Lentils and bulgur wheat with caramelized onions is a delicious Middle Eastern dish. A great source of protein and fiber, it is also a tasty Vegetarian entree.
If I had to eat one type of food every day for the rest of my life, it would be Middle Eastern food.
When we go out to eat, I crave it. When we’re celebrating a holiday, I make it. If it’s a day that ends in ‘y’, I want it!
This particular dish is made with lentils and bulgur wheat which are cooked together in just a little water, salt and pepper then topped with caramelized onions.
This is a humble, affordable dish but it is always a family-favorite. Great for serving a crowd, it tastes delicious warm, room temperature or chilled.
To start, you’ll want to pan-fry the onions in olive oil until they become caramelized and sweet.
How long does it take to caramelize onions?
This step can take a little bit of time but I promise the end result is worth it. Depending on how many onions you wish to fry, I typically recommend at least one inch of oil and letting them cool down for about 30-45 minutes, stirring regularly.
Once the onions are caramelized, remove from the pan and let strain on a plate lined with paper towel. This will help remove any excess oil.
Once the onions are done caramelizing, you’ll cook the bulgur and lentils in the same pan. This allows you to use that delicious flavor from frying the onions to season the whole dish.
To serve, you’ll top each bowl of lentils and bulgur wheat with caramelized onions. If you have fresh parsley and plain yogurt, I highly recommend that as well.
Want more delicious Lebanese recipes? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Lemon Garlic Greens and Onions
- Tabbouleh Salad
- Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts
- Meat-Stuffed Grape Leaves
- Stuffed Kusa Squash in a Tomato Mint Broth
All of these recipes, and every Middle Eastern recipe I share, are dishes you can feel good about serving. Full of flavor and loaded in vitamins, nutrients and healthy fats, they will leave you feeling satisfied and happy.
These recipes hold a special place in my heart and remind me of the special occasions where we’ve enjoyed these dishes. (Did I mention one Christmas we prepared nothing but traditional Syrian food?) I’ll take hummus over turkey any day of the week.
Your fork is waiting.
Lentils and Bulgur Wheat with Caramelized Onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large onions thinly sliced
- 1 cup dried lentils rinsed and sorted
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup parsley minced
- Plain yogurt optional, to serve
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add the onion slices.
- Cook for 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until brown and caramelized.
- If they begin to burn, reduce heat to medium or even medium-low. Keep them moving!
- Remove onions from pan and set aside.
- Add lentils and water to the same pan and boil for 15 minutes, uncovered.
- Stir in bulgur, salt and pepper then bring to a simmer.
- Place a lid on the pan then reduce heat to low.
- Cook for 15 additional minutes then fluff with a fork.
- Spread pilaf on a platter and top with caramelized onions and chopped parsley. Serve with plain yogurt.