Enjoy the true essence of Turkish cuisine with this mouthwatering Turkish Bulgur Pilaf recipe. This timeless dish showcases the perfect harmony of ingredients, including coarse bulgur, fragrant olive oil, sautéed yellow onions, and the vibrant sweetness of red bell peppers.
Infused with the aroma of garlic cloves and the juicy succulence of Roma tomatoes, this traditional Turkish bulgur pilaf boasts an authentic depth of flavor.
What Is Turkish Bulgur Pilaf
Bulgur Pilaf is a delicious Turkish staple recipe known as Bulgur Pilavı or Domatesli Bulgur Pilavı which essentially means bulgur pilaf with tomatoes. In Ottoman cuisine, pilaf came in many different varieties and played a ceremonial role.
Turkish Bulgur Pilaf is known for its earthy, slightly nutty flavor profile with hints of spice and freshness from the herbs.
Overall, Turkish bulgur and tomato pilaf embodies the rich culinary heritage of Turkey, offering a blend of textures, flavors, and cultural significance.
Another delicious pilaf recipe you will love is this Easy Vegetable Rice Pilaf, it is packed with bright Mediterranean flavors and spices.
Why Does This Turkish Bulgur Recipe Work?
First of all, it is an easy bulgur pilaf recipe that requires simple steps to make with no time. It takes less than 1 hour to get the best Turkish bulgur pilaf.
Indeed, you will be captured by the sensational red color and rich aroma of this authentic Turkish bulgur pilaf.
For instance, this healthy Turkish bulgur pilaf is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Also, this Middle Eastern Bulgur Pilaf is great for weight loss as it will make you feel fuller.
Moreover, this quick bulgur pilaf recipe is vegan-friendly and versatile! You can add in some vegetables you like, in addition to the fact that it can be served as a main dish or side dish.
Bulgur Pilaf Serving Ideas
You can enjoy serving this classic Turkish Bulgur Pilaf in many delicious ways as a main dish or side dish to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal that caters to a variety of tastes.
Fresh and light salads such as Fattoush and Arabic Chopped Salad (Salata Arabiyeh), will be a great accompaniment to this pilaf when serving it as a main dish. The salad’s freshness and acidity kick with this pilaf will make you ask for more.
You can also serve this Turkish cuisine bulgur pilaf as a main dish with warm soft and fluffy Bazlama (Turkish Flatbread).
Pickled vegetables like green olives, turnips, and cucumbers are popular in Middle Eastern cuisine and provide a tangy and slightly briny contrast to the pilaf’s flavors.
Another delightful and savory pairing with fluffy bulgur pilaf will be with Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe.
Serve your Turkish-style bulgur pilaf alongside grilled or baked chicken recipes like Harissa Garlic Chicken, Middle Eastern Restaurant-Style Chicken, Authentic Tandoori Chicken Recipe, Middle Eastern Spiced Baked Chicken, etc. This will be a satisfying meal packed with high-level protein!
Juicy grilled kebabs are also a delectable combination whether it is chicken, lamb, or beef kebabs. Pair it with Juicy Chicken Kofta Kebabs, Juicy Middle Eastern Kebabs, etc., and enjoy the tasty charred flavors of the meats and bulgur.
Give your pilaf a refreshing kick by serving it with cool and tangy yogurt that balances the richness of the pilaf. Try it with Ayran, Turkish yogurt, or Cucumber Yogurt Salad | Khiyar Bi Laban. You will feel how pleasing the combination is.
Add more vegetables to bulgur such as chickpeas/garbanzo beans, pinto beans, green peas, zucchini, or corn.
Don’t uncover or stir the bulgur during cooking, especially after the bulgur starts simmering. Otherwise, the steam will escape and your tomato bulgur pilaf won’t cook properly.
Once the bulgur has finished, let it rest covered in the pot for 5-10 minutes allowing it to absorb further juices.
When you are ready to serve, fluff up the bulgur and tomato pilaf gently with a wooden spoon without squishing the bulgur.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Instead of water, you can use chicken broth or vegetable broth.
Store the Turkish bulgur pilaf leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You can reheat tomato Turkish pilaf leftovers in the microwave or on the stovetop. If you want to enjoy it chewy and fluffy, then add a splash of water or broth and stir occasionally.
Absolutely! Tomato bulgur pilaf freezes well for about 3 months. Let it cool completely at room temperature before freezing. When you’re ready to serve, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
Red bell pepper
Red pepper paste
Turkish pepper (Pul Biber) or Aleppo pepper
Steps to Prep
To start, wash your bulgur a few times and drain it.
Then, add the olive oil to a pot and let it heat on medium-high heat before adding onions, garlic, and bell peppers.
After that, sauté until fragrant, and until the onions and peppers are softened, about 5-8 minutes.
Now, add the finely chopped tomatoes and the washed bulgur.
Next, add the red pepper paste, seasonings, and hot water. Mix well until everything is well combined.
Finally, let it come to a boil for 5 minutes before covering and letting this Turkish pilaf recipe simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, or until the bulgur is soft.
Turkish Bulgur Pilaf
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cups coarse bulgur
- 1 Roma tomato finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red pepper paste
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Turkish pepper (pul biber or Aleppo pepper) optional
- 3½ cups hot water
- Wash your bulgur a few times and drain it.
- Add the olive oil to a pot and let it heat on medium-high heat before adding onions, garlic, and bell peppers.
- Sauté until fragrant, and until the onions and peppers are softened, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the finely chopped tomatoes and the washed bulgur.
- Add the red pepper paste, seasonings, and hot water. Mix well until everything is well combined.
- Let it come to a boil for 5 minutes before covering and letting this Turkish pilaf recipe simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, or until the bulgur is soft.
- Add more vegetables to bulgur such as chickpeas/garbanzo beans, pinto beans, green peas, zucchini, or corn.
- Don’t uncover or stir the bulgur during cooking, especially after the bulgur starts simmering. Otherwise, the steam will escape and your tomato bulgur pilaf won’t cook properly.
- Once the bulgur has finished, let it rest covered in the pot for 5-10 minutes allowing it to absorb further juices.
- When you are ready to serve, fluff up the bulgur and tomato pilaf gently with a wooden spoon without squishing the bulgur.