Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Mint, and Pine Nuts is a perfect one dish meal! It keeps well in the refrigerator, so you can enjoy leftovers all week!
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We’ve been busy with Jonny’s soccer season this spring—his games fall smack in the middle of dinner time. And that’s left me scrambling to come up with dinners that I can make ahead of time and serve in multiple shifts. We’re basically eating first dinner, second dinner, smoothie snack, dessert….. bracing myself for the not too distant future when these two will be teenagers! One of my favorite make ahead meals is a hearty salad like this Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Mint, and Pine Nuts. It’s a one bowl meal packed with whole grains, protein, and greens (yes, herbs count!). And…..everyone likes it!
The Jennifer Aniston Salad
I got the idea for this salad from Jennifer Aniston. No, sadly not personally. I wish! But an interview with Courtney Cox recently resurfaced, saying that Jennifer Aniston ate this salad on set every day for 10 years! As I read the ingredients I knew I would veganize it and give it a try!
How do you make this Bulgur Salad?
The “Jennifer Aniston Salad” uses bulgur wheat as the grain base, and then is loaded with herbs, chickpeas, celery, pine nuts, and onions, and then topped with a quick lemon vinaigrette! I omit the feta (and bacon) that she uses to keep it vegan, though you could make homemade Baked Tofu Feta and it would be so yummy! And I add golden raisins to the salad—they add a perfect sweet bite that balances out the tang of the lemon and are so, so good. And they must be golden raisins….because I said so! Kidding, promise. If you don’t have golden raisins, you can use regular old purple raisins, or try some dried cranberries or cherries! Or be like Irving and skip them because you don’t like mixing fruit with a savory dinner. You do you! Oh, and the original calls for pistachios which would be so yummy, but we swap in Jonny safe pine nuts instead (to be completely nut free omit the pine nuts and sub pumpkin seeds). It’s really good!
Bulgur is a whole grain, known best for its use in the Middle Eastern salad Tabbouleh. It’s made from cracked wheat berries that are partially cooked and then dried, and that process makes it quick to prepare at home—perfect for a week night meal. Because it is made from wheat it does contain gluten. If you need to make this dish gluten free try subbing Instant Pot Quinoa instead.
Packed with Flavor
I usually think of mint in terms of mojitos. I mean, that’s really its best use, right? I rarely think to throw it into actual dishes. But after loving it in this bulgur salad so much I think I will need to find more ways to incorporate it into our regular meals! It has such a bright flavor, but still doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. Paired with parsley, and a lemon vinaigrette, this salad is one of those that almost gets better as it sits in the fridge—perfect for lunch the next day!
Make it a Meal!
Ok, ok, this is really a full meal in a bowl already! You’ve got grains, greens, and protein! But I love to serve this vegan bulgur salad over a bed of arugula. I also serve this with freshly diced cucumbers, rather than mixing them right into the salad….I find that this bulgur salad holds up so well in the fridge for leftovers….except for the cucumbers. They always get a little soggy. So I slice them up fresh right before serving.
More easy weeknight salads you will love!
- Curry Chickpea Salad
- Classic Three Bean Salad
- Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Shallots
- Vegan Chicken Salad with Pickles
- Balsamic Bean Salad
- Uncle Jon’s Pasta Salad
Let’s Make Bulgur Salad!
Have I sold you on this yummy bulgur salad yet? It’s a perfect meal that can feed you all week long! Let’s do this!
Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Mint, and Pine Nuts
- 1 1/2 cups cups dry bulgur wheat cooked according to package directions
- Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- Sprinkle of pepper
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped, or use shallots or green onions
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley large handful
- 1/2 cup chopped mint large handful
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
Optional, for serving:
- 1 English cucumber (diced, see notes)
- Prepare the bulgur according to package directions. (I combine 1 1/2 cups bulgur with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 10 minutes, and then let sit for about 5 more).
- While the bulgur is cooking, prepare the dressing. Mix together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Drain any remaining water from the cooked bulgur. Place the hot bulgur in a bowl, and top with the dressing. Mix well.
- Add the onion to the warm bulgur and mix well.
- While the bulgur mix is cooling on the countertop (room temperature is fine) chop the other ingredients: celery, parsley, and mint. Toast the pine nuts.
- Add the chopped ingredients, along with the raisins, chickpeas, and pine nuts to the bulgur. Mix well.
- Serve with arugula and cucumbers if desired. Enjoy!