12 Outrageous Bulgur Substitutes You’ve Never Heard Of

Have you ever wondered what the oldest convenience food in the world is? Do you know what bulgur wheat is? Bulgur is a versatile, healthy, and nutritious grain that is less well-known than grains such as barley, quinoa, and rice.


Bulgar is regarded to be one of the world’s earliest processed meals, and it was ingested by both Chinese Emperors and ancient Babylonians.

Bulgur is a nutrient-dense staple included in a number of Mediterranean and West Asian dishes. It is said to be the world’s oldest convenience food, having been used for almost 4,000 years.

What Is Bulgur Wheat?

Bulgur wheat is a partly cooked, dried, and cracked whole grain. On its alone, it’s merely a firm white wheat grain. Bulgur, when turned into flour, adds a nutty taste and a creamy texture to foods.

Uses of Bulgur

Bulgur has a mild, nutty taste and may be used to make a variety of foods such as side dishes, pilafs, desserts, soups, salads, and porridges. Bulgur is claimed to be useful in thickening meat patties and meatballs.

Bulgur wheat is well-known as the major component of tabbouleh, a popular Middle Eastern appetizer. It may also be substituted for quinoa, rice, and couscous in a variety of dishes.

12 Best Substitutes For Bulgur

Bulgur is a simpler grain to make than other wheat grains like wheat berries. Furthermore, it is simple to prepare and serve.

However, there may be times when you must swap bulgur for something different. Fortunately, there are several items that may be utilized in lieu of bulgur.



Quinoa is a pseudocereal that has gained popularity in South America. It is currently used as the main ingredient in a broad range of recipes.

Quinoa, which may be red or creamy white, contains a range of essential nutrients, including amino acids, proteins, fiber, and minerals and vitamins like iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, and so on.[Source]

It’s a versatile bulgur alternative that may be used in a number of sweet and savory dishes and recipes. Quinoa is gluten-free and has a textural characteristic similar to bulgur (a kind of grain). It may be used in stews, soups, and salads.

Quinoa has a pleasantly salty flavor that may be increased by the addition of fresh herbs. When making meals with it, you may add spices (such as lemon juice) to the recipe.

Because bulgur is made from broken wheat kernels, it is easy to adapt recipes that call for quinoa to your unique nutritional needs.

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The main difference is that quinoa requires a short soak in water before boiling, while rice does not. It will, however, take around 15 minutes before you can use it as a substitute and top it with herbs and spices.



Rice is a cereal grain that is used alone as well as in various soups, side dishes, and major meals across the Middle East, Asia, and many cultures.

Rice comes in a variety of colors and textures, including brown and white rice. It may be used in place of bulgur in any recipe that calls for it.

Due to the thick fiber bran layer and nutrient-dense germ, rice with a nutty taste and chewiness takes longer to prepare than white rice, while white rice has a more delicate texture and takes longer to cook than brown rice.

If the recipe asks for bulgur, it may be replaced. Furthermore, it is a diverse option that may be boiled, crushed, deep-fried, or grilled, among other things.


Couscous is a food that many people keep on hand as a pantry staple. Even now, many people are unfamiliar with the name couscous. They feel it is a healthy grain akin to bulgur.

Couscous, on the other hand, is more correctly defined as a durum wheat pasta variety.

As a consequence, couscous is mostly made up of carbs. Nonetheless, in terms of look, couscous is the closest thing you can get to pulverized bulgur.

Furthermore, couscous has a moderate flavor. As a consequence, it may be utilized in a variety of bulgur-required recipes, such as vegetable side dishes, salads, and other cuisines.

When making couscous, soak it in warm water for five minutes before draining it from the bowl. All that remains is to integrate the remaining components.

This involves seasoning the couscous with meats, vegetables, or herbs and toasting it in a pan with olive oil to make it crispy. This will take around 5 minutes as well. In general, the cooking times for these three components (bulgur, quinoa, and couscous) are equal.


Bulgur may be replaced with any protein- and carbohydrate-rich pseudo-grain. Buckwheat provides a number of undiscovered health advantages.

However, eating this grain on a daily basis will provide you with folate, vitamins B1 and B2, and vitamin K.

Bread is made from buckwheat grains. Buckwheat grains have a chewy feel when properly cooked, making them perfect for use in salads and stews both.

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Cracked or Whole Wheat 


Another suitable bulgur replacement is wheat, either whole or broken. Cracked wheat is a suitable replacement for bulgur since the two items are practically similar.

The sole difference is that broken wheat does not go through a parboiling procedure. It also tastes similar to bulgur. If you have whole wheat flour on hand, it will also work nicely. When cooked, whole wheat flour has a gritty, nutty flavor and a chewy texture.



If you don’t mind gluten, farro is a great bulgur replacement. Farro, which is formed from whole wheat grains, is just as healthy as bulgur.

It contains a high fiber and protein content, as well as the nutty taste and chewy texture that bulgur brings to dishes.Farro and bulgur are both prepared from whole wheat grains, making them remarkably comparable in terms of flavor.

It’s simple to understand why Farro would work well in soups, salads, and other dishes where bulgur may be replaced.


Millet is a grain native to Africa and China. It tastes nutty and has a solid texture. However, its nutritional profile is pretty outstanding. It is high in calcium, iron, vitamins, and minerals that are helpful to your health.

