Vegetarian Turkish Bulgur Balls “Bulgur Köftesi” Recipe

This is a wonderful, regional vegetarian recipe from southern Turkey, perfect for buffets and entertaining and you can also make the bulgur balls ahead of time and keep in the freezer.


  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • 200 ml hot water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste Salt, pper, red pepper flakes
  • For the sauce
  • 4 grated tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, dried mint
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

How To Make

1- In a bowl, soak 1 cup of fine bulgur with 200 ml of hot water. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside to let the bulgur fully expand.

2- Add 1 egg white, 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, 5 tbsp of flour, 2 tbsp of tomato paste, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and knead by wetting your hands occasionally.

3- Take small pieces from the mixture, roll into balls and gently press your pinky finger down on the center of each one.

4- Pass the bulgur balls into boiling salted water and cook until they rise to the surface of the water.

5- Transfer the bulgur balls into a serving plate using a strainer.

6- For the tomato sauce; combine 2 tbsp of olive oil with 4 grated tomatoes and saute.

7- Add in 3 cloves of chopped garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and dried mint. Cook until boil dry.

8- Take it off the heat and add in some chopped fresh parsley.

9- Finally pour the tomato sauce over the bulgur balls and stir gently.

10- Bulgur balls are ready to serve.

11- Enjoy!

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