Fragrant with North African spices and made hearty with chunks of lean pork, this bulgur pilaf casserole recipe is ready to go in the oven in just 25 minutes. Vary the dish by substituting shrimp, Pacific cod fillets or chunks of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the pork.

Carolyn Malcoun


Recipe Summary

1 hr 15 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or similar-size 3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Combine salt, cumin, coriander, ginger, chili powder, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl. Transfer 1 teaspoon of the mixture to another medium bowl, add pork and toss. Set aside.

  • Add water, lemon zest and juice to the remaining spice mixture; whisk to combine. Stir in bulgur, chickpeas, onion, raisins and red peppers. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Cover with foil.

  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, carefully uncover and nestle the spiced pork into the bulgur mixture. Cover with foil again and continue to bake until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pork is just cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving. Serve sprinkled with mint, if desired.


Tip: Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Don't confuse bulgur with cracked wheat, which is simply that--cracked wheat. Since the parboiling step is skipped, cracked wheat must be cooked for up to an hour whereas bulgur simply needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains.

Nutrition Facts

411 calories; protein 27.4g 55% DV; carbohydrates 61.3g 20% DV; exchange other carbs 4; dietary fiber 8.6g 34% DV; sugars 12.5g; fat 6.5g 10% DV; saturated fat 1.7g 8% DV; cholesterol 57.3mg 19% DV; vitamin a iu 507.7IU 10% DV; vitamin c 15.9mg 26% DV; folate 70.2mcg 18% DV; calcium 86.1mg 9% DV; iron 3.1mg 17% DV; magnesium 95.6mg 34% DV; potassium 694.2mg 19% DV; sodium 958.6mg 38% DV; thiamin 0.6mg 55% DV.

Reviews (5)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
I tried this using orange zest and juice as I didn't have a lemon. I also omitted the red pepper. I might try it next time with chopped dried fruits instead of the chickpeas just for variety. It also needed an additional 15 minutes for the pork to fully cook. All in all very good. (Did take the other suggestions and used 3/4 cup bulgar.) Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Bulgar amount incorrect The printed cook book lists a bulgar amount as 3/4 cup rather than 1/4 cup in the on line recipe. I made recipe using cook book amount of 3/4 cup and it worked well. No need to presoak the bulgar. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Quick Tasty Meal in a dish! I was a little worried after reading the other two reviews so I just followed my own preferences and I came out with a great dish. I sauteed the onions for more flavor and pushed the spices to a spicier level. I topped mine with cubes of well-browned goat leg and opted to use preserved lemons. It came together in a flash and made great breakfast leftovers with a poached egg on top. Love it! Pros: Fast healthy flexible depth of flavor Cons: Recipe needs work. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Here's how to make this recipe work 1) Braise the pork first. Toss with salt/pepper brown in olive oil then add 2 cups of water and all the dry spices (actually triple the spice's not nearly enough). Transfer to oven at 375 and bake 1.5-2 hrs. 2) Increase bulgur to 1.5c dry. Also since it's not apparent in the recipe hydrate it first by pouring in boiling water letting sit until soft ( 30mins) and then draining excess water. 3) Optional - instead of chick peas I suggest cauliflower. Break it up toss in oil and salt roast for about an hour at 375 until brown and soft and then chop into bite size pieces. 4) Optional - instead of raisins which are quite sweet sub in about 20 dried apricots chopped. 5) Combine braised pork hydrated bulgur roast cauliflower apricots chopped onion juice of 1 lemon and a cup of water in a baking dish cover and bake at 375 for 40 mins or until water is absorbed. (Omit lemon's great but just wrong here. Roast pepper ok but not necessary). Toss in mint and additional lemon juice/salt to taste. Serve. Pros: Basic concept is right Cons: Proportions & prep instruction are off Read More
Rating: 2 stars
I think this recipe has potential but I think there might be an error as written--1/4 cup of bulgur just isn't enough. It didn't seem right when I was making it but I followed the recipe just to see what happened. There was definitely not enough to soak up all the liquid in the recipe nor enough that the bulgur was even a noticeable element of the dish. I added about another 1/4 cup after the pork was cooked and let it soak up the remaining liquid with the casserole dish sitting on the stovetop. The flavors were good but the pork ended up a little tough. I'd try it again but with at least double the bulgur. Read More