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Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad with Feta

Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad with Feta.

Lunch, Quick Recipes, Salads | 3rd April 2015 | By

Canned food can be a life saver. This black bean & bulgur wheat salad with feta uses a variety of tinned and jarred goods. It’s a quick, tasty and nutritious salad which works well both as a main meal or light lunch. It’s also ideal for packed lunches, picnics and buffet style meals.

Lots of Lovely Tins

Growing up in a Cornish cottage, just outside of the village, the importance of having a well stocked larder was something drummed into me from an early age. Canned food, with its long shelf life, was ideal and I don’t ever remember a time when there wasn’t a cupboard full of tinned tomatoes.

It was my job, when new ones were bought, to bring the oldest to the front and put the newest to the back to ensure the tins never passed their use by date. Tinned tomatoes have played an important role as one of my larder staples ever since, along with canned beans and coconut milk. And where would I be without a handy tin of baked beans to put in my Granny’s Shepherd’s Pie?

How amazing it must have been, way back when canning was invented, for people to have access to seasonal food all year round. Canned Food UK is a not for profit organisation which promotes the benefits of tinned food. Although we tend to forget about it as we reach for a store cupboard stalwart, the canning process means that the nutrients are locked in, making canned food, healthy as well as convenient and affordable.

Canned Food

Canned Food Week

This week, 30th March to 5th April, is Canned Food Week and to mark the occasion I have made one of the recipes from the seven healthy eating plans created especially by nutritionist Amanda Hamilton.

Getting people into the kitchen and preparing their own food, is one of the best ways of encouraging healthier eating. These eating plans contain recipes that are simple and convenient to make, but are tasty and healthy too. There is one to suit all types of people including students, the elderly and families with young kids. This recipe came from the Healthy Eating Plan for all occasions. I was provided with the necessary ingredients to make the recipe. So, all I had to do was hunt for my tin opener.

Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad with Feta

The recipe for black bean & bulgur wheat feta salad was really quick and easy to put together. I made it in about 15 minutes. As is usually the case with me, I altered it slightly by soaking the bulgur wheat in hot water for a few minutes, rather than in cold water overnight. I like the idea of no ‘cooking’ required and rather wish I’d been a bit more organised and got the bulgur soaking the night before.

As it happened, I didn’t have any parsley in the house, so I grabbed a large bunch of chives from the garden and used those instead. CT is one of the unfussiest eaters I know, but he’s not too keen on beetroot for some reason. So instead of using a whole jar in the salad, I only used half of it.

I had some of the salad for lunch and it was both tasty and satisfying. I was more than happy to have it again for supper. There was even enough left over to go into the fridge for another day. This is my idea of killing several birds with one stone. It’s the sort of thing I would have loved as a packed lunch for work, as it makes a nice change from sandwiches.

The variety of colours make the salad look particularly appealing and it has good contrasting tastes and textures too. Think crunchy, chewy, soft, sweet, tangy and salty. I shall be making this again for sure, although CT did whisper rather plaintively, “could you perhaps leave out the beetroot next time?”

Don’t Have Any of the Ingredients?

This black bean & bulgur wheat salad is incredibly versatile. If you’re unable to get hold of any of the ingredients, you can easily swap them for another or leave them out entirely.

Black Beans

Use whatever tinned beans or pulses you have. Chickpeas or lentils would be good too.

Bulgur Wheat

It might take a bit more time to cook, but rice, quinoa or couscous make a great substitute.

Tinned Mushrooms

If you can get hold of fresh mushrooms, fry some up in olive oil and add those instead. Or just leave the mushrooms out altogether.

Pickled Beetroot

Beetroot is not to everyone’s taste. I tend to make my own pickled beetroot, so in the normal way of things I’d use those. CT hates beetroot, however, so if it’s a meal for both of us, I have to substitute other pickles instead. These might be cucumbers or homemade carrot pickles.

Tinned Sweetcorn

As the name implies, sweetcorn adds a little sweetness to the salad. But if you don’t have a tin of it handy, you could use frozen instead. Alternatively, a jar of sweet peppers would work well. You’d need to chop them first though.

Red Onion

Use whatever onions you have to hand. Shallots or spring onions are both good substitutes.

Parsley & Chives

Most leafy green herbs would be nice in this salad. If you don’t have chives, use more parsley and vice versa. Basil, coriander or chervil would all be good too.

Vegan Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad

Everything but the feta cheese is vegan in this salad. So if you’re a vegan, you could either leave out the feta cheese altogether or substitute it for some tofu or tempeh . If you like the idea of the tofu or tempeh, just cube them and marinade in some good quality soya sauce. I use tamari. Then fry in a little olive oil and crumble over the salad. Even without the feta cheese, the beans combined with the bulgur wheat provide plenty of protein. Mushrooms are also surprisingly high in protein.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this black bean & bulgur wheat salad with or without the feta, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

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Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad. PIN IT.

Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad with Feta.

Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad – The Recipe

Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad with Feta.
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Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad

A quick, tasty and nutritious salad which works well both as a main meal or light lunch. It's also ideal for packed lunches, picnics and buffet style meals.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: British
Keyword: picnic, quick, salad, store-cupboard, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 621kcal


  • 100 g bulgur wheat, soaked in cold water overnight (I soaked it in hot water for 15 mins)
  • 400 g can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 290 g can chopped mushrooms, drained
  • 340 g jar sweet pickled baby beetroot, drained and roughly chopped (I used half a jar)
  • 198 g can sweet corn, drained
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch chives, roughly chopped (I used a large bunch of chives as I had no parsley)
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive
  • 200 g feta cheese


  • Whilst your bulger wheat is soaking, prepare everything else.
  • Drain the bulgur wheat well and place into a large bowl.
  • Add the beans, mushrooms, beetroot, sweet corn and red onion and mix well.
  • Mix the maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil together then season with sea salt and black pepper, pour over the salad and mix so that all the salad is covered in dressing.
  • Add the parsley and chives and mix once more then season really well.
  • Divide between serving plates and crumble the feta cheese over the top.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.


Calories: 621kcal | Carbohydrates: 69.7g | Protein: 17.8g | Fat: 33.3g | Saturated Fat: 10.7g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Potassium: 804mg | Fiber: 9.3g | Sugar: 14g | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 5.6mg

I was sent the ingredients for this recipe by Canned Food UK. I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging. 


  1. Dom

    3rd April 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Every ingredient in this salad is a firm favourite of mine. A gorgeous salad. Loving this canned food week thing too. Fab!

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:27 pm

      Until I did this, I hadn’t realised quite how many cans I use Dom – I’d be lost without tomatoes.

  2. Lilinha Espindula

    3rd April 2015 at 9:21 pm

    I didn’t know Canned Food week existed. We love bulgur wheat and feta cheese, so I bet I woiuld love this salad x

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:28 pm

      Ah well, the wonders of the internet Lilinha 😉 I’m not sure I’d ever had feta with bulgur wheat before, but it’s a lovely combination.

  3. Rachel

    3rd April 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Great lunch idea, I love bulgar wheat and feta just makes everything better! ❤

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:30 pm

      Haha Rachel, you’re so right “better for feta” 😉

  4. Danielle Did What

    3rd April 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Got to try this!! Making my mouth water just at the thought x

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:33 pm

      It’s a great standby salad Danielle, as most things are likely to be in the cupboard.

  5. Fiona @ London-Unattached

    4th April 2015 at 9:40 am

    I really like black beans – very versatile! This looks lovely choclette, even to a die hard carnivore like me

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Even you Fiona, is this possible? I made some very nice black bean brownies once, I ought to try them again.

  6. Anita-Clare Field

    4th April 2015 at 10:29 am

    This knocks the spots of any pudding, It’s the kind of food I could cheerfully eat for lunch everyday. I am breaking with tradition tomorrow and having salads with our rack of lamb, I am going to give this a go. Happy EAster 🙂

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:35 pm

      Well I’m not quite sure I’d go that far Anita 😉 But you’re right, it’s a very tasty salad. Enjoy your salads tomorrow. Happy Easter to you too.

  7. Lucy @ BakingQueen74

    4th April 2015 at 12:05 pm

    sounds lovely, and I think I have the right tins in my store cupboard!

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Yes Lucy, it’s the sort of meal you can knock up quite easily when you’re in a hurry or there isn’t much fresh food around.

  8. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    4th April 2015 at 6:53 pm

    This sounds right up my street!! Love black beans, love feta, love sweetcorn!! Lovely salad 🙂

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Black beans are good Becca, although strangely, I’ve only ever had them from a tin.

  9. Sarah

    4th April 2015 at 7:12 pm

    With the weather picking up, it’s time to make some salads. This sounds lovely.

    • Choclette

      4th April 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Yes indeed Sarah and it looks as though we might be in for a treat with the weather this weekend *crosses fingers*.

  10. Heidi Roberts

    5th April 2015 at 12:39 pm

    We sometimes have a salad that comes out of cans, tuna, green beans and a few other items. Can be a quick midweek supper.

    • Choclette

      6th April 2015 at 9:43 am

      Cans are a jolly useful standby Heidi, but I’d not really thought of making a salad out of them until I made this.

  11. Nayna Kanabar (@citrusspiceuk)

    5th April 2015 at 5:35 pm

    This salad looks tasty and very colourful.

    • Choclette

      6th April 2015 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Nayna, it was really good and now I’ve realised I can make a super quick meal like this, I suspect I’ll be doing it more often.

  12. Kate - gluten free alchemist

    5th April 2015 at 6:33 pm

    I’ve been using lots of Feta recently! Once the lighter evenings get here it sort of propels me towards Summer. Sadly though we can’t eat bulgar wheat any more….. that darned gluten! Still, there are lots of alternative grains that would substitute well. I reckon Quinoa would do well here?!

    • Choclette

      6th April 2015 at 9:55 am

      Oh boo, it does make life a bit more limiting for you Kate. But you’re right, there are so many more things available to us now and quinoa is delicious.

  13. Sarah Maison Cupcake

    27th April 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I think quinoa would be perfect here. Looks like a lovely lunch!

    • Choclette

      28th April 2015 at 11:57 am

      Yes Sarah, I agree. Quinoa is one of our regulars – only trouble with this dish is, you’d have to cook it.


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