Bulgur salad or Kisir is one of the most common dishes in Turkish cuisine and is frequently consumed cold as a salad or appetizer. It is the quintessential food for family or friend gatherings for Turkish people. A very nutritious, easy-to-prepare dish with vibrant colors, this is a great recipe to have in your repertoire in case of unexpected guests that pop by!

Its main ingredient is bulgur. Bulgur is a cereal food made from grains, and it holds quite a significance in several Mediterranean cuisines. The type of bulgur used in Kisir is also known as fine bulgur. Fine bulgur is ground finely and is very similar to couscous, which is a staple food in North Africa and Morocco. Check out this article by bon appétit for more information on this amazing grain. 

Bulgur Salad Bowl 2

In terms of the way its made and its content, the Kisir itself is very similar to Mediterranean-style couscous salads and the famous tabbouleh salad of Arabian cuisine.

In its essence, Kisir is made by flavoring bulgur with various vegetables, tomato paste, olive oil, lemon, and spices. In fact, there are not very strict rules in the making of Kisir. It is possible to prepare whatever ingredients you have at hand. According to your taste, you can also diversify it with what’s available in the fridge. It is a life-saving dish that can be prepared in a very short time. Easily prepared and served when an unexpected guest arrives; Its name is thought to have the meaning of “meal made with limited ingredients in a limited time”. If you want to make use of the veggies left in your fridge and you want to prepare a salad quickly, this recipe is just for you!

If you can’t find fine bulgur where you live, keep in mind that you can also prepare this recipe with couscous. And also, you can store it in the refrigerator for 3 days if you prepare it without the greens and tomatoes. Adding the greens and tomatoes just before serving will keep it fresh.

A note to keep in mind: Each type of bulgur’s amount of water required may differ. If the water you add to soak the bulgur is not adequate, it may stay dry. In such a case, you can add hot water in a controlled way.

Are you interested in more Turkish recipes like this one for bulgur salad? Check out these Turkish classics below!

Bulgur Salad Bowl

Bulgur Salad Bowl

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 4
Calories 330 kcal


  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 4 lettuce leaves, chopped
  • 2 sprigs scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced


  • Add the hot water to the bulgur and cover it. Rest for 15 minutes and let the bulgur absorb the water.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until it is translucent. Then add the tomato paste and saute another 3 minutes. Add the spices and salt and turn off the heat.
  • Add the tomato paste & onion mixture, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice to the bulgur. Mix them well.
  • Add the chopped greens and tomatoes to the bulgur, fold them.
  • Transfer the serving plate and serve it immediately.


Calories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 6gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gSodium: 116mgPotassium: 486mgFiber: 9gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2366IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg
Keyword bulgur salad
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