15 Best Bulgur Substitutes – Best

Bulgur is an unpopular but very healthy and nutritious type of wheat. It is an ancient type of grain that originated in the Middle East. The name means broken wheat, but it is not the same thing.

It’s easy to prepare and usually pre-cooked, which saves you time. Bulgur has a fine texture and nutty flavor, but when cooked, the surface can be tough.

Use it with meats, salads, tacos, pastas, or any other meal that brings out the flavor of the ingredients better. However, can I use something else as a substitute?

You can substitute bulgur with quinoa, rice, wheat couscous, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, teff and farro. Go ahead and find out when and how to use it

Bulgur Substitutes

1. Quinoa

This popular pseudocereal from South America is the main ingredient in many recipes. Quinoa and bulgur can replace each other as they have similar profiles and health benefits.

Quinoa can be creamy red and white and is a good source of vitamins, potassium and calcium, which is why many people love it. You can easily incorporate it into salads, soups or stews; it makes your dish even more delicious with its nutty taste.

2. Rice

Brown rice

The typical food that we all enjoy is rice. You can find it in your local markets, which makes it easily accessible to many people.

Rice is a staple cereal and ingredient, especially in Asia and Africa. It can be found in a few varieties, such as white and brown, which are also very common and healthy.

Use rice in all recipes that call for bulgur. The difference between white rice and brown rice is in texture and taste. Brown rice has a fluffy texture with a nutty flavor, while white rice has a milder flavor with a more delicate and soft texture.

We recommend the rice as it is versatile. It can be boiled, made into flour, or used for roasting and grilling. When replacing a type of rice, consider its texture and add it appropriately.

3. Wheat couscous


Wheat couscous is ground durum wheat from which small grains or balls are made. You will usually find this type of wheat in Tunisian, Algerian or Moroccan cuisine. You can easily substitute it in many recipes that call for bulgur.

Use it to make fish dishes or as a side dish. The mild taste pairs perfectly with your meal and does not interfere with other ingredients. The crucial difference with bulgur is that couscous is prepared in the form of a paste with wheat semolina.

4. Buckwheat


This wheat is grown in Southeast Asia and has spread to Europe and America. It is considered a cereal, but it is an easy and delicious fruit seed to eat.

Smooth texture and pure taste make your dish tastier. It is an excellent source of magnesium and other vitamins which will provide you with a number of nutritional benefits for your health. You can eat it in a bowl and add it to soups, stews and other hot dishes.

5. Millet


Millet is also present in the arid regions of Africa and China. It is a source of vitamins, iron, calcium and other minerals which are beneficial for your health.

Millet has a nutty flavor and a firm texture. You can use it to make it creamy and add it to mashed potatoes, rice, or any other type of meal.

6. Amaranth


Amaranth resembles quinoa and is usually found in the sunny hills of the Sound of America. It is a beautiful flower that keeps well after harvesting and drying.

This flower contains many vitamins and minerals and provides many health benefits. It has a sticky consistency, so it needs to soak overnight before using.

7. Teff

tef flour

Teff is a relatively new small grain originating from Ethiopia. You can substitute bulgur for teff, but be aware of the consistency and size of the two grains.

Teff also has health benefits thanks to the many proteins and vitamins. It has a nutty flavor and a bit of sweetness, which makes it very tasty and similar to bulgur. Use it for cooking or add it to other dishes.

8. Faro


Another healthy product that can be used as a substitute is Farro. You can easily use it to replace bulgur in soups, salads and many other recipes.

This type of grain has a nutty flavor with a rubbery texture. Both farro and bulgur come from whole grains, which makes them very similar in that they will give you a great dish. Add Farro to risotto recipes, salads or many other recipes.

9. Orzo

orzo pasta

Orzo is a type of pasta made from durum wheat. It is shaped like rice and can be cooked like pasta or rice and served hot or cold. Orzo is typically used in soups, salads, and stews, but it’s also served in many main dishes or as a side dish. For a more colorful dish, you can use orzo with other colors like yellow, green, and red. Orzo is also combined with rice and used for rice pilaf.

10. Barley


Barley is another substitute that you can use in place of bulgur in your dishes. It is a versatile grain with a nutty flavor and chewy texture. Barley is typically used in soups, stews, stir-fries, and casseroles. You can replace the bulgur with barley, but keep in mind that you will need more time to cook it. You also get a different texture and slightly different taste in your dishes than when you use bulgur.

11. Cracked Wheat

You can replace bulgur with cracked wheat to flavor your dishes.

Cracked wheat is made from crushed or sliced ​​whole grains. It’s not pre-cooked like bulgur; so it takes more time to cook it.

