Eggplant Bulgur Pilaf

Eggplant Bulgur Pilaf

3 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2011

One of the most important dishes at a Turkish table, this simple pilaf recipe features a combination of eggplant and bulgur. It is often an accompaniment to meat or chicken.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 1 cup bulgur (see Note), preferably coarse
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound eggplant (see Tip), diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Place bulgur in a large deep bowl, add enough warm water to cover by 2 inches, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain; set aside.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant. Do not stir for the first minute; then cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Push the eggplant to the sides, making a well in the middle for the other ingredients.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the middle of the pan. Add onion, scallions, bell pepper, carrot and garlic. Do not stir for 2 minutes; then mix all the ingredients, including the eggplant, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Make a well in the ingredients again and add tomato paste to the middle. Do not stir for 30 seconds; then turn the tomato paste over and cook for another 15 seconds. Add the drained bulgur, oregano, salt and pepper; stir well to combine. Heat through. If the eggplant is not completely tender, stir in broth, cover the pan and simmer until the eggplant reaches your desired tenderness. Remove from the heat; stir in parsley (or cilantro).
  • Note: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Bulgur just needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains.
  • Tip: If you're using large, common globe eggplant, which can be more bitter than other varieties, salting beforehand can reduce bitterness. To salt: Place prepped eggplant in a large colander over a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon salt. Top the eggplant with a plate weighted down with cans. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using. Rinse well with cold water, then dry with paper towels.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 cup
  • Per serving: 215 calories; 10 g fat(1 g sat); 7 g fiber; 29 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 57 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,177 IU vitamin A; 37 mg vitamin C; 60 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 356 mg sodium; 531 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (64% daily value), Vitamin C (62% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat

Reviews 3

August 24, 2019
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By: ChefsMom
Absolutely lovely dish made with fresh produce from my local farmers market. On a restricted sodium diet and being diabetic I did not use all the olive oil- instead used my large non coated pan and spritzed it with olive oil spray- omitted salt due to my diet restrictions so pumped up the spice with Aleppo pepper-and some lemon zest. Will definitely be making this again and again!
February 13, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
I have made this recipe twice and tweaked it just a tiny bit each time. The first time I used the chicken stock and I added 1 cup of canned diced tomatoes and topped the dish with 1 tbsp of feta cheese. It was delicious. The second time making it, I skipped the stock altogether, and instead of green bell pepper I used a orange bell pepper. I also used the diced tomatoes again and I didn't use the feta. It was delicious once again. I have added to this my cookbook and will certainly make it again. The base of the recipe is awesome and I think you can do a lot with it! LOVE IT! Pros: Aside from the hour of soaking the bulgur, it is a quick and easy recipe!
November 18, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
Needs minor adjustments, but good meal I marked the meal to make several weeks ago, and every week it was the recipe my family voted off the weekly menu. Last night, I finally made this dish, but I had to spruce it up to invoke some interest. I added a red bell pepper in addition to the green bell pepper, used 1/2 a cup of tomato paste, and used 3/4 of a cup of beef stock. I allowed everything (including bulgur and cilantro) to cook for about 5 minutes on low. I think the red bed pepper and extra tomato paste were key to giving this more flavor. I would say this was really more like 5 servings than 6. Also, use a REALLY large pan. Pros: Easy Cons: Lots of chopping
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