Mouth-watering Couscous Salad Recipe for a Healthy Meal

What’s up, fellow foodies! I’m stoked to be here sharing with you a recipe that has become one of my favorite go-to vegan side dishes – Couscous Salad!

This dish is packed with flavors inspired by the Mediterranean cuisine, and it involves combining pearl couscous with lots of fresh veggies like cucumber and cherry tomatoes. It also features spices like cumin and paprika, along with zesty Valencian oranges that will give it a bit of sweetness.

I understand that sometimes finding the perfect vegan salad can be quite a struggle. Many lack the taste we expect in our meals or are too complicated to make. Well, let me tell you that this Couscous Salad recipe is the answer you have been looking for! Trust me on this one!

It’s an effortless dish to make, and you can customize it based on your preferences with various substitution options available. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to diversify your plate with wholesome plant-based foods.

So, whether you are hosting a summer BBQ or looking for a quick weekday dinner idea that’s both filling and delicious – Couscous Salad is the perfect solution.

Let’s jump right into the ingredients and start making magic happen in the kitchen!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Couscous Salad (Vegan)
Couscous Salad (Vegan)

If you’re looking for a vegan dish that’s filling, nutritious and delicious, then this Mediterranean couscous salad recipe is absolutely for you. With refreshing orange slices, sweet prunes, sun-dried tomatoes, crunchy vegetables like red onions and green onions and zingy chickpeas all mixed in with a garlic and olive oil-infused pearl couscous, this salad has got it all going on.

Not only is this salad vegan-friendly, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. All you need to do is cook the couscous (which takes only 10-15 minutes), then mix in the other ingredients. It’s perfect for meal prep or a quick lunch on-the-go.

But what really sets this salad apart from the others is its versatility. You can easily make substitutions and variations by adding ingredients like diced cucumber, diced bell pepper or even roasted parsnips. The dressing is so simple yet so flavorful with its Dijon mustard, fresh parsley and extra virgin olive oil mix.

Plus, this couscous salad recipe yields four cups of deliciousness – perfect for sharing with your friends and family or enjoying as leftovers throughout the week. With such high protein content in its vegetable broth cooked garbanzo beans and pearl couscous grains, this salad will leave you feeling satisfied and full of energy.

So if you want to impress your guests at summer parties or make an easy yet delicious meal any day of the week, don’t hesitate to give this vegan Mediterranean couscous salad recipe a try!

Ingredient List

 A fresh and colorful couscous salad perfect for a light lunch or dinner
A fresh and colorful couscous salad perfect for a light lunch or dinner

Let’s gather the ingredients we need for this delicious Couscous Salad recipe!

This is a vegan mediterranean-style couscous salad that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Here is the list of all the plant-based ingredients you will need for this recipe:

  • Israeli couscous: 1 1/2 cups
  • Vegetable broth: 2 cups
  • Red onions: 1 diced
  • Green onions: 1/4 cup diced
  • Garbanzo beans: 1 can (15oz) drained and rinsed
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: 1/3 cup chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes: 1 cup halved
  • Red bell pepper: 1 small, diced and deseeded
  • Cucumber: 1/2 English cucumber or regular cucumber diced
  • Prunes: 4 deseeded and finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley: 3 tablespoons chopped


  • Extra-virgin olive oil: 5 tablespoons
  • Valencia oranges: Juice of 2 oranges
  • Dijon mustard: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper: 1/2 teaspoon

The Recipe How-To

 Dive into this vegan-friendly couscous salad that’s full of flavor!
Dive into this vegan-friendly couscous salad that’s full of flavor!

