New here? Start here!

This Powerhouse Bulgar Salad is a delightful side dish, but it also makes for a wonderful lunch. You’ll love how versatile it is.

Powerhouse Bulgur Salad with Balsamic Orange Vinaigrette |

Who has two thumbs and is ready to dive headfirst into a plate of salad?

This girl.

I have been doing a whole lot of feasting the past week month and I have loved every sugary, boozy, hammy minute of it.

But now? I’m ready for greens. And fruits. And plates loaded with vegetables instead of cookies.

Powerhouse Bulgur Salad with Balsamic Orange Vinaigrette |

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more healthy recipes here on the blog. I know that’s the “trendy” thing this time of year. It’s super cool to eat raw and drink pomegranate juice and exercise until your face melts off…until about January 30th. After that, it’s almost Valentine’s Day and everyone’s like, Hey dude, gimme some chocolate cake, NOW.

So here’s my caveat. This isn’t about January, a New Year, or some big life change–though it’s totally awesome if you’re embarking on one! This is more about restoring balance and moderation after a tad too much monkey bread, and reminding myself that healthy, whole food is actually really stinking delicious. Like, as good as cookies. Or at least alllllmost as good as cookies.

With that said, I bring you this Powerhouse Bulgur Salad. I’ve been wanting to try bulgur forever, and I finally gave it a whirl last week. I seriously don’t know why this grain hasn’t gotten more attention. Quinoa must have a killer agent, because bulgur could give it a run for its money any day. This grain is quick cooking (only 15 minutes!) and has a great chewiness. It also happens to be lower in calories and higher in fiber than it’s better advertised buddy, meaning it’ll fill you up and keep you full for longer.

Powerhouse Bulgur Salad with Balsamic Orange Vinaigrette |

I tossed the bulgur with apples, kale, pecans, and cranberries then coated the mixture in a sweet and tangy balsamic orange vinaigrette. This was a delightful side dish, but it also made a surprisingly filling lunch the following day. I also love how versatile it is. You can change up the veggies, it’s make-ahead friendly, and you can serve it warm, cold, or at room temperature. I was really wishing I had an avocado and a little goat cheese to add to this mix, so I’ve included it in the recipe below.

Pile your plate high and enjoy. This is real. good. food.

Powerhouse Bulgur Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4-8
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups torn kale
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 chopped avocado (optional)
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
For the vinaigrette:
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Place the bulgur in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and allow the mixture to simmer for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Drain off any excess liquid. If you want to serve the salad cold immediately, rinse the bulgur with cold water. Otherwise, you can let it cool on its own.
  2. Place the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, ginger, and salt in a jelly jar with a tight lid and shake it up until fully combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Toss the bulgur with the kale, apples, pecans, cranberries, avocado and goat cheese (if desired). Pour the vinaigrette over everything and stir to combine. Serve warm or chill for several hours or overnight. Serves 6-8 as a side dish or about 4 as a hearty main dish.

 Recipe by Neighborfood

{ 15 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Ruthy January 2, 2014, 12:18 PM

    I LOVE bulgur and I totally agree, it does not make its presence known quite like the ubiquitous quinoa! Kind of like farro, it’s a little unsung and I think that needs to be rectified! Love the balsamic vinegar in this dressing!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 4, 2014, 1:36 AM

      Farro is another grain I really want to try more of this year. Do you have any recipes for it?

      • Ruthy January 8, 2014, 11:50 AM

        I just saw this question, so sorry I’m only getting back to you now! We substituted farro for rice in a chicken casserole the other day and it turned out fantastic. It was a recipe where I was just kind of winging it, so I don’t have anything written down, but if I make it again I’ll let you know. I also added a handful of farro to a kale salad with pomegranate and bacon at Thanksgiving this year and it went over like gangbusters! This is the link for the salad:

        • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 8, 2014, 12:08 PM

          Thanks Ruthy! I remember seeing that salad. It sounds fantastic. Definitely going to give this farro stuff a try!

  • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons January 2, 2014, 10:58 PM

    My mouth is watering reading this! I’m gonna go ahead and say that the goat cheese and avocado would NOT be optional in my version. And sure, maybe it defeats the healthy angle just a little bit, but I might put some bacon in mine too. I just found a big jar of bulgur in the back of my pantry cupboard this morning, so I’m going to make a big batch of this for lunches for next week! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

    • Karen @ The Food Charlatan January 3, 2014, 2:52 AM

      Amen Lori. Goat cheese and avocado should never be in the optional category. I’m super lame and have never tried bulgar. Can you find it at the regular grocery store Courtney?

      • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 4, 2014, 1:34 AM

        Yeah, Karen! I usually buy mine at Kroger. It’s with the Bob’s Red Mill products in the Organic section of the store.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 4, 2014, 1:34 AM

      The goat cheese and avocado would definitely take it to the next level. If I weren’t so lazy I would have ran to the store to get some on the spot. 🙂

  • Nancy January 2, 2014, 11:01 PM

    Happy New Year, Courtney! I’m going to be following you very closely this next month because my eating repertoire is seriously lacking in delicious, healthy recipes. I’ve never tried bulgar but reading your description makes me wanna run out and boil a bag of ’em right now. This salad looks delicious – I feel healthier just looking at your photos 😉

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood January 4, 2014, 1:38 AM

      I’ve never been a diet person mainly because I have no will power and I get really grumpy when I’m hungry, but after the holidays I’m actually craving healthy, light foods. So nice to eat something fresh and crunchy after all the gooey/sugary stuff. Definitely give bulgur a try-it’s delicious! I hear you can cook it like oatmeal too. That’s next on my list.

  • Betsy Cohen January 5, 2014, 11:04 PM

    WOW! This is one gorgeous salad. I many not give up my desserts, but I sure will add a yummy salad into the mix!

© 2015 NeighborFood | Privacy Policy | Designed by Snazzle Media | Development by A LA MODE designs