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Best Bulgur and Vermicelli Pilaf with Tomatoes, Yogurt and Herbs

Bulgur and Vermicelli Pilaf with Tomatoes, Yogurt and Herbs

45 minutes

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Bulgur and Vermicelli Pilaf with Tomatoes, Yogurt and Herbs

This hearty grain-and-noodle pilaf is based on a classic Cypriot dish called pilafi pourgouri. Nutty, nubby bulgur and bits of toasted vermicelli find delicious flavor companions in caramelized onion and tomatoes (we use canned for convenience) that have cooked down until jammy and concentrated. A portion of the onion-tomato mixture simmers into the grain and noodles so the pilaf is seasoned throughout. The rest is spooned on as a garnish, along with yogurt for a little creaminess and parsley and mint for fresh, grassy notes. If you cannot find vermicelli (it’s sometimes sold in nests), capellini or even angel hair pasta work well. Serve this as a light main or as a side to grilled or roasted lamb.

4 to 6



Don’t use fine or medium bulgur. Coarse bulgur is key for proper texture and water absorption. Also, don’t forget to reserve half of the cooked tomato mixture for garnishing the pilaf. Its intense savoriness is a nice contrast to the cool, tangy yogurt and fresh herbs.

45 minutes


  • 4

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve

  • 2

    ounces vermicelli or capellini, broken into rough 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)


  1. 01
    In a 12-inch skillet, combine 2 tablespoons oil and the pasta. Cook over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

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