Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley

4.50 from 6 votes

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A simple grain side dish that works with just about anything, this bulgur wheat recipe is equally good warm or at room temperature.

Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley

This simple bulgur wheat recipe is one of those grains sides that works with just about anything and is equally good warm or at room temperature. When it’s being featured as a hot side, it actually is a very good base for all sorts of things, from chili to chicken cooked with a pan sauce to stew. Bulgur is mildly nutty and soaks up all kinds of juices and sauces beautifully.

The only add-ins to this bulgur dish are some sweet caramelized onions and fresh parsley, so you really don’t have to worry that the flavors will clash or compete with whatever else is on the plate.

Try serving it with some simply Roasted Cod with Lemon Yogurt Sauce or roasted carrots with green olive tapenade and some Parmesan Brussels Sprouts. You could also snuggle it up to some Yogurt Marinated Chicken with an assertive bitter lettuce salad.

Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley piled on a plate.

Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley: This simple grain side dish goes with just about anything, and is equally good warm or at room temperature.

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Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley Ingredients

  • Bulgur wheat
  • WaterHow to Cook Bulgur Wheat provides tips for the perfect ratio of water to bulgur.
  • Vegetable broth – Adds depth of flavor.
  • Olive oil 
  • Vidalia onions – Or any other sweet onion variety, or frankly, any onions you have on hand. The caramelizing will sweeten the onion even if they aren’t sweet to begin with.
  • Parsley leaves – A generous amount of this fresh herb is just what you need to finish off this dish.
Spoon scooping Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley onto a plate.

How to Make Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley

  1. Cook and fluff bulgur: Cook the bulgur according to package directions or learn how to cook bulgur. Once cooked, fluff with a fork.
Pot filled with cooked bulgur wheat on stove.
  1. Caramelize the onions: While the bulgur is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Sauté the onions for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are tender and caramelized. Stir in the parsley.
Partially-Caramelized Onions turning brown in a pan with a wooden spatula.
  1. Combine and serve: In a large bowl, stir the cooled bulgur with the onion-parsley mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add more olive oil by the tablespoon if the mixture seems dry.
Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley in green bowl.

FAQs

Should bulgur be soaked before cooking?

Bulgur can be soaked before cooking or just added to water or broth and cooked, then left to finish cooking in its own heat, at which point it will soak up the rest of the liquid. In essence, bulgur is either cooked and then soaked, or soaked and then cooked for best results.

Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley Cooking Tips

  • If you are planning this to be a room temperature side, spread the hot bulgur on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. If you want it to be a hot side, then keep the lid on until the onion is cooked and everything is ready to be tossed together.
  • When you are cooking the onions, keep the heat on medium or medium-low. Adjust the heat so that the onions are softening and browning quite slowly — that’s how they will get even sweeter and gently caramelized.

What to Serve With Bulgur Wheat, Caramelized Onions, and Parsley

Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley on a plate with Brussels sprouts, and carrots.

More Rice and Grain Side Dish Recipes

Also Read: How to Cook Perfect Bulgur Wheat on the Stove.

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4.50 from 6 votes

Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions and Parsley

A simple grain side dish that works with just about anything, this bulgur wheat recipe is equally good warm or at room temperature.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup less sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more if needed)
  • 2 Vidalia or other sweet onions (diced)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Instructions 

  • Cook the bulgur according to package directions or follow tips for cooking bulgur wheat, using the water and vegetable broth. Once cooked, fluff with a fork, then if you are planning this to be a room temperature side spread the hot bulgur on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. If you want it to be a hot side, then keep the lid on until the onion is cooked and everything is ready to be tossed together.
  • While the bulgur is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are tender and caramelized. Adjust the heat so that the onions are cooking and browning quite slowly — that’s how they will get even sweeter and gently caramelized. Stir in the parsley.
  • In a large bowl, stir the cooled bulgur with the onion-parsley mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add more olive oil by the tablespoon if the mixture seems dry.

Notes

  • If you are planning this to be a room temperature side, spread the hot bulgur on a rimmed baking sheet to cool. If you want it to be a hot side, then keep the lid on until the onion is cooked and everything is ready to be tossed together.
  • When you are cooking the onions, keep the heat on medium or medium-low. Adjust the heat so that the onions are softening and browning quite slowly — that’s how they will get even sweeter and gently caramelized.

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 259mg, Potassium: 382mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 757IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 2mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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3 Comments

  1. Ellen says:

    Step 2 – caramelizing the onions is way too simplified. Caramelizing onions, as I found out, takes very low heat (after an initial burst of heat) and takes a much longer time. Following the directions in the recipe lead to a pan of burnt onions, which all got thrown out. The bulgur was pretty much nothing without them. For me, this recipe didn’t work. A little more specificity on step 2 would have helped (and might help others that aren’t a whiz already in the kitchen.)

    1. Andrea Danicci says:

      Try again love

  2. Christy says:

    Very good and easy to put together. Will definitely make it again.