In the past couple years, so many trendy grains have come in and out of the spotlight. The prime example is quinoa, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other grains that deserve the spotlight. One that I've grown to love for its versatility is bulgur wheat. Bulgur wheat is considered to be the middle eastern version of pasta. It's used in a variety of savory main and side dishes, but it can also be turned sweet depending on the other ingredients in the recipe. Bulgur wheat is a great addition to any diet because it's high in fiber and minimally processed, compared to regular pasta. 

Bulgur is also praised by home cooks everywhere because it cooks so quickly (it can be ready in just about 10 minutes). Here are a few bulgur wheat recipes that use less than 10 ingredients, which makes incorporating a new food into your regimen easy. 

1. Pomegranate Tabbouleh

This recipe uses bulgur wheat in its most traditional middle eastern application. Tabbouleh is traditionally packed with herbs, and this recipe stays true to tradition with simple ingredients and instructions. It’s the perfect gateway to using bulgur in your everyday life. Try pairing this recipe with grilled chicken, rice, and hummus for a traditional feast. 

2. Halloumi, Sweet Potato, and Bulgur Salad

In this recipe, the natural sweet notes from the sweet potato and savory notes from the cheese are bridged by the neutral bulgur. This is a great recipe for meal-prepped lunches because it’s packed with carbs, proteins, and fats, plus lots of micronutrients. Stir in the arugula when you're ready to enjoy so it doesn't wilt in the fridge. 

3. Falafel Salad

Although falafel is one of my favorite foods, I’ve always stayed away from cooking it at home because of the hassle of grinding the chickpeas and frying the assembled falafels. This recipe packs all of the flavors of falafel into a salad that’s simple to make, but highly complex in both flavor and texture. It’s more than filling enough to be the perfect work lunch that'll make all of your coworkers jealous. 

4. Lemon Dill Bulgur Salad

The citrus from lemon and bright herby flavor from fresh dill combine to give bulgur wheat an unexpectedly bright flavor in this salmon salad. If you want to turn it into a side dish, omit the roasted salmon. 

5. Bulgur and Mushroom Pilaf

Although pilaf is traditionally a rice dish, this recipe uses bulgur as the base. The addition of mushroom gives the whole concoction a satisfying umami flavor without even needing to add meat, making this the perfect dish to serve to vegetarians and vegans. 

6. Cilantro Lime Tuna Bulgur Salad

I am a self-proclaimed seafood fanatic, so I'm always on the lookout for ways to incorporate more seafood into my weekly meals. This recipe uses inexpensive canned tuna and adds bulk with bulgur and extra flavor with spices. You'd never guess it started in a can. If you don't have any mayo on hand, you can use plain yogurt instead.

7. Bulgur Salad with Roasted Eggplant and Tomato

Roasted eggplant, specifically the Middle Eastern dip made from it called baba ganoush, has completely taken over the role of hummus in my kitchen. I’m in love with the smoky flavor and creamy texture, but it can get really expensive. This bulgur wheat recipe gives me all of the flavors I like to enjoy with baba ganoush in salad version. As an added bonus, it’s a lot more bang for your buck than buying premade baba ganoush. 

8. Stuffed Peppers with Bulgur and Basil

Stuffed peppers were a staple dinner in my household growing up, but my mom always made them with very Italian-forward flavors. This recipe made me rethink the versatility of peppers and I’m so glad I did. It’s one of my favorites to make the night before my long runs when I know I need lots of carbs for fuel. 

9. Bulgur Breakfast Bowl

As I hinted before, bulgur’s versatility means that it doesn’t have to be relegated to traditional tabbouleh or even to lunch and dinner in general. This recipe takes bulgur into the breakfast world. Once you’ve tried it, I’m sure you’ll be preparing to swap it out for your morning oatmeal. 

10. Lemon Bulgur Pound Cake

Now we’re getting really crazy, taking bulgur from the savory world all the way to the sweet side of things. This cake recipe uses bulgur instead of some of the flour as the base, which gives the finished product a more interesting texture and well-rounded flavor. 

Now you have absolutely no excuse to start branching out from your safety super grains. Bulgur's an easy addition into your diet, maybe even moreso than others like quinoa. Try prepping a big batch all at once and using it in several recipes throughout the week to mix up your meals.