Saffron Bulgur with Fennel and Sausage

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Dinner, Main Course Mediterranean
By America's Test Kitchen Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cooking Time: 20-25 Minutes Total Time: ~30 Minutes

Saffron Bulgur with Fennel and Sausage features complex and harmonious flavors. With saffron and pomegranate molasses dressed bulgur.


  • 1.5 cups Medium-Grind Bulgur
  • 2.5 tsp. Kosher Salt, divided
  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage (Turkey or Pork)
  • 2 Fennel Bulbs, fronds set aside for garnish, stalks discarded, bulbs cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Dried Apricots
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper, divided
  • 1/4 tsp Saffron Threads, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. Pomegranate Molasses
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Shaved Manchego Cheese



Bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Then add 1.5 cups of medium-grind bulgur. Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Stir and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain the cooked bulgur in a fine mesh sieve and set aside.


In a 12-inch nonstick pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausages to the pan and turn them every few minutes until they are a deep golden brown on all sides and the internal temperature reads 145-150 for pork and 160 for turkey. Transfer to a cutting board or sheet tray and cover with foil to rest.


Leave whatever fat accumulated in the skillet from the sausage and add olive oil (as needed) to total about 2 teaspoons of fat. To the skillet, add the sliced fennel and the apricots. Also add 1/2 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute. Then remove the cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the fennel slices develop some browning. About 5-10 minutes. Then cut the heat and set aside.


While the fennel is cooking, place the saffron in a large bowl and add two teaspoons of water to the saffron. Let the saffron bloom in the water for 5 minutes.


Then, whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, pomegranate molasses and lemon zest. Whisk together to create an emulsified vinaigrette.


Add the cooked and drained bulgur to the bowl with the saffron pomegranate vinaigrette. Toss the bulgur in the vinaigrette until all the grains are well coated in the vinaigrette.

To Serve


Scoop portions of the dressed bulgur into bowls. Top with a serving of the caramelized fennel and apricots. Now, slice the sausages into 1/4-inch slices and nestle the slices into each serving. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and shaved Manchego cheese.