Now, let’s get down to business and create this delicious vegan couscous salad recipe! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make it:


  • 2 cups of Israeli couscous (pearl couscous)
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup of diced English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley chopped
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes diced
  • 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed Valencia orange juice
  • Zest and juice from one lime
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste


  1. Cook the Israeli couscous according to the package instructions, but substitute vegetable broth for water. This will give the couscous added flavor. Once cooked, fluff the couscous with a fork in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add garbanzo beans, diced red bell pepper, English cucumber, chopped parsley, and sun-dried tomatoes into the bowl with couscous.
  3. For the dressing, combine extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed Valencia orange juice, zest and juice from one lime in a separate bowl. Mix well until emulsified.
  4. Pour the dressing over the couscous mixture and give it a good stir.
  5. Season with salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste.

That’s it! Your delicious Mediterranean vegan couscous salad is ready to be served!

But wait! If you have time I recommend that you let this couscous salad consume the dressing for at least an hour before serving so all of the flavors are infused together. It will be worth it!

Substitutions and Variations

 Vibrant veggies and fluffy couscous make this salad a showstopper
Vibrant veggies and fluffy couscous make this salad a showstopper

Hey food lovers, let’s talk about substitutions and variations for this Vegan Couscous Salad recipe. Flexibility in the kitchen is essential when pursuing your culinary goals, and it is also fun to discover new flavor profiles.

Firstly, if you cannot find Israeli pearl couscous in your local store, try using giant couscous, Moroccan couscous, or even quinoa as a substitute. Giant couscous has slightly bigger beads and will provide a similar texture to Israeli pearl couscous, while quinoa will contribute its nutty taste.

If you are craving high protein with chickpeas out of stock or just prefer a different type of legume, try substituting with black beans or kidney beans. For added crunch and freshness, you can also try adding diced radishes or bell peppers to the salad.

One easy variation is to incorporate fresh mint instead of parsley or add diced apricots instead of prunes. These small changes will elevate the Mediterranean flavors in your salad and take it to a whole new level.

For those who love their salads spicy or with an extra kick of heat, adding a pinch of cayenne pepper with some lemon juice to the mix can achieve this easily. Additionally, smoked paprika or cumin are excellent seasonings that allow you to leave your mark on this vegan salad recipe.

Lastly, for some carrot lovers out there who want more vegetables in their salad, try adding shredded carrots or parsnips for nutritious vitamins A and C. With these types of variations and substitutions, you can make this Vegan Couscous Salad and make it uniquely yours.

Serving and Pairing

 Trust us, you’ll want to make and eat this couscous salad all summer long
Trust us, you’ll want to make and eat this couscous salad all summer long

Now that you have created this stunning vegan couscous salad, it’s time to think about serving and pairing. This salad is incredibly versatile and can be served as a light main course or a side dish.

For lunch or dinner, pair this savory salad with a protein-packed plant-based burger, a vegan wrap filled with fresh veggies and hummus, or with some crispy tofu. The possibilities are endless.

If you’re planning to serve the couscous salad at your next summer cookout, consider pairing it with grilled vegetables such as zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers. This dish also pairs perfectly with roasted sweet potatoes or crispy roasted parsnips for a savory and hearty meal.

And let’s not forget about the drinks! For an afternoon picnic, pair the salad with refreshing drinks like lemonade, iced tea or even better — pair it with your favorite craft beer!

The mediterranean flavors in this vegan couscous salad make it perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re eating alone or sharing a meal with friends and family, this flavorful dish is sure to please. So go ahead and show off your culinary skills while delighting your taste buds with every bite of this amazing salad!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 When you want something nutritious and easy, this couscous salad is the answer
When you want something nutritious and easy, this couscous salad is the answer

As a busy vegan chef, I know the importance of planning ahead for meals. One great thing about this couscous salad is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. This makes it an ideal choice for meal prepping or for entertaining guests.

To make this salad a day or two before serving, simply prepare all of the ingredients as directed in the recipe above and combine them in a large bowl. Toss with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice to keep it fresh and flavorful.

When it comes to storing leftovers, simply put them in an airtight container and refrigerate. To reheat, you can either microwave individual portions or reheat the entire batch in a pot on the stove with a splash of vegetable broth to help revive some moisture.

