Bulgur Basics

I’m a dietitian, which means it’s practically required that I toss a couple scoops of whole grains from the bulk bin into my grocery cart each week. Truthfully, while I love to serve a variety of adventurous whole grains, sometimes I just need something that’s fast to make (and of course, still nutritious).

That’s why bulgur is my go-to grain on busy days. It’s sold parboiled and dried, so it doesn’t take much longer to cook than pasta. Best of all, it requires no pot! Just pour 1 cup of bulgur into a bowl and add 2 cups of boiling water. Let the water and grain sit covered for about 20 minutes while you do something else, like make the rest of dinner or lunch for the next day.

You can use bulgur as the base to a classic homemade tabouleh, add it to sautéed veggies, or combine it with your usual pasta salad ingredients for a new spin on something familiar. In cooler weather, a dry handful adds filling fiber to soup, chili and stew. And, if you’re pinching pennies (and who isn’t these days?), bulgur’s hearty texture can help you stretch the reach of a small amount of meat in casseroles—which is good for your wallet as well as your waistline!