Couscous Salad

Couscous: The pasta so nice they named it twice!

I’m honestly not a huge pasta fan. I don’t crave it the way many other people do. While I’m almost always happy eating it, it’s not something I seek out, and I almost never order it at a restaurant (well, except maybe when mac and cheese is concerned). But pasta is incredibly versatile. It’s a blank canvas for just about any variety of mix-ins of any sort of cuisine, and nearly every culture around the world has their own spin on pasta.

Enter: Couscous. These tiny little beads of whole-wheat flour and water are light and fluffy, never gummy like some whole-wheat pastas can be. This texture pairs perfectly with crisp veggies and minimal dressing. Nothing heavy here! It’s great hot or cold, on a bed of greens or by itself. It’s the perfect sidedish for a picnic or barbecue. And it couldn’t be easier to make.

In fact, if you make a recipe with couscous, it’s best to have all your ingredients at the ready before you even reach for a pot. The 1 cup of water will come to a boil in a minute or two, and once you mix in the couscous, it’s just five more til mealtime.


Last night I made this with a Mediterranean flair, but you could just as easily make this any style you want. Here are some ideas:

Mediterranean: Combine couscous with chickpeas, roasted red peppers, red onion, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, olives, and feta. Sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley.
Mexican: Add black beans, corn, avocado, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin powder. Top with some fresh salsa and cilantro.
Italian: Mix in sun-dried tomatoes, basil, colorful bell peppers, goat cheese, cannellini beans and garlic.
Asian: Add carrots, edamame, peanuts, red bell peppers, cabbage, and top with a dressing made of rice vinegar, soy, and sriacha sauce.
Middle Eastern: Make a couscous tabbouleh with some parsley, mint, garlic, and the juice and zest of a lemon.

As you can see, the underlying theme is some beans, some colorful veggies and maybe a bit of cheese, with a light dressing. This is a great way to use up extra vegetables if you’re like me and buy a pack of 6 bell peppers on Tuesday, forgetting about the 4 you bought last Friday and haven’t used. Feel free to add chia or flax seeds for a nutritional boost! They’ll also help soak up any excess moisture your veggies impart.


There’s no magic ratio, but I would use at least 1 cup veggies to 1 cup couscous, and start with a tablespoon of dressing — remember, you can always add more but you can’t take it out!

What are some of your favorite veggie combinations?



  1. Couscous makes for a beautiful salad or simply seasoned a beautiful side dish.

  2. […] chicken thighs and steamed some green beans. Last night was bison burgers and a Mexican-inspired couscous salad (current obsession!). Since I am certain I will be cooking both of these meals again, I promise I […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Our Next Life

Early Retirement // Financial Independence // Adventure // Happiness

food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

Herbs and Spices Rock My World

Marking Our Territory

Adventures are better with dogs, dogs are better with adventures

Chivalrous Cooking

Nate Cooks. Jenn Eats.

Paige's Next Chapter

Turning the page on Maryland and writing a new story

Lilly Sue's Bites and Brews

~Discovery of Food and Beer

The Wildly Ordinary Life

"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list"

%d bloggers like this: