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How to Cook Bulgur Wheat

Bulgur wheat is a staple grain in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, often used in salads and in place of rice. Made from cracked wheat that has been parboiled and dried for quick cooking, bulgur has a chewy texture and light nutty flavor. If you’ve every wondered how to cook bulgur wheat, here’s how:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from the heat, stir in 1 cup of uncooked bulgur wheat and a pinch of salt. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes. Drain any excess liquid, fluff, and serve. If you want to increase the amount, just keep the ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part bulgur wheat.

Unlike rice and other grains, bulgur doesn’t need to constantly be on the stove to cook. This technique steams the bulgur making it tender and fluffy. And don’t worry about adding too much water, you can always drain the bulgur at the end!

  • Geof Richmond

    Excellent post and well run site. Thanks

  • Thanks @geofrichmond:disqus! I’m glad you found the tip helpful.

  • RER

    Please clarify, is Bulgur the same as Bourghal (cracked wheat) but is Bulgur a particular cracked wheat.

    • This is a great question and you are on the right track. The real answer is that the only difference between bulgur and cracked wheat is the stage of processing. Bulgur is cracked wheat that has been par-boiled before packaging so it can be cooked quicker at home by just pouring over boiling water and letting it soak. Cracked wheat is more like barley in that it requires an extended cooking time. Sometimes however, bulgur will have (cracked wheat) on the package so you’re best bet is to check the cooking instructions. From a recipe perspective, they will yield the same result with different cooking times and methods.

  • Mander

    What is the equivalent of bulgur in Indian language?

    • Hi @5ade134b405c2c703b71bc17e6d7c4db:disqus – the closest thing I could find is that in India, bulgur is called “lapsi” or “dalia.” Hope this helps!

    • Ben


  • fahkir1

    Im doing some chicken tomorrow. Any tips for combining it with bulgur wheat? I am trying to eat better.

  • Rebecca Blankinship

    Any ideas on how to make bulgur for a breakfast cereal, and make it taste good?

    • @rebeccablankinship:disqus Great question! For a breakfast cereal or porridge similar to oatmeal, you want to use a ratio of 1 part bulgur to 4 parts liquid. A combination of half milk, half water works well. Bring the bulgur and liquid to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring often. Add in brown sugar, dried fruit, nuts, and spices as you would in oatmeal.

      • Rebecca Blankinship

        Thank you very much, sounds good to me.

        • Loretta Damon

          leave out the sugar and your taste buds will adjust to the natural flavor and natural sweetness to the fruit. Too much sugar can cause weight problems which could lead to diabetes.

        • Jesi Marie

          Hi Rebecca! I recognize you are looking for BULGUR recipes as that is the theme of this page(!) but I thought you might also be interested in trying another light, healthy and tasty breakfast recipe using quinoa!?… In a small pot, stir 1/2 cup of Quinoa, a pinch of Nutmeg, and 1 tsp grated Ginger into a cup of Water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup of chopped Prunes and 1/4 cup of Rice Milk. Cover again and cook another 5 minutes. Before serving, stir in 1 tablespoon of Flax Seed Oil… That’s it! I’m not a breakfast eater so I love to eat this as a “snack”. It’s quite mild in flavor and therefor, in my opinion, subtly delicious! I personally like to add more Prunes and a hint more Nutmeg :) Also, you can use Almond or Soy Milk instead of the Rice Milk. This is actually a recipe from Dr. Oz’s 48 Hour Cleanse, which is why the list of ingredients are not typical of a standard “porridge” recipe! It’s extremely healthy, and those ingredients help to detox the body! […To Vijah, I apologize for posting a comment unrelated to bulgur (which is another favorite grain food of mine!!), I’m just super excited about this recipe and having been dying to share it with anyone who might appreciate too!!!…] I hope you Rebecca, and anyone else reading this, like and enjoy the recipe as much as I do! :) Have a Great Day :)

          • Jesi Marie

            (Oops, sorry for the typo= *Vijay*)

  • amer ahmed

    what is difference between burguler and oats?

    • Phaedrus

      One is wheat. The other is oats!

  • Phaedrus

    Just to add to the confusion, Bulgur is called Couscous in Cypress, and so is Couscous!

    • yum

      No, they are two different things, I have both in my kitchen

    • Serai 1

      Couscous is a form of pasta. Bulgar wheat is the grain itself, dried.

  • Patsie Frederick-Wattley

    4 parts liquid to 1 part water as in 1/4 cup bulgar to 1 cup liquid? I’m interested in preparing it as a breakfast cereal

    • Patsie Frederick-Wattley

      sorry that should be 4 parts liquid to 1 part bulgar wheat

      • yes, that’s correct, assuming you’re trying to make breakfast cereal! For every 1/4 cup of bulgur wheat, use 1 cup of liquid.

  • Bings

    Thanks. Worked like a charm. Combined this with

  • Youngisthan

    I was not aware if it before thanks for sharing about it. Bulgur wheat sounds interesting.

    Indian cuisines

  • Judy M. Alden

    If I need 1 and 1/2 cups of cooked bulgar how much should I use

  • Jacob Hines

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