How to cook bulgur

How to cook bulgur

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How to cook bulgur: nutritional values, calories, properties and lots of tips on how to cook! Bulgur can bring a breath of fresh air to the kitchen and is a highly recommended food. Let's see together for which recipes to use it.

Bulgur, what is it

Thebulgur, this unknown, is a close relative of thecous cous(or couscous!), we are therefore talking about a cereal-based food originating from Middle Eastern gastronomy. It comes in the form of grains so as to recall the appearance of the best known cous cous.

Yes butwhat is that?
Basically bulgur is made from roughly broken durum wheat grains.

The bulgur it is made of whole wheat subjected to a particular processing process: the newly sprouted durum wheat grains come steamedthen they are dried and finally ground and transformed into the characteristic bulgur grains.

Bulgur, properties and nutritional values

Compared to other "floury" foods derived from wheat, the bulgur is more digestible thanks to the steam cooking it undergoes during processing.

Bulgur is interesting not only for its flavor but also for its nutritional propertiesthat characterize it. It is rich in fiber, mineral salts such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins, especially from group B. It is also rich in complex carbohydrates and has a caloric intake of about 83 calories per 100 grams. We report, in detail, thenutritional valuesreferred to 100 grams ofcooked bulgur.

Calories: 83 kcal per 100 g (350 kJ)

Bulgur nutritional values

  • Carbohydrates: 18.58 g
  • Fat: 0.25 g
  • Protein: 3.08 g


  • Vitamin A: 1 IU
  • Folic acid, vitamin B0: 18 μg
  • Thiamine - Vitamin B1: 0.057 mg
  • Riboflavin - Vitamin B2: 0.028 mg
  • Niacin - Vitamin B3 or Vitamin PP: 1.00 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.083 mg
  • Vitamin E: 0.01 mg


  • Calcium: 10 mg
  • Iron: 0.96 mg
  • Magnesium: 32 mg
  • Phosphorus: 40 mg
  • Potassium: 68 mg
  • Sodium: 5 mg
  • Zinc: 0.57 mg

The remaining composition is given by water which constitutes 78% (therefore, 78 g for every 100 gr). Much of the water is absorbed by the bulgur during the steaming phase of processing.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index of bulgur is 48.

Bulgur is very versatile in the kitchen. Let's see how to cook bulgur with recipes and useful tips.

Types of bulgur

There are several variety of bulgur. They differ in the size of the grains: the larger ones are suitable for the preparation of hot dishes such as soups, baked goods…. while thebulgur finer grains are recommended for the preparation of cold dishes, side dishes, meatballs or fillings.

Personally I don't make much distinction. I have to admit that I made coarse bulgur meatballs and they came out equally well.

For the record, I report that there is also a variety of raw bulgur, therefore not previously steamed (personally I've never seen it here in Italy, not even on Amazon or on specialized ecommerce!). In this case, the raw bulgur must be cooked in a volume of water equal to three times its own volume. Since the food has never undergone the steaming process (which causes the wheat to absorb water) it will tend to absorb much more liquid during cooking. In this case the cooking times are longer.

Cooking times

Since it is a precooked food (as stated, the processing involves steaming the wheat grains), preparation times are rather fast.

THEcooking timesthey are usually indicated on the purchase package. For those who have been lucky enough to find bulgur in bulk (very rare, personally I've never seen it here in Italy), the cooking times are generally around 6 - 8 minutes for fine bulgur and 8 - 10 minutes for that. large grain. Then the preference of your palate and the intensity of the flame also makes a lot of difference!

How to cook bulgur

To cook it, just take hot water equal to double the volume of the bulgur you want to cook and boil everything for 8-10 minutes, or pour boiling water directly onto bulgur and, with the fire off, wait for the grains to absorb all the liquid: in this case it takes 20 - 30 minutes.

Bulgur, recipes

The bulgur it lends itself very well to the preparation of cereal salads and salads with seasonal grilled vegetables, we can also prepare them"Hot", using thebulgurto make tasty vegetarian meatballs to cook in the oven.

Bulgur vegetarian meatballs

Thisvegetarian recipeit can easily be changed. You can replace the zucchini with minced meat but ... even the most ravenous carnivores will appreciate the version with zucchini! Omitting the Parmigiano Reggiano you will get the versionvegan.

  • 140 grams of bulgur
  • 20 gr of red quinoa
  • 2 courgettes
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • breadcrumbs for the breading
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook the bulgur and quinoa at the same time (I personally used a package of bulgur and premixed red quinoa). Blanch the courgettes (or, for a tastier version, chop them raw and sauté them in a pan with a drizzle of oil).

At the end of cooking, let it cool down. Finely chop the blanched zucchini (or if you have sautéed the zucchini in a pan, dry them in the oil) and mix all the ingredients, except for the breadcrumbs, which you will use to bread. Work and form the classic meatballs.

The meatballs, thus prepared, are ready for cooking in the oven or frying. If you decide to bake in the oven, preheat it to 160 ° and keep them for 15-20 minutes, preferably inventilated. I recommend using baking paper!

Bulgur meatballs stuffed with provolone

To get meatballs like the ones in the photo, use only bulgur and parsley. After cooking, add some sweet paptrika and a few tablespoons of tomato sauce to the bulgur. Parmigiano Reggiano to blend them better and a drizzle of oil. Form the meatballs and, one by one, insert a cube of smoked provola.

Other recipes?
The bulgur and curly endive and bulgur and chard meatballs are excellent (whisk chopped beets and bulgur in a pan with a pinch of butter, add the cheese, breaded and bake! Simple!).

Bulgur, where to find it

Thebulguryou can buy it in the department ofethnic cuisinelarge supermarkets, herbalists or shops specializing in natural cuisine. Those who prefer can buy bulgur by taking advantage of the online purchase. Up

Difference between bulgur and couscous

Although they look quite similar and can be used in the same recipes, the bulgur and the couscous have some notable differences.

Bulgur is always derived from whole wheat seeds and therefore it contains bran while cous cous is devoid of it.

As we already have "mentioned“, The sprouted seeds of bulgur undergo a steam cooking, which is not foreseen in the processing of couscous. Finally, the couscous is ground several times and finely sieved to obtain very fine grains, they are much thinner even than the fine-grained version of the burgur which is still coarsely broken.

Video: What is bulgur? (June 2022).


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