    • Kiki July 26, 2017 at 11:33 am #

      thanks Anne! and yes, 1 tsp of each – now clarified above 🙂

  7. Karen Hill July 26, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

    I made this the other day for a friend who doesn’t eat wheat and used cauliflower ‘rice’ instead. It was still delicious.

    We hoovered it up the next day too and it was even tastier!

    Thank you.

  8. Eva August 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

    Can you suggest a substitute for the cilantro. Thanks.

    • Kiki August 3, 2017 at 6:31 pm #

      I’d go with lemon grass if you can find it. a lot of the same light, brightness of cilantro. not sure how Greek it is though 😉 if lemon grass is not readily available, I would probably increase the amounts of parsley. wouldn’t be as flavorful but still delicious. do try for the lemongrass though!


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