Bean Bulgur Salad With Pesto, Fat-Free

Bean Bulgur SaladI have been really busy which is why you haven’t been seeing me around much, but I wanted to drop in today with a quick, easy and fat-free recipe for this delicious Bean Bulgur Salad with Pesto.

This is the perfect brown-bag recipe, and it has so many textures and flavors that you’ll never miss the fat. It’s also rather easy to make, once you have cooked the bulgur (and the beans, if you’re not using canned).

Bean Bulgur Salad

I used some white beans for this recipe, but there are also chickpeas here, although those disappear almost completely into the creamy spinach and basil pesto. To add more summery flavor to my salad, I added some mangoes and some tomatoes just off the vine. If you don’t mind some healthy fat, some toasted walnuts would be fabulous in here. But because I wanted to make this recipe completely fat-free, I left them out.

You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by substituting some quinoa or rice for the bulgur. Quinoa would give a further protein boost to this recipe which already has more than 15 grams each of protein and fiber.

Here’s the recipe, and I promise to be back soon with more. Until then!

Bean Bulgur Salad

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bean Bulgur Salad With Pesto, Fat-Free
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8
  • 11/2 cups dry Great Northern beans (roughly 5 cups canned)
  • ½ cup dry bulgur
  • 2 ripe mangoes, seed removed and chopped into a fine dice.
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ red onion, minced (optional)
  • 2 cups roasted or steamed corn
  • 2 packed cups of spinach, cut into ribbons
  • For the pesto:
  • 1½ cups packed spinach leaves
  • ½ cup basil
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp ground black peppers
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  1. Cook the beans if using dry, by covering the beans with an inch of water, bringing it to a boil, covering and letting them cook until they are fork-tender but still holding their shape. This might take more than an hour, although the process would be much quicker in a pressure cooker. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the bulgur by placing in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to a simmer. Let the bulgur cook for 15 minutes and turn off the heat.
  3. Make the pesto by placing all of the pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add a few tablespoons of water and process into a fairly smooth paste.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the bulgur, beans, spinach, corn and pesto.
  5. Add the mangoes, onion and tomatoes and stir to mix.
  6. Serve warm or cold.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 315 Fiber: 15.4 grams Protein: 15.2 grams


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  1. says

    Vaishali, First off I love that you have the nutrition information for your recipes. Great to know how much I’m taking in when I make this delicious dish! I like the idea of chickpeas as the base for a pesto, adds nutritional value but, certainly bulks up the meal and will make you feel full (and full of something good for you!). — V

    • says

      Hi V, I am glad you find the nutrition info helpful– it certainly comes in handy for me and my family as well, so I figured everyone could use it! :) And yes, chickpeas are definitely a healthier substitution for nuts which, although healthy too, are rather fatty.

  2. Gita Jaishankar says

    Great salad Vaishali, these days I am trying very hard to lose some weight and trying to eat salads for dinner. Going to try this for dinner this week :)

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