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A white bowl of bulgur pilavi with tomatoes. A spoon is digging in to get a bite.

Bulgur Pilavı – Turkish Bulgur Pilaf

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Learn how to make hearty and nutritious Bulgur Pilavı with this easy recipe. This pilaf is a staple across homes in Turkey.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups coarse bulgur
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cubanelle peppers, diced
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 medium tomatoes, grated
  • 3 cups hot water (or your preferred broth)


  1. Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a shallow pot. Add and sauté onion until it becomes translucent, then add the diced peppers. Continue sautéing until the vegetables become fragrant.
  2. Add the tomato paste and bulgur to the pot, sautéing together for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the grated tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the hot water, stir well, and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. 
  4. Cook the mixture on high heat until it starts simmering; reduce heat to low and continue cooking until the bulgur absorbs the liquid in the pot. Small holes appearing are visual cue that the bulgur pilaf is ready.
  5. Turn off the heat, fluff the cooked bulgur pilaf with a fork, and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Turkish
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