Easy Bulgur Wheat Salad with Cucumbers and Pistachios

Bulgur wheat salad combines nutty bulgur wheat with fresh herbs, chickpeas, and crunchy pistachios. It’s tossed in a bright lemon dressing that adds a zesty and flavorful medley. This tasty and nutritious salad is perfect for lunch or light dinner.

A picture of bulgur wheat salad on a white plate with a fork on the side

This salad has become one of my favorite salads. I like to whip up a bowl early in the week and enjoy it for a few days at lunch. It’s a breeze to make; cook the bulgur and toss it with veggies, feta cheese, fresh herbs and dressing. It’s a filling salad that is packed with protein and fiber.

Why you will love this whole grain salad

  • Healthy – This salad is filled with nutrient-rich ingredients and fiber.
  • Flavor – The combination for fresh herbs, tangy feta cheese and crunchy vegetables creates a burst of flavor in every bite.
  • Versatile – Customize this salad to suit your individual tastes and preferences.
The ingredients needed to make bulgur salad: cucumbers, onions, dressing, pistacjhios, bulgur wheat, feta cheese, parsley and mint

Here is what you will need to make this easy bulgur salad

This is a summary of the ingredients you will need to prepare this bulgur wheat salad recipe and a convenient shopping list from my Instancart affiliate link. Scroll down to the recipe card section for a printable recipe card containing exact measurements and detailed instructions.

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Ingredients

  • Bulgur Wheat
  • Pistachos
  • Cucumbers
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • Onion
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Fresh Mint
  • Feta Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garlic

How to make this bulgur salad recipe

Prepare the ingredients: Cook the bulgur wheat according to the package directions. Drain the excess water and set aside to cool to room temperature. Dice the onions, chop the cucumbers into small cubes and chop the herbs. Drain and rinse the chickpeas

Combine the salad dressing ingredients together in a small bowl or jar.

A picture of all of the salad ingredients in a bowl, but not mixed together

STEP 1: Combine bulgur, chopped onion, cucumbers, pistachios, cheese, chickpeas, and herbs in a large bowl and toss well.

a picture of bulgur wheat salad in a bowl with dressing on the side

STEP 2: Toss the ingredients together.

a picture of dressing being added to the bulgur wheat salad

STEP 3: Add the salad dressing and toss again and serve.

STEP 4: Add the shredded parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt and black pepper; toss and serve.

Ingredient notes and substitutions

Bulgur Wheat —Bulgur is a whole grain that has been cracked and partially pre-cooked, making it quick to prepare. It has a nutty, satisfying, chewy texture which adds depth to this recipe. If you prefer a gluten-free version of this salad, you can use 1 cup of cooked quinoa or brown rice.

Cucumbers -Any variety of cucumber can be used to make this salad. I prefer to use English or Japanese cucumbers because their skin is tender and the seeds are small. You can also replace cucumbers with an equal amount of zucchini.

Onion – Any variety of onion will work in this salad, I like to use red onion to add a little color to the salad, but sweet onion, yellow onion, or green onions are also good choices.

Feta cheese – Briny and salty feta cheese can be substituted with tangy goat cheese or mozzarella balls.

Chickpeas – Are mild tasting and can be substituted with creamy white beans such as cannellini beans or navy beans.

Fresh herbs – There is no real set rule for herbs in this salad, you can try any variety of fresh herbs in this tasty salad. Dried herbs are not recommended.

Meal prep instructions

This bulgur wheat salad is a great recipe for meal prep. I like to mix up a batch on Sunday and enjoy it during the week for healthy lunches during the week. It tastes great on top of field greens or fresh arugula. You can either assemble the entire salad or mix the salad ingredients together and add the dressing as you need it, which will make the salad last longer.

Serving suggestions

This salad tastes great as a light meal all by itself and also as a side dish garnished with lemon zest and green onions with a fresh fruit platter, grilled chicken, fig crostini, or stuffed mushrooms.

an overhead view of bulgur wheat salad on a white plate with a serving bowl of bulgur salad on the side

Recipe variations

Bulgur wheat salad is a versatile dish that can be customized in various ways to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Below are a few variations to elevate your bulgur salad experience.

Spicy – add diced jalapeno peppers or red chili flakes for a spicy kick.

Grilled Vegetables – Instead of cucumbers add chopped grilled veggies such as zucchini, bell peppers and eggplant for a smoky flavor.

Fresh Vegetables – Add more raw vegetables to this salad such as chopped bell pepper, sliced cherry tomatoes and chopped zucchini.

Asian-Inspired – Add thinly sliced red cabbage and shredded carrots and dress the salad with a sesame-ginger dressing made with sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and honey.

Gluten-Free – Replace the bulgur wheat with cooked quinoa; you will need one cup of cooked quinoa.

Vegan or Dairy Free – Omit the cheese or replace the feta cheese with your favorite dairy-free cheese.

How to Store Leftovers

To maintain freshness and flavor, refrigerate this salad in an airtight container for up to four days. If you anticipate having leftovers, don’t add all of the dressing to the salad at once. Use half and add the remainder just before serving.

A picture of bulgur wheat salad in a white serving bowl with a spoon

Tips

  • If you are using canned chickpeas, be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly under cold water before adding them to the salad. This helps to remove the excess salt and will also prevent the salad from becoming too watery.
  • After dicing the cucumbers, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
  • If you are not going to enjoy the salad right after preparing it, use only half of the dressing and add the remainder when you serve it.

Recipe FAQs

Is this salad suitable for special diets?

Yes, this bulgur wheat salad can easily be adapted to suit different diets. You can leave out the cheese for a vegan option and replace bulgur with quinoa for gluten-free.

Is this salad the same as tabbouleh salad?

No, this salad is a little different than a tabbouleh salad, which is a Middle Eastern-style bulgur salad that usually contains tomatoes, cucumbers, a large amount of parsley, and mint.

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A picture of bulgur wheat salad in a white serving bowl with a spoon

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Anne
A refreshing whole grain salad that is filled with flavor.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6 People
Calories 203 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 1 cup chopped cucumbers about 2 medium cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios unsalted
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic chopped

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the ingredients: Cook 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat according to the package instructions. Drain the excess water and set aside to cool. cut a small onion into 1/2 cup minced onion, chop approximately 2 cucumbers into 1 cup chopped cucumbers and chop the herbs into 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 cup chopped mint. Drain and rinse 1 can chickpeas and roughly chop 1/2 cup chopped pistachios. Combine the dressing ingredients (2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove garlic)
  • Place all of the salad ingredients (bulgur wheat, onion, cucumber, herbs, chickpeas,pistachios and 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles into a large bowl. Toss to combine the ingredients.
  • Add the salad dressing stir the ingredients together to mix in the dressing. Serve or chill if not serving immediately

Notes

Substitutions:
Bulgur wheat –  1 c.up cooked quinoa or 1 cup brown rice.
Cucumbers – use an equal amount of diced raw zucchini.
Feta cheese – An equal amount of goat cheese or mozzarella balls.
Chickpeas – An equal amount of white beans.
Fresh Herbs – Any blend of fresh herbs will work in this salad. Dried herbs are not recommended.
Store leftover salad in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Give it a toss before serving; add a little dressing or olive oil if the salad is dry.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup approx.Calories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 7gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 221mgPotassium: 271mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 720IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 131mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Bulgur wheat Salad
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