Kalyn's Kitchen

Bulgar Wheat Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint

You’ll love this Bulgar Wheat Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint, with a delicious a lemony dressing that bumps up the flavor! And this tasty salad has lots of vegetables and not much bulgar wheat, making it perfect for a low-carb summer salad.

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Bulgar Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, and Mint finished salad in bowl

I first tried this Bulgar Wheat Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint when a friend brought it to my house for dinner, along with a copy of the recipe that she’d found in Cooking Light. And she told me the salad idea was created by Joanne Weir, one of my favorite cookbook authors.

Now fast forward quite a few years and I can’t find this salad combination on either of those sites, but I’ve been adapting the salad and enjoying it for many years. And my version has lots of vegetables and not much bulgar wheat, for a summer salad that’s pretty low in carbs, FTW! (If you’d like a version that’s even lower in carbs, use more cucumbers and herbs and less bulgur and tomatoes.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • bulgur wheat
  • boiling water
  • zest of one lemon (optional, but good)
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice; zest the lemon first and then squeeze
  • olive oil
  • Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • chopped fresh mint
  • green onions
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped cucumbers
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

What is Bulgar Wheat?

If you’re not familiar with bulgur wheat, it’s a type of wheat that’s parboiled, then dried and cracked. Since it’s a whole grain, bulgur is great for anyone who’s following the original South Beach Diet or other diets that emphasize eating whole foods. And in this salad the small amount of bulgar adds a nice chewiness without adding too many carbs. 

How is this salad different from Tabbouleh?

This bulgar wheat salad has many ingredients found in Tabbouleh, but the amount of tomato and cucumber, the lemony dressing, and the addition of green onion gives this salad a slightly different attitude. I changed the original recipe, adding lemon zest and a bit more olive oil, and this was a delightful way to use some tomatoes, cucumbers, mint, and parsley from the garden. 

How can you make a gluten-free version of this recipe?

If you’d like to try making a version of this recipe that’s gluten-free, check out my recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad, and just substitute quinoa for the bulgar wheat in this salad.

Bulgar Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, and Mint process shot collage

How to make the salad:

(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. The recipe directions said to soak the bulgur in boiling water for 30 minutes.
  2. Here’s how it looked when I first added the water.
  3. After 30 minutes, the bulgur had absorbed most of the water, but if I tipped the bowl, there was still quite a bit of water in the bottom. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I let it soak about 45 minutes more.
  4. You could probably just drain off the extra water if you’re in a hurry, but I soaked my bulgur about 80 minutes, and after that much time it was nicely fluffy. Bulgur can be a bit chewy for some people, so I think a little extra soaking is good if you have time.
  5. I whisked together the lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic, and olive oil, and stirred it into the bulgur, then let it sit while I chopped the herbs and vegetables.
  6. After the bulgur has hung around with the dressing for about 20 minutes, stir in the chopped mint, parsley, and green onions.
  7. I used cherry tomatoes, which I thought held together very well in this salad, but you could also use chopped whole tomatoes.
  8. With the tomatoes and cucumbers I was going for the symmetry of cut (same-sized pieces) that I’m sometimes so picky about!
  9. Here’s the finished salad with the tomatoes and cucumbers gently stirred in. Season with a bit of salt and fresh ground black pepper, and serve.

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

This would taste great with something like Greek Salmon, Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Lake Powell Grilled Fish, or Grilled Fusion Chicken.

More Salads with Tomatoes and Cucumbers:

Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Mint and Feta
Tomato Cucumber Salad with Peperoncin
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad
Spicy Chopped Greek Salad with Peperoncini.
Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad

Bulgar Salad with Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, and Mint finished salad in bowl

Bulgar What Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

This refreshing Bulgar What Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint makes a perfect summer side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • zest of one lemon (optional, but good)
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Measure out 1 cup bulgur into a bowl big enough to hold the finished salad.
  2. Add 1 cup boiling water, stir, and let bulgur soak until all the water is absorbed. (The recipe said 30 minutes, but I soaked the bulgur about 80 minutes, which made it nice and fluffy.)
  3. While bulgur soaks, zest one lemon and put zest into a small bowl.
  4. Squeeze lemon juice into bowl, adding more if needed to make 3 T lemon juice.
  5. Add finely minced garlic, then whisk in 3 T olive oil.
  6. When bulgur has absorbed all the water, stir in this dressing and let marinate while you chop herbs and veggies.
  7. Wash parsley and mint and spin dry or dry with paper towels.
  8. Chop herbs and slice green onions and stir into bulgur.
  9. Peel cucumbers and remove seeds if the seeds are big. (I had garden cucumbers, so I left the seeds in.)
  10. Dice cucumbers and tomatoes into pieces about 1/2 inch, then gently stir into salad.
  11. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve.

Notes

I used curly parsley, but either type will work.

Even though tomatoes should never be refrigerated, I was surprised that this was still quite good after it had been in the fridge overnight. Let come to room temperature before eating leftovers if possible.

Recipe slightly adapted from a recipe by Joanne Weir that appeared in Cooking Light, shared with me by Georgette.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 114Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 112mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This salad with bulgar might even work as a treat for low-carb diets because it’s relatively low in net carbs, but if you want a lower-carb version of this salad use more cucumbers and herbs and less bulgur and tomatoes. Bulgur is a whole grain, and all the other ingredients in this salad are healthful low-glycemic foods, making this a perfect choice for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2009. It was updated with more options and better information in 2021.

Pinterest image of Bulgar Wheat Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint

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    31 Comments on “Bulgar Wheat Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint”

  1. so pretty but astonishingly bland. I even added a bit more garlic.

    • So surprised to hear that. I can't imagine this salad being bland if you have flavorful tomatoes and cucumbers and added the parsley and mint this salad calls for. Sorry to hear it was not a winner for you.

  2. Everyone has their own preferences, so feel free to adapt any way you'd like!

  3. I made your recipe tonight but ended up altering it. The mint was over powering the salad and there was far too much bulgur. I doubled the parsley and halved the bulgur and that helped. Next time I'll halve the mint as well and reduce the bulgur to 1/4 c (raw measurement).

  4. This salad looks like one I often make. I actually boil the bulgar but soaking it seems better. Thanks for a new idea!

  5. Jennifer I did say in the recipe that I was surprised it was still quite good after being refrigerated overnight, so I think six hours ahead would be fine.

  6. This salad looks delicious and I would love to make it for lunch. Can it be made ahead of time (about 6 hours) and still taste as good?

    Thanks!

  7. esper_d, I think couscous, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro would make a good salad combination.

  8. I have a lot of leftover couscous from tonight that I dont know what to mix with. I think this will work (replacing the bulgur). And since I don't have mint or parsley, I'll have to use cilantro, lol.

  9. I love tabboulleh so this delicious salad would be welcome anytume…perfect for picnics.

  10. John, thanks. I don't always like my photos (!) but I was happy with how this turned out.

    Rachel, I think quinoa would be fantastic in this. Great idea for gluten-free.