Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad

Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest

This light, healthy Mediterranean cracked wheat salad is a quick and easy side dish that’s perfect for summer. Use bulgur wheat for this practically no-cook recipe.

Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest

What are  your plans for Memorial Day?  It’s coming up, you know.  My college roommate, Angie, will be here to celebrate her birthday!  I haven’t seen her in years, but whenever we get together I turn into a 20-year old college kid againsome friends just do that to you,  you know?  

While she’s here, there’s definitely going to be some barbecuing and picnicking and maybe a few adult libations!

For these kinds of casual hang-outs, you need a casual menu.  Throw some chicken on the grill and serve up some tasty, healthy sides with whole grains and lots of veg, like this Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad.

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Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest

This is my kind of summertime “cooking” in that it’s really not cooking at all.  I mean cracked wheat practically cooks itself  and the vegetables just need a rinse and a quick chop.

I absolutely love side salads like this — you know — ones that are delicious and satisfying and come together in minutes!   Frankly, they are way better than those sad prepared macaroni or pasta salads you find in the deli case!   And you can make it ahead of time or even the day before so you don’t have to take precious time away from sun-tanning and swimming to prep lunch or dinner.

Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest

If you’ve never made cracked wheat before, there are several methods, but this is my favorite and I think one of the simplest…  

How to cook cracked wheat (bulgur wheat)

  1. Boil water and pour it over the cracked wheat.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap to steam.
  3. It takes about 15-20 minutes and after the water is absorbed, just fluff it with a fork.
  4.  If there’s more liquid left in the bottom of the bowl, strain it.  
  5. Let the cracked wheat cool to room temperature before mixing it with the vegetables.
Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest

You can make this salad your own, adding whatever you  like..  and skipping what you don’t.  Don’t like onions?  Trade them out for some chopped scallions.  If you want to add cheese, feta would be an obvious choice.

Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest

The dressing is full of bright, tangy flavors that really bring this dish together and make it perfect for a cookout on a warm day.   Put on your bikini, lube yourself up with SPF30, mix a pitcher of sangria, mojitos or margaritas, crank up the beach music and enjoy the feast!  Summer is HERE!

Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest
Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest
Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad | Garlic + Zest

More healthy whole grain salads:

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4.12 from 9 votes

Mediterranean Cracked Wheat Salad

A no-cook spring or summer salad, loaded with veg!
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword bulgur, whole grains
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


For salad

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 ¾ cups boiling water
  • 1 8-ounce can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup celery finely diced
  • ½ cup radishes julienned
  • ½ cup kalamata olives seeded and halved
  • ½ cup pepperoncini peppers chopped
  • cup red onion finely diced

For Dressing

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic minced
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • In a medium bowl add the bulgur wheat and boiling water and cover tightly with saran wrap. Set aside for 15-20 minutes for the wheat to absorb the liquid.
  • Meanwhile prep the vegetables and place them in a large bowl.

For the dressing

  • Zest the lemon and place the zest in a small bowl. Juice the lemon — you should have about 1/4 cup — if not, juice another half of a lemon to equal 1/4 cup of juice. Add the garlic, parsley, salt, pepper oregano and red pepper. In a steady stream, whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the bulgur wheat and fluff with a fork. If there is liquid left in the bottom of the bowl, strain it out. When the bulgur wheat has cooled to room temperature, add it to the chopped vegetables and toss to combine. Add about half of the dressing to the salad and toss until coated. Taste for seasoning. If it needs more dressing, add it by 1-2 tablespoons at a time. You don’t want the salad to be overly wet or goopy.
  • Serve at room temperature or chilled.


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 264mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 26.5mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Delicious!!! I’m eating & typing at the same time!

  2. 5 stars
    This cracked Salad looks soo delicious and absolutely healthy…. Though I have never tried, your recipe is giving me the little push…

    1. It’s very healthy, but really satisfying too!

    1. Yes, it’s kind of like that, but heartier, I think!

  3. I never had cracked wheat, but this looks so delicious, light and healthy! Love all the colors too!

    1. If you’ve ever had a tabbouleh, it’s made with cracked wheat.

  4. yourcooktoria says:

    Such a healthy and flavor packed bowl of goodness! The photographs look so beautiful!

    1. I appreciate that! It’s simple and tasty!

    1. Thank you Liz! I like mixing up the grains in my summer salads and cracked wheat is a good one!