Citrusy Sweet Potato Bulgur Salad
4.05 from 45 votes

This citrusy sweet potato bulgur salad is so hearty and filling, yet fresh and bright! It’s made with nutritious roasted sweet potatoes, bulgur wheat, an orange-infused dressing, and chopped fresh mint. It’s equally good hot or cold, in any season.

A wide-rimmed, white bowl is filled with a cooked vegan whole grain and sweet potato salad with herbs.

Bulgur wheat is a central component of tabbouleh salad, but I think it’s a fantastic base for many types of grain salads. This wonderful bulgur sweet potato salad is a favorite. It can be made at any time of year, but I especially love it in the winter, when citrus is fresh.

Thanks to a combination of both bulgur wheat and roasted sweet potatoes, the salad is especially hearty. Even so, fresh herbs (mint!) and a citrusy vinaigrette help to give it a light, fresh flavor.

Bulgur sweet potato salad ingredients

Sweet potatoes

These add sweetness and texture to the bulgur sweet potato salad. I always use orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, but Japanese sweet potatoes would be interesting to experiment with, too.

In place of sweet potatoes you could use butternut squash (or another winter squash) or roasted carrots. I’d love to try adding golden beets sometime, too!

Usually when I roast sweet potatoes I like to cut them into about 1-inch cubes. Here I cube them smaller and more evenly than usual—closer to half an inch. I add a little maple syrup to them before roasting. I personally love the slightly caramelized coating this helps to create, but you can skip the maple syrup if you prefer to.

Bulgur wheat

The whole grain foundation of this tasty lunch salad! Bulgur wheat, if you haven’t used it before, tastes mildly nutty and has an awesome texture. It’s also rich in protein, relatively quick cooking, and versatile. It’s one of my favorite grains!

Orange juice

A citrusy vinaigrette gives the salad its character and brightness! Orange juice (and zest) is what creates that.

I really recommend using freshly squeezed orange juice if you can—it’s so much more flavorful than bottled. And you’ll need a fresh orange or two anyway, for the zest. But it’s OK to use bottled and skip the zest if you’re in a rush.

Parsley & mint

Don’t skimp on the fresh herbs in the bulgur sweet potato salad! They add some much flavor and vibrance. I tend to get lazy about storing fresh herbs, but once I have them, I’m always so grateful to season my food with them. This salad included.

How to cook bulgur for salad

There are some grains that I cook in boiling water, then drain—just like pasta! These include farro, barley, wheat berries, and short grain brown rice.

With other grains, I like to use only as much water as is needed to cook the grain completely. So, I proceed with a specific ratio of grain and liquid. That’s how I cook quinoa, white rice, millet, and couscous.

I use sort of a hybrid of these two methods for cooking bulgur. For one cup of bulgur (I use a little more than 1 cup in this recipe), I boil 3 cups of water. I add the bulgur and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Then I remove the bulgur from heat, cover it, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

If there’s any water left in the pot, I drain the bulgur to remove it. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t. I find that this method gives me perfectly fluffy, tender bulgur each and every time!

A close up image of a bulgur sweet potato grain salad, which is topped with chopped fresh mint.

Does bulgur wheat contain gluten?

It does. Bulgur wheat, as the name suggests, is a form of cracked wheat. So it is a gluten-containing whole grain.

Can the bulgur sweet potato salad be made gluten-free?

Yes, this grain salad can be transformed into a gluten-free recipe. To do that, you’ll need to substitute the bulgur, which contains wheat, for another whole grain.

I’ve used quinoa, millet, couscous, and brown rice for this recipe. Each has different consistencies and properties, but all work nicely with the combination of ingredients listed.

Can the bulgur sweet potato salad be made ahead?

Yes! This is an especially great make-ahead salad. You can make the whole thing ahead of time, or you can prepare parts of it in advance. I often cook either the bulgur or the sweet potato (or both) ahead of time. When I’m ready to serve, I whisk together the vinaigrette and combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

If you’d like to make the whole salad in advance of serving or sharing, it keeps well for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.

An overhead image of a wide, round plate against a white backdrop. The plate holds a vegan whole grain salad.
A wide-rimmed, white bowl is filled with a cooked vegan whole grain and sweet potato salad with herbs.
4.05 from 45 votes

Sweet Potato Bulgur Citrus Salad

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings


  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and cubed (about 1 1/2 lbs after preparation)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups bulgur wheat
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced or grated on a microplane (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mint
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest


  • Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the sweet potatoes with the vegetable oil, syrup, a generous pinch of coarse salt, and a few turns of pepper. Place the potatoes on a lined baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until very tender and gently caramelized, stirring them once halfway through cooking.
  • While the potatoes roast, bring 3 1/2 cups water to boil. Add the bulgur and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bulgur from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain any excess water from the bulgur and fluff the grain with a fork.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic (if using), salt, and pepper.
  • When the potatoes are ready, transfer them, along with the cooked bulgur, parsley, mint, red onion, and orange zest, to a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing. Toss everything well to combine, then taste the salad and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve.
An angled photo of a vegan bulgur sweet potato salad, which has been piled into a shallow, round bowl.

The salad makes a generous amount, so it’s great for sharing. I hope that you, and maybe your loved ones, will enjoy!


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Categories: Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes
Method: Oven, Stovetop
Ingredients: Sweet Potato
Dietary Preferences: Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Meal Prep

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for a summer dinner but I substituted barley for the bulgur. Everyone loved it. I had to copy the recipe for my daughter and husband.

  2. 5 stars
    This tastes amazing. I make with and with added garbanzo or kidney beans. Sometimes served on a bed of arugula. Love it

  3. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner and it was excellent. I added maple syrup to the dressing for a little bit of sweetness and a can of chickpeas to the salad to make it a #powerplate. I also served the salad over some chopped baby spinach to get my greens in. I absolutely loved it and I think I might add some golden raisins and toasted slivered almonds on top next time.

  4. 5 stars
    Just tried it! Sooooo yummy, perfect when it is 36 degrees out there 🙂 I didn’t have any orange or orange juice but added dried cranberries.

  5. Wow, that dish looks too good!!!!! Great combination of healthy and tasty ingredients!!! Perfect for my next lunch:)

  6. Looks magnificent. Will make it today with quinoa and summer salad vegetables because it is summer here in Australia but including sweet potato of course. Love your website.

  7. OHOHHHH YAAA. This is just the recipe I was hoping to come across to make tonight…I think I will use farro since I’m currently having a love affair with it. Hope you enjoy some fluffy white snow! We have been seriously lacking that in Ohio this winter 🙁

  8. This looks gorgeous! Sweet potato is a favourite of ours. Can I also say what great photos you’ve taken. May I ask what camera you use please?