Bulgur Pilaf

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
32 min
8 min
24 min
Because the dish is simmered, it works best with coarse bulgur, not the finer stuff used for tabbouleh.


olive oil

1 Tbsp

uncooked shallot(s)

2 medium, finely chopped

uncooked bulgur

1 cup(s), coarse variety

garlic clove(s)

1 medium clove(s), finely chopped

ground cumin

1 tsp

reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup(s), (about 14 ounces)

table salt

½ tsp

ground cinnamon

¼ tsp

chickpeas (15 oz)

15 oz, drained and rinsed

dried fig(s)

7 item(s), mission variety, cut into small pieces


3 Tbsp, fresh, finely chopped


  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the shallot. Sauté until translucent, 3 minutes. Add the bulgur, garlic, and cumin; toast, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in the broth, salt, and cinnamon; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 15–18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, figs, and cilantro, fluffing with a fork. Yields 3/4 cup per serving.


The growing interest in ethnic foods — which blossomed in the eighties and continues to the present — inspired this Mediterranean version of a Middle Eastern rice pilaf.Look for coarse bulgur in health-food stores, but don’t worry if you can’t find it. The recipe will work just as well with regular bulgur but will have a softer texture and cook 5 to 10 minutes faster. Use scissors to easily snip the figs into small pieces.

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