Bulgur Wheat: An Overview of the Nutritious and Versatile Grain

Are you looking for a healthy grain that is packed with nutrients and easy to cook with? Look no further than bulgur wheat ! This ancient grain has been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries, but is now gaining popularity in kitchens around the world. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of bulgur wheat, how to cook it, and its versatility in a variety of dishes.

What is Bulgur Wheat?

Bulgur wheat is a whole grain cereal food that is made by parboiling and then drying wheat berries. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African cuisine, and is a popular ingredient in dishes such as tabouli, pilafs, and salads. It has a nutty flavor and a light, chewy texture that complements many different foods.

Is Bulgur Wheat Healthy?

Bulgur wheat is an excellent source of important nutrients, including fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is also low in fat and calories, making it a great choice for a healthy diet. In fact, a one-cup serving of cooked bulgur wheat contains:

  • 151 calories
  • 8 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of fiber
  • 0.4 grams of fat
  • 33 grams of carbohydrates
  • 15% of the recommended daily value (DV) of iron
  • 5% DV of potassium
  • 10% DV of vitamin B6

It also contains smaller amounts of other important nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and niacin.

Bulgur wheat is a great choice for people looking to maintain a healthy weight as it is a low glycemic index food, meaning it helps stabilize blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling full longer.

How to Cook Bulgur Wheat for Tabouli

One of the most popular dishes that uses bulgur wheat is tabouli, a refreshing salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and olive oil. Here is how to cook bulgur wheat for tabouli:

  1. Rinse 1 cup of bulgur wheat under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer.
  2. Combine the bulgur with 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of salt, if desired.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pan.
  4. Cook the bulgur for about 12-15 minutes or until it is tender and has absorbed all the water.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the bulgur with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.

Once the bulgur is cooked and cooled, mix it with the chopped vegetables, herbs, and dressing to make tabouli. You can also add feta cheese or olives for an extra burst of flavor.

What is Bulgur Wheat Called in the USA?

In the United States, bulgur wheat is often labeled as cracked wheat or bulgar. You can find it at most grocery stores in the grains or specialty foods aisle.

Is Bulgur Wheat Healthier than Rice?

Both bulgur wheat and rice are nutritious and healthy grains, but bulgur wheat may have a slight edge when it comes to nutritional value. For example, one cup of cooked brown rice contains around 215 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 3.5 grams of fiber, while the same amount of cooked bulgur wheat contains fewer calories, more protein, and more fiber.

Additionally, bulgur wheat has a lower glycemic index compared to white rice, meaning it won’t cause the same spikes in blood sugar levels that can lead to overeating and weight gain.

What is Bulgur Wheat Similar to?

If you’re looking for a substitute for bulgur wheat, you can use other grains such as quinoa, couscous, or farro. However, these grains have different textures and flavors, so it’s important to experiment with different recipes and find what works best for you.


Bulgur wheat is a nutritious and versatile grain that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s easy to cook and has a mild, nutty flavor that makes it a great addition to salads, pilafs, and soups. With its many health benefits and low-calorie count, bulgur wheat is an excellent choice for anyone looking to maintain a healthy diet. So why not try incorporating bulgur wheat into your meals and reap the rewards of this ancient and nutritious grain?