bulgur pilaf with tomatoes and bell peppers
How many of you have bulgur wheat in your pantry? If you don’t, I urge you to go buy some, as this grain is not only so versatile but also guarantees a great meal each time; well, as long as you have bunch of great recipes in mind! Those who have been following Savormania since the beginning know how much I love this type of dried cracked wheat, adding it to as many salads as I can. But there’s so much more one can make with it besides salads, ranging from risottos and porridges to puddings and pilafs.
I tend to prepare bulgur as a salad most of the time, but from time to time I like turning it into a warm pilaf bursting with flavor and veggies. Hearty and perfect for the fall days ahead, a bulgur pilaf is so quick to prepare for a weeknight dinner (honestly, it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes) and goes great with grilled meat or fish.
The great thing about bulgur is, unlike many other grains, it only takes 15 minutes to become soft and edible. For salads, you have to soak it for 15 minutes in cold water before combining it with your vegetables and dressing. For a pilaf, you simply throw all your ingredients into a saucepan and cook it all together. It’s as simple as that.
I love this recipe for so many reasons, but mainly because:
- It can be made spicy, for those who can’t go through a meal without putting some Tabasco on it (like my husband). Simply serve it with some hot sauce or spicy oil on the side, they’ll love it.
- It requires two bell peppers of any color, although I always like using one red and one yellow (or green) to bring a pop of color to the dish. Just use whatever you have in the fridge.
- It can be made ahead of time and reheated just in time for dinner.
- It’s a great substitute to your usual same old rice or potato side dish and one that is always bound to impress.
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 big onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups coarse bulgur
- 800g canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ cup vegetable or chicken stock
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry the onion and bell peppers for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, dried chilli flakes (if using) and tomato paste, and fry for 1 more minute. Add the bulgur and fry for 1 minute stirring constantly to coat the bulgur with the spices and tomato paste.
- Add the canned crushed tomatoes and stock and mix to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 15 minutes until bulgur is cooked through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, add parsley and serve.
You can serve this with some hot sauce (like Tabasco) or spicy oil for those who like spicy