© 2009 Green Kitchen Stories Christmas saffron bulgur

Saffron Bulgur With Vegetables

In our search for the best vegetarian christmas recipes we have come to a family classic. The first vegetarian christmas we celebrated (back in the 90’s), me and my sister looked through mum’s cook book shelf to find some kind of christmas recipe without ham, turkey or meatballs. It wasn’t easy, Swedish Christmas tables usually looks something like this. Finally we did find a Saffron Couscous recipe that we tried and we have made it almost every Christmas since then. This year we have changed the couscous for bulgur.
Maybe I should add that saffron is one of the most important Christmas spices in Sweden. We use it in buns, cakes and all kinds of food. I have always thought that saffron was used as a Christmas spice all over the world, but Luise has shown me that they don’t even use it in Denmark.
So now I’m a bit confused, are there any other countries that use saffron as a christmas spice or are we all alone with this?

Saffron Bulgur with vegetables
Serves 4

1 1/2 cup bulgur
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 g saffron

olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 chili
1 red bell pepper (sliced)
1 zucchini (thinly chopped)
10 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1/2 lemon (juice)
1 handful coriander (cilantro)
salt & pepper
200 g goat cheese
roasted salted almonds

Cook the bulgur in vegetable broth for about 10 minutes and add the saffron while cooking. Add olive oil to a frying pan on medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic and chili. Add bell pepper, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and juice from the lemon. Stir it around for about 10 minutes before adding half of the chopped coriander, salt and pepper, and half of the goat cheese. Mix it all with the bulgur and serve on a big plate. Sprinkle the rest of the coriander, goat cheese and some roasted salted almonds over before serving it.


  1. Posted 20 Dec ’09 at 19:07 | #

    Must, must make this dish. The colors are beautiful! I did not know or even think that saffron is used so heavily in the Swedish culture. I thought is was more a Mediterranean spice. Thanks for the knowledge and great recipe!

  2. Posted 20 Dec ’09 at 20:17 | #

    What a great photo. looks yummy!

  3. Posted 21 Dec ’09 at 19:52 | #

    Im making quinoa saffron cold sallad for christmas!:) And this sounds amazing!:D

  4. Elena
    Posted 23 Dec ’09 at 20:33 | #

    Looks really really good! I spy cherry tomatoes, you might have forgotten to include them in the ingredient list…

    • Posted 23 Dec ’09 at 20:59 | #

      Thanks Elena, you are absolutely right. We missed to write cherry tomatoes in the recipe list. The fact is that we added the tomatoes spontaneously while we were cooking and we had already written the recipe. Now we’ve updated the post. Thanks for checking up on us!

  5. marisa rechenberg
    Posted 26 Apr ’11 at 15:34 | #

    We made this dish tonight and, although looking totally different, it was amazingly good! I used a creamy goat cheese, so the consistency was more like a risotto. And I guess I was way too short on saffron as well ;) congrats on the recipe and thanks for sharing!

  6. Posted 4 Aug ’11 at 13:05 | #

    I made the bulgur last weekend and I just couldn’t stop eating. It was way too delicious! My boyfriend loved it, too. Thank you for the recipe!

  7. Carla
    Posted 31 Dec ’12 at 02:31 | #

    Oh my! I bought some bulgur but didnt have any idea what to do with it! Now I know what I’ll have for dinner tomorrow! THank you for the recipe! =D

  8. Helene
    Posted 9 Jan ’13 at 20:17 | #

    Looks absolutly amazing, any advice for a good substitute for the goat cheese, as i don’t eat any animalistic products? :) THANKS!

  9. Solange
    Posted 12 Apr ’14 at 18:12 | #

    It was so delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Posted 21 May ’14 at 23:23 | #

    I did it exactly as written and it was wonderful. Full of colors! :)

  11. Posted 9 Feb ’15 at 10:04 | #

    awesome recipe. mouth watering !

  12. Posted 9 Feb ’15 at 10:05 | #

    nice look of recipe . :p

  13. Posted 24 Jul ’15 at 14:51 | #

    Underbar blogg!

  14. sidsel
    Posted 29 Apr ’16 at 08:18 | #

    Det hände, att en Viking komm hem ock gav Kvinnan sin et pulver från bort om Wattnet. Hon gjömte det och tog fram det när hennes dotter skulle vara Brüd på Luciamorgonen. Detta war ett frugtbarhetritual, var unga Kvinnor gick och beså seg de unge Män när dom sov. För att förtrolla den beste Mannen, gav hon honnom små bröd med veldig kraft; Safran!
    sen komm dom andra och tog detta ritualet, kallade hende helgon.. men än fanns det inte mücke safran, inte delte man detta med dom hognäsiga danskerna!!
    Safran bliver vist ikke brugt af andre end af svenskerne til jul. Vi har jo tiltusket os Lucia, det er rart med lidt sang og lys i mørket!
    phønizierne bagte, til ære for deres kærlighedsgudinde, kage med meget safran, når de ønskede sig lykke i kærlighedsforhold!
    dansk hilsen fra tyskland, tak for dejlig mad!

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