How to Cook Perfect Bulgur Wheat on the Stove

A staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean regions, bulgur wheat is a grain we should all get to know better. It’s a whole wheat grain that has been cracked and partially precooked, and it’s terrific in all sorts of side dishes, soup, pilafs, casseroles, and salads (grain salads and also added to green salads). It can be added to meat dishes like kibbeh and meatloaf, to boost nutrition and bulk them up. Many people have encountered this grain for the first time as the backbone of Middle Eastern Tabbouleh salad.

It’s high in fiber and low in fat, and also has a nice amount of protein—though because it is a wheat, it is not gluten-free. It’s got a lovely nutty flavor.

How to Cook Perfect Bulgur Wheat on the Stove

Technically it doesn’t have to be cooked per se, but rather soaked, thanks to the grains already being parboiled. Just soaking works very well for fine grind bulgur. But for medium or coarse the soaking method takes a while, so giving it a simmer and then a soak speeds things along. It comes in fine, medium and coarse grind versions, and if your package does have specific directions you should follow them—there are different methods, and different coarseness requires different soaking times.

But here’s a good baseline recipe on how to cook bulgur wheat.

I like to cook grains in diluted broth, usually vegetable unless I know for sure the cooked grains are being included in a dish that is not vegetarian. This way whatever I use the cooked grains in is a vegetarian offering.


How to Cook Bulgur Wheat

1. Combine bulgur and diluted broth in a sauce pan.

How to Cook Perfect Bulgur Wheat on the Stove

Combine 1 cup of medium grain bulgur and 1 3/4 cups of diluted broth in a sauce pan with a generous pinch of salt (you can use half canned or boxed broth, and half water, or just use a smaller amount of a stock paste like Better Than Bouillon in water, about half of what the label suggests).

2. Bring the bulgur to a simmer and then cover.

How to Cook Perfect Bulgur Wheat on the Stove

Bring to a simmer and then cover, lower the heat and continue to gently simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Turn off the heat and let the bulgur sit.

How to Cook Perfect Bulgur Wheat on the Stove

Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes. All of the liquid should be absorbed and the grains should be tender. If the grains need a few more minutes of cooking time, just replace the lid and lit it sit a bit longer. Conversely if the grains are as tender as you want them—this is a matter of personal preference—and there is still liquid left in the pot, drain the grains in a colander.

If you are using it in a warm preparation, fluff with a fork continue with the recipe, or to cool it spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet until it gets to room temperature. If you are using it at another time, you can then transfer the cooled grains to a container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Want more bulgur wheat? Try these bulgur wheat recipes!

How to Cook Perfect Bulgur Wheat on the Stove

This versatile grain is as easy to cook as rice, and adds oomph to many side dishes and salads.
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup medium grain bulgur
  • cups diluted broth
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  • Combine 1 cup of medium grain bulgur and 1 3/4 cups of diluted broth in a sauce pan with a generous pinch of salt (you can use half canned or boxed broth, and half water, or just use a smaller amount of a stock paste like Better Than Bouillon in water, about half of what the label suggests).
  • Bring to a simmer and then cover, lower the heat and continue to gently simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes. All of the liquid should be absorbed and the grains should be tender. If the grains need a few more minutes of cooking time, just replace the lid and lit it sit a bit longer. Conversely if the grains are as tender as you want them—this is a matter of personal preference—and there is still liquid left in the pot, drain the grains in a colander.
  • If you are using it in a warm preparation, fluff with a fork continue with the recipe, or to cool it spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet until it gets to room temperature. If you are using it at another time, you can then transfer the cooled grains to a container and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

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