Bulgar and Bean Chili

26 Feb

My girlfriend, Tara Sandusky, turned me on to this dull-sounding chili. And I have to tell you that this chili ROCKS!!!!!!! It is so versatile and tasty – you can tailor it to your needs/likes. If you dont like corn or dont like beans, remove it and add other things. I almost always add in a diced red pepper for some color and crunch.

Pot o' Chili

However, there isn’t much spice/kick to it. If you don’t like a lot of spice, then you don’t have to do anything. I like some heat, so I just added more pepper seeds and half of a habanero pepper until I tasted it and it was to my liking. Other than that, it’s simple simple simple and full of flavor and veggies.

All the ingredients you need for this meal



Bulgar is in the grain family. It looks like a small seed, and when it cooks in liquid, it fluffs up a bit. It contains a good amount of protein so it’s the “meat” in this chili. You can find it in your supermarket amongst the rices, grains, and quinoas.

Oh, and I am not a vegetarian – nor do I lspecifically ook for vegetarian recipes. But I can’t say no to this one – it’s just too yummy and full of nutritious goodies! Speaking of being nutritious, this is also a weight watcher recipe so you KNOW it’s healthy and low in fat.


You can make a big pot of it and portion it out into Tupperware containers and stick it in the freezer to pull out for lunches.

My chili at work with a quarter lemon poppyseed muffin

Bulgur and Bean Chili

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup(s) onion(s) (chopped)
  • 2 medium poblano chile, or cubanelle peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 cup(s) water
  • 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
  • 3/4 cup(s) uncooked bulgur
  • 1 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup(s) yellow corn, fresh or canned
  • 15 1/2 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup(s) cilantro, leaves, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice, or to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper; sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chili powder, garlic and cumin; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add water, tomatoes and their puree, bulgur and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in corn and beans (and a bit of water if chili seems too thick); simmer, covered, over medium heat, until corn and bulgur are tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro; finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
  6. Yields about 1 1/4 cups per serving. And it’s a WW recipe, so it’s 5 WW points per serving.

2 Responses to “Bulgar and Bean Chili”

  1. maureen schoolman March 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    oh my god. seriously. made it tonite with a couple of variations. for one, i bought the wrong kind of tomatoes — whole instead of chopped. turned out to be perfect! i used san marzano canned unsalted whole tomatoes (smooshed them up myself once they were cooking for a bit) and it ofcourse is packed in its own juice. i also simmered for maybe 3 hours at least because a) i made it very early and b) i wanted to thicken it up. laura, it was like a hearty stew! i also added a bit more bulgar. unbelievably delicious!!!

    • lmullane March 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

      GREAT modifications!!!!!!! so glad you liked it, maureen! And I am sure you didnt add the poblanos or spicy peppers, per our earlier discussion. That is fine, too! The beauty with this recipe is that you can modify it however you like to suit your taste 🙂

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