bulgur pilaf with zucchini on a serving plate with a cup of plain yogurt

Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini

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This Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini is quick healthy meal idea! Bulgur Pilaf is a simple Lebanese dish made with beef, onion and bulgur braised in a rich tomato sauce. Some people leave out the zucchini, but I like the different texture that zucchini adds to this dish. 

bulgur pilaf with zucchini on a serving plate with a cup of plain yogurt

 

What is bulgur?

Bulgur is a whole grain made with whole wheat kernels that have been parboiled, dried and cracked into different coarse grade. Bulgur wheat is an essential grain in Middle Eastern cuisine. There are two different kinds of bulgur: fine and coarse. When buying your bulgur, look closely at the packaging and you will find a number. The lower the number, the more fine the bulgur grain. Number 1 being the most fine (least coarse) kind of bulgur that is usually used in Tabouli Salad and Kibbeh. Number 2, 3 and 4 are more coarse.

For this bulgur pilaf recipe, you can use any coarse kind of bulgur, but I personally prefer #3 or #4 because they hold a better shape. 

This Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini is quick healthy meal idea! Bulgur Pilaf is a simple Lebanese dish made with beef, onion and bulgur braised in a rich tomato sauce. Some people leave out the zucchini, but I like the different texture that zucchini adds to this dish. 

 

How to Make Bulgur Pilaf Recipe: 

  • In a medium sized pot, over medium heat, heat olive oil and add the onion. Sauté for about 10 min until onions are wilted by not browned.

sautéed onions

  • Add beef, salt and spices and mix well with onions, cook for additional 10 minutes.

pilaf with beef

  • Add zucchini cuts and mix in well the beef mixture. 

  • Top with water, just enough to cover the ingredients, about 2 cups.
  • Cover the pot, increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil. 
  • Lower heat to medium low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until zucchini is soft. 
  • Add bulgur, diced tomatoes and tomato paste and give it a quick stir.

  • Turn heat up to medium high and bring mixture to boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot again and simmer for 20 min or until bulgur is cooked through and most of the water is absorbed.

bulgur pilaf recipe

Tips for making bulgur pilaf with zucchini:

  1. Adjust the water ratio. I find that 2 cups of water to 1 cup of coarse bulgur to be just right. But if the water is absorbed and the bulgur is not cooked through, you can add 1/2 a cup of water and the bulgur will continue to fluff up.
  2. Don’t mix too much after adding the bulgur. I usually just give it once quick stir, and then just fluff up it with a fork before serving. 
  3. Make it vegetarian. Simply leave out the beef. 

Frequently asked questions

Is Bulgur Pilaf Gluten Free?

No. Bulgur is a wheat product and it’s Not Gluten-Free! 

Where can you buy bulgur wheat?

You can find the bulgur at your local Middle Eastern grocery store, natural-foods stores and some large supermarkets, often located with other Middle Eastern ingredients. You can also order it on amazon.

 

Lebanese bulgur pilaf

Tabbouleh Salad 

Kibbeh bl Sineyeh (Baked Kibbeh)

Pumpkin Kibbeh Balls 

If you’ve tried this healthy Lebanese Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini recipe or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe below and leave me a comment! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped a picture, share it with me on Instagram or Facebook

Yield: 4

Bulgur Zucchini Pilaf

This Bulgur Pilaf with Zucchini is quick healthy meal idea! Bulgur Pilaf is a simple Lebanese dish made with beef, onion and bulgur braised in a rich tomato sauce. Some people leave out the zucchini, but I like the different texture that zucchini adds to this dish. 

Bulgur Pilaf with zucchini is a simple Lebanese dish made with beef, onion, zucchini and coarse bulgur stewed in a rich tomato sauce.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound sirloin cut beef- cut into very small pieces
  • 1 large zucchini, about 2 cups chopped bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup coarse bulgur
  • 1 large onion, diced 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 2-3 tomatoes- diced or 8 oz tomato sauce can
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, heat olive oil and add the onion. Sauté for about 10 min until onions are wilted by not browned.
  2. Add beef, salt and spices and mix well with onions, cook for additional 10 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini and mix in well the beef mixture. 
  4. Top with water, just enough to cover the ingredients, about 2 cups.
  5. Cover the pot, increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil. 
  6. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until zucchini is soft. 
  7. Add bulgur, diced tomatoes and tomato paste and give it a quick stir.
  8. Turn heat up to medium high and bring mixture to boil.
  9. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot again and simmer for 20 min or until bulgur is cooked through and most of the water is absorbed.
  10. Serve with a side saladLebanese pickles or pita bread and enjoy! 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 275Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 1189mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 26g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

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