7+ Bulgur Substitutes

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Bulgur is a grain from the Middle East made from whole wheat kernels. Although it is popular in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, it is not often used in other regions of the globe.

It is created mostly by breaking, boiling, and drying the kernels. It is often used in foods like as pilaf, salads, and stews. But, it may also be used in pasta recipes, wraps, and as a side dish.

This versatile dish is simple to prepare and only takes 15 minutes to simmer in boiling water or broth. As a consequence, you get a hearty grain with an unique nutty taste and chewy texture.

So what happens if bulgur isn’t available? Don’t be concerned. We have some excellent replacements on hand. These are the greatest bulgur alternatives that will complement your next gourmet masterpiece wonderfully.

1. Quinoa

Quinoa is a South American grain. It is a complete protein, which means it includes all of the necessary amino acids. In reality, this edible seed is high in potassium, magnesium, and iron.

Quinoa, like bulgur, has a nutty taste and may be used in many meals where bulgur is traditionally used. It goes well with bulgur pilafs and salads. It’s also great in stews and soups. But, it also goes well with stir fry, curry, and even breakfast bowls. Before cooking, toast the quinoa in a pan. This will give it a nuttier, more bulgur-like taste.

2. Barley

Barley is a grain that is most usually connected with the production of beer. It may, however, be used in cooking. Barley is high in fiber and vitamins. It also includes selenium, a powerful antioxidant. This nutritious grain may be consumed either cooked or sprouted.

It has a chewy texture and a nutty taste, which makes it an excellent bulgur alternative. Barley also works well in pilafs, soups, and stews. It’s also a tasty addition to salads. Cook it first before adding it to salads, since raw barley may be difficult to chew. To make the barley more tasty, try adding roasted veggies or a savory dressing.

3. Couscous

Couscous is a kind of pasta that is prepared from durum wheat semolina. It has a soft, fluffy texture that is ideal for salads and side dishes. Couscous may also be used in place of bulgur in many recipes.

These light and flavorful granules are often used in salads, pilafs, and side dishes. Couscous, on the other hand, goes well with saucy stews and casseroles. It’s also popular in salads since it doesn’t go mushy like other grains. For a flavor boost, toss in some parsley, mint, cilantro, or basil to your couscous.

4. Rice

Rice is a staple cuisine in many civilizations worldwide. There are several varieties of rice, so choose the one that best complements your food. As a bulgur alternative, we propose white rice, brown rice, or basmati rice. Since rice has a neutral flavor, it will not affect the flavor of your recipe when used in place of bulgur.

It is quite flexible and may be used in both sweet and savory recipes. Rice pudding, sushi, rice and beans, risotto, fried rice, paella, and curries are all common rice foods. When used as a bulgur alternative, it is ideal for meals such as pilafs and salads. For a Middle Eastern taste, try adding cumin, coriander, and turmeric to your rice.

5. Lentils

Lentils are a kind of legume thats native to Asia and Africa. They are a great source of protein and fiber. Lentils may be used as a bulgur alternative in various dishes. They have a similar nut-like taste to bulgur and are slightly chewy. We offer brown lentils or green lentils as a bulgur replacement.

Lentils are often used in cuisines such as soups, stews, curries, and salads. They are also suitable for pilafs and side dishes. Rinse and soak your lentils overnight before boiling them in a broth for around 60 minutes. You might also use a pressure cooker to expedite the procedure. Lentils pair nicely with cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger.

6. Buckwheat

Buckwheat is classified as a grain, although it is really a fruit seed that is widely farmed and consumed throughout Asia. It’s also a nutritious bulgur replacement. As an alternative to bulgur, we propose toasted buckwheat or kasha.

Buckwheat is often used in meals such as soba noodles, pancakes, and porridges. Yet, this delicate seed is also delicious in pilafs and salads. Buckwheat has a mild taste profile and a comparable texture to bulgur. To enhance the taste of the buckwheat, we propose adding additional spices or herbs.

7. Farro

Farro, like bulgur, is an ancient grain that is popular in the Middle East. Farro’s nutty taste and chewy texture make it an excellent bulgur alternative.

Farro is a popular component or addition in salads, soups, and stews. This means you may use it in place of bulgur in any of these recipes. It’s also great for risottos and side dishes since it absorbs the tastes of the sauces and ingredients with which it’s cooked. Farro may be flavored by cooking it in water or stock. To enhance flavor, try adding some spices or herbs.


So there you have it: the greatest bulgur alternatives for your next Middle Eastern-inspired recipe. Try one of these alternatives the next time you’re searching for a bulgur replacement. You will not be let down.


What grains are like bulgur?

Freekeh (also known as farik or frikeh) is a hard wheat (typically durum wheat) that is gathered while the plant is young and green and then roasted and rubbed. This one-of-a-kind method gives freekeh its distinct smokey taste. Freekeh, like bulgur wheat, is often marketed broken into smaller, faster-cooking pieces.

What are alternative names for bulgur wheat?

Bulgur is also known as wheat groats. (The name “groats” refers to hulled grains such as oats, rye, and barley, as well as wheat.) Bulgur is made from durum (hard) wheat and is broken and partly boiled before packing.

What can I use instead of bulgur wheat for tabouli?

Although bulgar is a nutritious component, it does contain gluten. Therefore substituting quinoa is an excellent choice for preparing a nutritious and tasty gluten-free tabbouleh!

Is quinoa same as bulgur?

Bulgur and quinoa resemble one other in appearance. The distinction is that bulgur is a precooked cracked wheat, while quinoa is a seed. Quinoa is more nutritionally rich than rice, according to the nutrition comparison.

What are the variations of bulgur?

4 Various Bulgur Varieties
Fine bulgur is used in dishes such as tabbouleh and salad dressings.
Cereals, vegetable burgers, dolmas (stuffed grape leaves), and porridge all employ medium bulgur grains.
Bulgur grains that are coarser are used for pilaf and stuffing vegetables (like squash).
Additional details…•September 28, 2021

What is healthier than bulgur?

“Quinoa has more protein than bulgur, but bulgur has more fiber,” explains Gorin. Finally, both are excellent additions to any meal—it all comes down to personal opinion.

Is couscous similar to bulgur?

Bulgur is a sort of cracked, partly cooked, and dried whole wheat grain. Couscous is a coarsely crushed wheat product that is typically referred to as a little sort of pasta.

Is bulgur like brown rice?

Bulgur outperforms fiber-rich brown rice in terms of nutrition, with more than twice the fiber and four times the folate! Bulgur may be used in recipes that call for converted rice and is more nutritious than rice.

Can I substitute bulgur for farro?

Bulgur is a dried wheat berry that has been broken and partly cooked. It has a nutty taste and a chewy texture. It has a similar scent to popcorn and a flavor to farro, making it an acceptable alternative for farro. Bulgur does not need to be cooked like any other grain.

What can I use instead of bulgur wheat on keto?

Bulgur alternatives

There are several replacements and recipes to choose from. Some use riced cauliflower, while others use quinoa. Shelled hemp seeds are my fave bulgur alternative.

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