Spiced bulgur pilaf with fish

Spiced bulgur pilaf with fish

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(34 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4

Use sustainable white fish in this North African-inspired rice one-pot with harissa and apricot - full of iron, fibre and 2 of your 5 -a-day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal416
  • fat6g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs52g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre7g
  • protein37g
  • salt1g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, finely sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 carrots, grated



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 2 tbsp harissa



    This hot, aromatic paste made from chilli and assorted spices and herbs is spicy and…

  • 200g bulgur wheat
  • 6 dried apricots, chopped
  • 700ml weak chicken stock (we made using 1 stock cube)
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 4 firm white fish fillets
  • 4 thin lemon slices



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…


  1. Heat the oil in a lidded flameproof casserole dish. Tip in the onions and cook for 10 mins until soft and golden. Add the carrots and cumin, and cook for 2 mins more. Stir through the harissa, bulgur and apricots, pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 7 mins.

  2. Add the spinach and stir through until just wilted. Arrange the fish fillets on top, pop a slice of lemon on each and season. Replace the lid and cook for 8 mins, keeping over a low-ish heat.

  3. Turn heat to low and cook for 7-8 mins more until the fish is cooked through and the bulgur is tender. Season with pepper and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Hakan Koseoglu's picture
Hakan Koseoglu
29th Aug, 2019
Did it with frozen fish, tomato paste + paprika instead of harissa and a bit more cumin on top of the seeds and it was delicious.
13th Feb, 2019
This was OK but I found the cumin a bit too overwhelming. I added some cinnamon and juice of half a lemon which reduced the cumin flavour. Will make again but will use 1 teasp of cumin seeds and 1 teasp cinnamon and more dried apricots. I also added peppers and I cooked the fish separately in the oven. Hoping the left over bulgur wheat will go nicely with chicken for lunch today.
19th Dec, 2016
A lovely late Sunday lunch after a long family walk in the woods with the dogs. Watch the fish though, I find it cooked to our liking after 8 minutes. I also use a strong chicken stock (I use the Knorr liquid stock as it is easy to make to the strength required)
15th Apr, 2016
Took me much longer than the 10 minutes preparation time stated (it took me at least 5 minutes to grate the carrots). Having said that, it was a recipe that was fairly quick and easy with flavoursome results so I shall definitely be doing it again as a regular mid-week meal. I also like the fact that everything can be done in advance up to the stage of cooking the fish. I used the 2 tbsp of harrisa as stated in the recipe and my family found it just right. It was only just enough in quantity to feed the three of us who were hime that night, but that's because we have unusually large appetites. I would say it is enough for four people with standard appetites. I steamed the fish on top, as the recipe suggests, but I found it wasn't that successful. I found the fish was still not cooked when the bulghar wheat was and it also meant I couldn't stir it so the stuff at the bottom of the pan starting sticking and burning slightly. I think I'll pan fry the fish separately next time, even though that creates more washing up. Made a refreshing change and was extremely tasty. Also very healthy.
22nd Feb, 2016
Did this tonight for dinner and guided by the comments below added a red capsicum and some frozen peas. Overall good but I do think it needs some additional seasoning. Next time I'll add a red chilli finely chopped. The dish itself is not dissimilar to a risotto with the texture of the bulghar wheat and grated carrot. I used monkfish (about 150g per fillet) and that works well as firm fish, but I did cut the final cooking short by around five minutes - you definitely need to watch the cooking progress of the fish and let that determine when done.
20th May, 2016
Second time around, I doubled the harissa instead of going with a red chilli. I also used normal strength chicken stock instead of weak. And this time I used Tarakihi. Lovely. Just watch the fish and ignore the time stated for cooking time in step 3; once the fish is in, you're done as soon as the fish is cooked.
1st Nov, 2015
Easy, fast and delicious!! Would maybe fry the fish next time as I found it a bit bland although our harissa certainly made up for it; was very hot so would have that amount next time. Overall a keeper though!!!!
24th Jan, 2015
Made this with fish, and chicken, have used whatever veg we have in house and every time it's delicious! A family favourite which is great when in a hurry.
28th Nov, 2014
Yummy. Made this tonight, just used 1tbsp of harissa and it was plenty for us. Couldn't taste the carrots but good as hidden veg. Added red peppers and frozen peas. Would work with chicken.
5th Jun, 2014
Great dish. Made with my own home made harrisa paste too ;-)


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