Bulgur Chickpea Salad

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Bulgur Chickpea Salad saved the day for me.  Thanks to Jenn Segal over at Once Upon a Chef for the inspiration and base recipe to start with!

I needed a recipe that could easily serve quite a few people.  Normally, I have a difficult time deciding which recipe to make, since I have so many.  But this situation left me at a loss for what I could make.


You see, there were so many variables and criteria that needed to be met.  It was needed for a barbecue themed potluck that would be served over several hours because people would be getting their meal breaks at different times.  It would also be several hours between arriving at my destination and food service.

Refrigerator space was going to be severely limited, and carrying a crockpot to the destination was not possible.  There were a couple of factors that prevented this, but that really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I needed a dish to fit this criteria.

The last criteria was a new one for me.  There was going to be an ethical vegan eating at this potluck.  If you are wondering what an ethical vegan was, you aren’t alone.  I have asked many questions about this way of eating and still jut know the basics.

With my very limited understanding of this way of eating, I knew I needed to find something that had absolutely no animal products in the recipe.  No eggs, no dairy, and obviously no meat, but this also excludes honey.  If you have read any of our recipes, you know that there is a good possibility that I have no recipes beyond hummus that would fit that bill.  Hummus was not an option as I was committed to a side dish.

A friend suggested I make tabbouleh, but I really dislike that much parsley in any one dish.  I can’t get past the overwhelming feeling that I am eating lawn clippings.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fresh parsley and grow my own during the summer.  It brings great fresh flavor to my dishes, but I guess tabbouleh is just too much freshness!  I needed an alternative.

This side dish salad was the perfect fit.  Bulgur and chickpeas combined with sturdy vegetables like red peppers, onions, and cucumbers would hold up to the acidity of the lemon juice.  I have left out the dill and the cumin, personal preferences here again.  This recipe kind of reminded me of a Portuguese chickpea salad a friend used to make and it only had parsley in it.  So I stuck with just the parsley, and did not use nearly the amount most tabbouleh recipes call for.



Bulgur Chickpea Salad

Easy vegan recipe for a bulgur salad with chickpeas, cucumbers, red peppers, and parsley that can be served at room temperature. Will feed a crowd.

  • Author: Beth
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • 3 cups red bulgur
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt, divided
  • 1 large English cucumber, cut into quarters, then thin slices
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, cut into small dice
  • 2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 medium lemons
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small bunches parsley, chopped finely


  1. Place bulgur and 1/2 tablespoon salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Boil 4 cups of water in a pan or microwave.
  3. Pour boiling water over bulgur and stir, making sure all bulgur is underwater and salt is distributed.
  4. Allow bulgur to sit in water until water is absorbed, 60 to 90 minutes, bulgur will swell considerably.
  5. If vegetables have not been chopped, prepare those while waiting.
  6. When bulgur is done, fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  7. Once bulgur is cooled, fluff with a fork one more time.
  8. Add chickpeas, onions, red pepper and cucumbers to the bowl and mix well.
  9. Juice the lemons and strain out any seeds. Add to bulgur and stir well.
  10. Drizzle olive oil over salad, add the last 1/2 tablespoons of salt and mix well.
  11. Finally, add the parsley and again stir well.
  12. Taste and adjust by adding more lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and salt as desired.
  13. This salad may be served cold or at room temperature.
  14. Vegetables can be substituted with those of your choosing.
  15. I do not leave this out for more than a day and refrigerate leftovers, bringing it back to room temperature before serving.


  • Serving Size: 1/12 Recipe
  • Calories: 182
  • Sugar: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 835 g
  • Fat: 9.05 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5.9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.8 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 6 mg

NOTE:  We are not certified nutritionists, the nutrition details provided above are for reference only, as they are only as good as the recipe analyzer used at the time of posting.  You are encouraged to re-calculate the data.

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