Za’atar Grilled Chicken Bulgur Bowls with Tahini Sauce
Za’atar spiced grilled chicken is paired with fluffy bulgur, roasted vegetables, feta cheese, and creamy tahini sauce in this healthy, flavor-packed main course.
This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.
Lately I’ve been struggling with the age-old question: “what the hell should we make for dinner?” Regardless of how large a role cooking plays in your life, I feel like this is a question that plagues many of us.
Thankfully, I have a few favorites that we turn to time and time again in this often-occurring predicament. That being said, I’m always looking for trusty (preferably healthy!) main course recipes that pack flavor, can be prepared easily, and make great leftovers. These za’atar grilled chicken bulgur bowls have been in our rotation for months, and I’m so excited to share them with you!
Please don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list or recipe length. This dish comes together in a few steps – many being hands-off – and I’ll share time-saving, preparation tips below that help make this meal come together even more quickly! Let’s get started.
I don’t know about you, but I’m very much into the grain bowl trend. It is so nice being able to create an all-in-one dinner that pulls together all the main essentials in one bowl.
If grain bowls had a formula, it would be:
- protein (meat, tofu, etc.)
- sauce, topping, + garnishes
Fluffy whole-grains make up the hearty base, vegetables and protein are added in some form or other, and the whole thing is pulled together with a few zesty garnishes and toppings. Toppings are key! [Also, I’m obsessed with toppings.]
Grains are the starting points of one-bowl meals, and a very important one at that. For these za’atar grilled chicken bowls, we’re using bulgur!
Bulgur, made from whole grain soft white wheat, doesn’t get nearly enough credit and attention in the whole grain world. It is a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, and most popularly known for its role in classic tabbouleh.
Bulgur is, by far, one of my favorite whole grains, because it cooks incredibly quickly (about 10-12 minutes!) and consistently, packs a healthy amount of fiber and protein (1/4 cup contains 5 grams of each), and has a great nutty texture. One of the reasons why bulgur cooks so quickly is that it is sold in par-boiled form.
If you’ve seen bulgur at the grocery store, you’ve probably noticed that it can come in a variety of forms or ‘grinds’: fine (#1), medium (#2), coarse (#3), and very coarse (#4). They are all made from the exact same whole grain, but will vary in cooking time and texture.
My favorite grind, and coincidentally the most commonly found in my experience, is medium (#2) grind. I have been using Bob’s Red Mill golden bulgur (medium #2 grind) for years, and it is the one used in today’s recipe.
The cooked bulgur is topped with za’atar grilled chicken and roasted vegetables. If you haven’t cooked with za’atar, I highly recommend getting your hands on some immediately!
It is a Middle Eastern spice blend made from toasted sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme (and occasionally a few other spices!). You can try your hand at making your own – though sumac is difficult to find – but I’ve had better luck finding za’atar spice blend online or in the international aisle of my grocery store.
It can be used in so many things (or just sprinkled on meat or vegetables before serving!), and once you’ve tried it – you’ll want to put it on everything!
The bowls are finished off with creamy tahini sauce (this stuff is so addictive and I used a similar one on this roasted carrot lentil salad), crumbled feta, fresh dill and mint. So many awesome flavors in one bowl – I love this dish!
To make this meal even more weeknight-friendly, try the following:
- cook the bulgur the night before, store in the fridge, and reheat just before serving
- prep the tahini sauce several days in advance; store in the fridge and whisk in a teaspoon or two of warm water to loosen before serving
If making ahead or serving cold, I’ll often cool the bulgur down quickly by spreading it on a sheet pan. Any leftover tahini sauce can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to a week. It will thicken with refrigeration – add warm water, teaspoon at at time, to loosen.
Tips for Success:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 832Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 1796mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 12gSugar: 17gProtein: 55g
If making ahead or serving cold, I’ll often cool the bulgur down quickly by spreading it on a sheet pan.
Any leftover tahini sauce can be wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to a week. It will thicken with refrigeration – add warm water, teaspoon at at time, to loosen.