Turkish Bulgur Salad Kisir

Turkish #Bulgur #Salad #Kisir

Bulgur Salad, which is called Kisir in Turkish, is the favorite food of all Turkish women and it’s like a must to make this salad when you invite your female friends. And I’m not an exception! I LOVE bulgur salad as a meal, side dish or snack. It makes a great picnic food too! What you need to do is just prepare it at home, put it in a food container, put some fresh herbs like lettuce on its top and cover with its lid. A few forks will be enough, nothing else is needed! It’s ready to be taken to your favorite picnic area! It’s the same for a lunch box, you can easily take it to work too!

Turkish #Bulgur #Salad #Kisir

You don’t need a special reason to make bulgur salad, just make it when you crave for. I sometimes have a very strong craving for it even at nights, and I never feel lazy to make it. Well, maybe because it’s very easy to prepare. It requires no cooking, just soak bulgur with hot water, chop all other ingredients and mix. It’s ready within some minutes! Sometimes, I make it for lunch or dinner in large amounts so that some of it is left for my cravings later that day or the following day.

Turkish #Bulgur #Salad #Kisir

There are two ways of making Turkish bulgur salad. In the first method, chopped onion is sauted in olive oil as in this Kisir, which I posted in the first year of my blogging. Sorry for the photos, I didn’t know many things about food photography then! In the second method, all ingredients in the salad are raw. I will share this second one with you today, I’ve been making it this way since I learnt it from a friend. It tastes more like a salad and flavors are more distinctive this way.

Turkish #Bulgur #Salad #Kisir

There are some veggies you must add into Turkish bulgur salad. These are tomato, cucumber, parsley, green onion and onion; all finely chopped. Besides these, you are free to add anything you like. You can add chopped lettuce, fresh dill, garlic, gherkins or even red cabbage. So it’s up to your creativity and taste!

The most common way of serving bulgur salad in Turkey is with fresh lettuce leaves, but I want to share a different serving option this time. That’s how we sometimes serve it in my hometown, Tarsus, Mersin. We use fresh grape leaves instead of lettuce when they are in season. When I saw fresh grape leaves at the market today, I immediately bought some without thinking twice! The first dish in my mind was not stuffed grape leaves, but bulgur salad! Fresh grape leaves are traditionally soaked in hot water for 1-2 minutes before serving, but I love them as they are.

#Turkish #Bulgur #Salad

Just put a spoon of bulgur salad in the center of leaves, wrap and eat! There could be nothing better for a light lunch on these warmer days! Do I need to mention how healthy this salad is?

5 from 1 reviews
Turkish Bulgur Salad Kisir
Prep time
Total time
Bulgur salad with parsley, tomato, cucumber, onion and green onion makes a perfect light lunch!
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup fine bulgur, better if brown
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • A pinch of cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 lemon, squeezed
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp pepper paste
  • 7 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Grape leaves or lettuce to serve
  1. Soak bulgur with hot water in a large bowl.
  2. Add spices and salt on it and cover with its lid or with a piece of cloth, wait until bulgur rises, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile chop all vegetables.
  4. When bulgur rises, add lemon juice and pomegranate molasses into it, mix with a spoon.
  5. Add pepper paste and olive oil and mix until combined very well.
  6. Toss in chopped veggies and mix.
  7. Serve it on plates with fresh grape leaves next to it.


  1. says

    I love kisir, it is so easy to make, and one of the things my friends in the US definitely love at any get-together. I have seen different additions as well but the must-adds you listed along with lots of fresh mint is my favorite.
    Never tried it on fresh grape leaves. I have to see if I can find them being sold anywhere here. Or find someone with grape vine.

    • says

      How come I forgot fresh mint? Can’t believe it! I love it in kisir too! Thanks for reminding Ilke! Try to find the freshest grape leaves to eat them raw. If they are not fresh, you should wait them in hot water for some minutes before eating.

  2. says

    I have never had or made bulgur salad, but I trust you. It looks and sounds delicious. Very light and refreshing. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to give this a try!

  3. Brooks says

    Zerrin, this Turkish Bulgur Salad Kisir looks so lovely and refreshing. I can see why it is a hit with the ladies, but I know I’d enjoy it too. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  4. says

    Gorgeous looking kisir Zerrin :) and it is wonderful to see slight variations in different regions – in southeast of Turkey, we use a little more red pepper paste and parsley. I liked your addition of cucumber, makes it even more refreshing :)

    I had kisir at my blog this week too, along with some yummy Kemalpasa dessert we tasted at Bergama – I gave a link to your recipe there, looked stunning :)

    • says

      Thank you Ozlem! I love cucumber in kisir. I serve it even with some extra sliced cucumbers. I will definitely check your post! Thanks for linking my kemalpasa recipe!

    • says

      It’s a great salad Daniela! You will love it even more the next day if you have any leftovers.

  5. Ece says

    A little suggestion from a “Tarsus/Mersin” girl, please try to knead bulgur after rising with water. As far as I have learnt from the cooking experts of may family :), it would give a great taste to Kısır.
    And of course please eat it up with pickles. :)

    • says

      Thanks for the tip Ece! Will definitely try it your way next time! Always admire the food experts in a family, especially when they are elderlies.


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