You can soak or parboil cracked wheat to ensure it is fully cooked. Cracked wheat has a nutty flavor and a crunchy texture. It is typically used in pilaf, multigrain bread, stuffing, soups, stews, salads, and cereals.

12. Freekeh

Freekeh, also known as farik, is a whole grain with a chewy texture and a smoky, nutty flavor. It is harvested while durum wheat is still young and green.

Whole freekeh takes about 40 minutes to cook, so you can buy crushed freekeh to reduce cooking time.

You can use freekeh in various dishes such as stir fries, salads, risottos, soups, stews, pilafs, and tabbouleh. It is a good alternative to bulgur as they have a similar texture and taste.

13. Bamboo Rice

This variety of rice is an excellent seed that flowering bamboo plants create during their lifetime.

Bamboo rice can be cooked like regular rice. It has a chewy, moist, sticky texture and a slightly sweet herbal flavor when cooked.

It is typically used in curry, soup, risotto, and other dishes. The only downside is that bamboo rice is hard to find in stores.

14. Hulled hemp seeds

Hemp seed oil

Shelled hemp seeds are a nutritious, gluten-free substitute for bulgur. They are a great alternative to bulgur in tabbouleh but can also be used in other dishes. Shelled hemp seeds have a nutty flavor and are delicious in soups and salads as an ingredient in cooking and baking.

15. Kamut

Kamut flour

Kamut is a type of wheat with a rich, nutty flavor that can also be used as a substitute for bulgur. Cereals are more important than other types of wheat.

It is available as whole grains or ground into flour. Kamut is a versatile wheat used in soups, salads, stews, pilafs, chili, tacos and other dishes.

You can cook kamut in the same way as rice and use it as a substitute for bulgur in your dishes.

Bulgur substitute for tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a Lebanese salad with cracked wheat bulgur, tomatoes, parsley and a mint and garlic vinaigrette. There are also variations of this salad prepared with larger amounts of parsley or other ingredients such as cucumbers, black olives, chickpeas and fetta cheese.

Tabbouleh is usually served with hummus, falafel, and pita bread. But it can also be served alone. If you don’t have bulgur for the tabbouleh, you can use quinoa, couscous, shelled hemp seeds, cracked wheat, buckwheat, freekeh, rice, or some of the ingredients listed in this article.

These ingredients will change the flavor and texture of your tabbouleh, so choose whichever you think will suit your preferences.

Gluten-free alternative to bulgur

There are several gluten-free substitutes for bulgur that you can use in your dishes. Some are quinoa, rice, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, teff, bamboo rice, and hulled hemp seeds.

Substitute for Bulgur Wheat in Kibbeh

Kibbeh is a famous national dish of the Middle East and Lebanon with finely ground bulgur, beef or lamb, onions and spices. All the ingredients are tied together in golf ball sized balls that can be fried, baked or grilled.

Many local variations of kibbeh are prepared with ground meats such as beef, lamb, goat, camel, and fish. While kibbeh is made with ground beef, vegetarian versions are also made with pumpkin, chickpeas, lentils, spinach, and other vegetables.

Bulgur is usually one of the ingredients in kibbeh, but there are also other ingredients that you can use instead of bulgur in kibbeh.

Some of them are quinoa, couscous, bamboo rice, hulled hemp seeds, freekeh, and rice. You just have to choose the one you like the most and use it for your kibbeh.

related questions

Can the couscous be replaced by bulgur?

You can replace couscous with bulgur and add a nice nutty flavor to salads, stir-fries, soups, stews and other dishes. Couscous is made from ground durum wheat; it’s not gluten-free like bulgur.

What is the same as bulgur wheat?

Similar to bulgur wheat is broken wheat.

They are identical, but they have an important difference. Bulgur wheat is precooked and easier to prepare, while broken wheat is not precooked and requires more cooking time.

You can soak or parboil cracked wheat to ensure it is fully cooked.

Is bulgur the same as quinoa?

Bulgur is not the same as quinoa.

Quinoa is a gluten-free pseudo-grain with a nutty flavor and a slightly chewy, chewy texture. It is used in salads, stir-fries, stews, soups, pilaf and other dishes.

Meanwhile, bulgur is made from crushed wheat kernels. It is gluten-free and has a chewy texture and nutty flavor.

Bulgur is typically used in salads, stir fries, curries, pilaf, soups and stews.

Can I substitute barley with bulgur?

Keep in mind that replacing them can change the texture and taste of your dish. But it can work well in many recipes, so be sure to make a good substitution.

Can you substitute bulgur with quinoa?

Of course you can. You can use 1 cup of quinoa to replace bulgur in recipes, and they usually take the same amount of prep time, making them very similar.