Bulgur Wheat Chili


This nutritious bulgur wheat chili is the perfect food for your playoff party! This recipe comes from Ellen Goodman, Communications Specialist.

Bulgur Wheat Chili


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 C chopped onion
  • 1 C chopped red and green bell peppers (or just red)
  • ½ finely chopped jalapeno pepper
  • ½ C sliced mushrooms
  • 2 C water
  • ¾ C dry bulgur wheat
  • 1 can (14 ounces) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can (14 ½ ounces) diced tomatoes
  • ½ C tomato sauce (optional)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds (or ½ tsp ground cumin if unavailable)
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt (or add more, to taste)


Take half to three-quarters of the kidney beans, mash loosely with a fork in a bowl and set aside. In a medium-sized pot, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds (or ground cumin) and heat for about one minute then add onion, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté for several minutes until ingredients are soft.

Add in about 1 cup of the water, kidney beans (whole and mashed), tomatoes, mushrooms, chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt and bring to a boil for a few minutes.

Then add the bulgur wheat and rest of the water. Continue to boil for about 8-10 more minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer on low while covered for about 15 minutes until the chili thickens as the water absorbs into the bulgur. Stir occasionally. Add additional water if required, if mixture becomes too thick.

Leave at low heat to keep warm until served. Top with some sour cream, grated cheese and chopped onion.

Serves 4 to 6.

Bulgur Wheat Chili

Here’s what Ellen had to say about why she chose this recipe:

“I like trying different ways to make chili… and it’s always an easy and delicious favourite when having people over to watch the Grey Cup or NHL playoffs! There are variations of this recipe made with bulgur wheat which is great as a healthy ingredient. So I developed my own spin on it. Enjoy!”

Ellen Goodman joined Cigi in 1998. As a communications specialist, she researches, writes and edits content for publications, reports, the Cigi website and other projects, and is involved with photography. She also works with the media coordinating interviews and stories on Cigi activities. Prior to joining Cigi, Ellen worked as a communications officer, advertising copywriter, reporter, and photographer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba and a Diploma in Creative Communications from Red River College.