Almost Turkish Recipes

Bulgur Pilaf with Spinach and Fried Onions (Ispanaklı ve Kızarmış Soğanlı Bulgur Pilavı)

I like bulgur pilafs as light summer lunches , because they are easy and quick to make, and if cooked with olive oil, can be eaten cold or warm. Bulgur Pilaf with Spinach and Fried Onions recipe is introduced as a rural Arab recipe by Paula Wolfert in The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean. I decided to try it, because it reminded me of a Turkish pilaf recipe with white rice and spinach. It is a really tasty, refreshing recipe with a nice twist of fried onions. It goes well with red meat and/or yogurt.

2-3 medium onion, halved and cut in thin half rounds
3 tbsp olive oil
1 pound fresh spinach, stemmed coarsely chopped (frozen spinach would be fine, too)
1 1/2 cup coarse bulgur
2 cups of stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp allspice (I skipped this one)
1-2 tsp spicy crushed red pepper flakes (this was my addition)

-Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet and cook the onions on high-medium covered, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown.
-While onions are cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot and add spinach to wilt approximately 5-7 minutes depending whether it's fresh or frozen.
-Once spinach is wilted, stir in bulgur, stock, salt, and spices. Cover and cook over low until it soaks all the stock or bulgur is tender.
-Remove bulgur from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
-Stir in the fried onions.

You can find more bulgur pilaf recipes here

This recipe is for a bulgur recipes event held over at Deryadan Lezzetler.


  1. This sounds so delicious! I like the new look for your blog and love seeing a photo of you!

  2. Very nice: I am going to make this soon. Like Kalyn, I like the new look of your blog.

  3. I just posted a bulgur recipe too, Burcu! Yours sounds delicious with fried onions. They make everything taste better.

  4. Beautiful photo in your new blog banner! I love recipes with bulgur -- and I love the pairing of spinach with allspice, so I'd definitely include that -- with some red pepper flakes, too.

  5. Ms. Wolfert is fast becoming one of my "new to me" favourites:D

  6. kalyn and simona-thank you!

    lydia-tell me how it tastes with allspice; maybe i'll try it next time.

    val-I found the book at the library and liked it a lot; instructions are very clear and recipes are great.

  7. Rachel1:55 PM

    Yum! Just tried this with a couple of alterations. Used half fresh spinach and half arugula (thought I had some more spinach in the freezer, but I didn't). Used a LOT of paprika (some of it the hot paprika) instead of the pepper flakes. And added a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.

    Wonderful!!! I'm really enjoying this blog!

  8. I'm not a spinach lover but this recipe/dish is the only reason I buy spinach these days :). Thank you for this recipe family liked it too.

  9. Hi, I'd like to cook it for my friends, but have never done that before. How many servings do you get from the recipe? :)

    1. It would easily feed 4, but if you serve something else on the side,meatballs, chicken, etc., then it can feed 6

  10. Hi, I'd like to cook it for my friends, how many servings do you get from the recipe? :)