Millet may be added to mashed potatoes to give them a creamy feel. If you’re seeking for a healthy alternative to bulgur, millet is a great option.

Wheat Berries


Wheat berries are nutrient-dense components of the wheat kernel that comprise the bran, germ, and endosperm. Wheat kernel berries are another name for them. These are basically whole wheat bits with a high fiber content.

Wheat berries are a whole grain that, due to their nuttiness and sweetness, may be used in place of bulgur.

Wheat berries can’t go wrong, whether you’re topping salads or making a dish of pudding.


Amaranth is a grain related to quinoa that grows in South America’s warm highlands. It’s a gorgeous flower that keeps its beauty even after it’s been plucked and dried.

This flower is abundant in vitamins and minerals, as well as other health advantages. Because of its claggy texture, it must soak overnight before use.



Teff is a small, new grain native to Ethiopia. Because of its high vitamin and protein content, it provides a variety of health advantages. It has a nutty taste and a mild sweetness, similar to bulgur.

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Due to its size, it is important to assess its uniformity before utilizing it as a substitute for bulgur wheat.

Bamboo Rice


Bamboo rice is a good rice species found predominantly in southern India. It is a better alternative than bulgur wheat since it is abundant in vitamin B6 and protein.

Bamboo rice is a seed that is produced by blooming bamboo as it approaches the conclusion of its life cycle.

However, because to the irregular nature of its blossoming sequence, it is not generally accessible. The blooming period of a bamboo plant may vary from several years to a decade.

Whole Wheat Orzo


Whole wheat orzo is rich in fiber and hence a healthy choice. You’d be astonished to learn that it’s a form of pasta that resembles rice in size, texture, and shape.

Making orzo is straightforward. Cook the pasta over medium heat until it achieves the desired softness. After draining, it is now ready to use.

Keep in mind that orzo is high in calories, so if you’re attempting to lose weight, you should limit your intake.

Bulgur Substitute Frequently Ask Questions

How to choose an alternative for bulgur? 

There is no secret formula for choosing a bulgur replacement. Based on the recipe, choose the suitable substitute.

Furthermore, rice should be chosen with care since it cooks quicker than bulgur and has a light texture.

What would be a good bulgur substitute?

Quinoa would be the most suitable bulgur substitution. It takes the same amount of time to cook as bulgur wheat. Other alternatives, such as cracked wheat, rice, and buckwheat, need less or more time to cook.

In terms of texture and chewiness, quinoa is akin to bulgur wheat.

Is bulgur ideal for weight loss?

Bulgur wheat is a kind of whole grain wheat that is manufactured from cracked wheat. It contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Foods high in fiber, such as bulgur, may lower the risk of chronic illness, aid weight reduction, and enhance digestion and gut health. It’s easy to make and may be used in a variety of recipes, including salads, stews, and bread.

How do you substitute bulgur for ground beef?

One cup uncooked bulgur substitutes about one pound of ground beef.In a medium-sized saucepan, bring two cups of water to a boil with half a teaspoon of salt.

Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed. This yields around 2 1/2 cups cooked bulgur.


How many types of bulgur are there?

Bulgur grains are classified into four types: fine, medium, coarse, and extra coarse. Fine and coarse bulgur are my favorites since they may be used in a variety of ways in my cuisine.

Is Farro the same as bulgur?

Bulgur is fast to prepare and has a delicate, chewy texture. It absorbs tastes effectively, making it useful in a wide variety of cuisines. Farro, on the other hand, takes longer to cook but has a nutty, more nuanced flavor. Its substantial texture is ideal for soups and salads.

What can I substitute for bulgur in tabbouleh?

While bulgar is a nutritious component, it does contain gluten. So substituting quinoa is an excellent choice for preparing a nutritious and tasty gluten-free tabbouleh!

What is healthier than bulgur?

Both experts agree that quinoa and bulgur are healthy choices, but they provide distinct nutritional benefits. “Quinoa has more protein than bulgur, but bulgur has more fiber,” explains Gorin. Finally, both are excellent additions to any meal—it all comes down to personal opinion.

What is bulgur wheat called in USA?

In the United States, one brand of whole grain product is known as Redi wheat, while the crushed is known as cracked bulgur (Nouri, 1968).

What is the best substitute for bulgur?

What Can I Substitute for Bulgur?
Quinoa. Quinoa is a gluten-free substitute for bulgur wheat with a similar profile of health benefits.
Cracked Wheat.
Wheat Berries.

What is the healthiest grain to eat?

According to nutritionist Malena Perdomo, MS, RDN, CDE, these are the 11 healthiest grains to consume.
01 of 11. Barley, number two of eleven. Amaranth. 04 of 11. Quinoa. 03 of 11. Buckwheat (5 of 11), Teff (6 of 11), Oats (7 of 11), Farro (8 of 11). Wheat groats.

Is farro inflammatory?

Farro is high in fiber and other minerals, which makes it good for digestion and weight reduction. It is also suitable for the heart and blood circulation. It is anti-inflammatory and includes antioxidants.

What is another name for bulgur wheat?

Bulgur is also known as wheat groats. (The name “groats” refers to hulled grains such as oats, rye, and barley, as well as wheat.) Bulgur is made from durum (hard) wheat and is broken and partly boiled before packing.

What is the English name of tabouli?

A parasol, similar to an umbrella, offers shade from the sun.

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