Remember that couscous will absorb any liquid over time, so you may need to add a bit more olive oil or lemon juice when reheating to maintain the desired flavor and texture.

By prepping ahead and storing properly, you’ll have fresh and tasty couscous salad all week long!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Give your taste buds a treat with this savory and satisfying couscous salad
Give your taste buds a treat with this savory and satisfying couscous salad

As a vegan chef, I have been making couscous salad for a long time now. Through my experience, I have realized that the key to making the perfect couscous salad is not only in the ingredients but also in the way you prepare them. Here are some tips that will help you to achieve the perfect results when making your vegan Mediterranean couscous salad:

1. Use high-quality ingredients- When it comes to couscous salad, every ingredient counts! Make sure to use high-quality vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Fresh parsley and sun-dried tomatoes are some of the essential ingredients in this recipe.

2. Cook the couscous correctly- It is essential to follow the package instructions to cook your couscous perfectly. Be sure to measure the water correctly and let it simmer for the recommended time.

3. Use vegetable broth- Instead of using plain water to cook your couscous, use vegetable broth for added flavor. You can find ready-made vegetable broth at most supermarkets or make your own by boiling veggies in water.

4. Mix it up- Once you have cooked your couscous, make sure to mix all the ingredients well so that each bite has a variety of flavors.

5. Chill before serving- Make sure to chill your salad for at least 30 minutes before serving. The flavors will marry together better, and it will taste even better that way!

6. Get creative with substitutions- The great thing about salad recipes is that there is always room for creativity! You can substitute any of the fresh vegetables in this recipe with others that you prefer or are readily available.

7. Add more protein- If you’re looking to add more protein, try adding some spiced chickpeas or parsnips to your salad!

8. Make extra for meal prep- This Mediterranean couscous salad makes excellent leftovers and meal prep! Double up on ingredients so that you have lunch sorted out for a couple of days.

By following these tips, you can create a delicious vegan Mediterranean couscous salad without any trouble!


As with any recipe, there can be questions that arise when it comes to making this delicious vegan couscous salad. To clear up any uncertainties, I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and their answers. Keep reading so you can walk away feeling confident about making this dish and wowing your friends and family with your culinary prowess.

Is couscous good for vegans?

While couscous itself is vegan-friendly, not all couscous dishes served in restaurants may be suitable for those following a plant-based diet. Asking your server can help ensure you’re selecting a vegan option.

How many calories are in a vegan couscous salad?

Looking for a healthy and delicious vegan couscous salad that’s packed with protein? Look no further! With only vegetarian and vegan ingredients, and under 300 calories per serving, this dish is perfect for anyone who’s looking for a light and nutritious meal. And, with chickpeas as the main source of protein, this salad is a great option for both vegans and vegetarians alike.

What is couscous salad made of?

For this recipe, we will need some couscous, water, fine sea salt, chickpeas, English cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, and sun-dried tomatoes in oil. The couscous will be cooked in salted water and combined with diced vegetables and chickpeas for a delicious and protein-rich salad.

Bottom Line

Alright my fellow foodies, we made it to the end of this Couscous Salad (Vegan) recipe article. I hope by now you’re convinced that this dish is just the perfect addition to your meal plans. Trust me on this one, I have made it countless times and it never fails to satisfy.

This salad is not only easy to make but also so versatile. With various substitutions and variations, you can tweak it to fit your taste preference and experiment with different ingredients to create new flavors.

As a vegan chef, I always strive to come up with recipes that not only hit the spot in terms of flavor but also provide wholesome nutrition. And this Vegan Couscous Salad does just that-it packs plant-based protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates that will fuel you up all day long.

So whether you want a quick lunch during the week or a crowd-pleasing dish for your next dinner party, give this Vegan Couscous Salad a try. You won’t regret it!

Couscous Salad (Vegan)

Couscous Salad (Vegan) Recipe

This Israeli/Middle Eastern-inspired couscous salad with elements of Spanish cuisine is full of healthy ingredients and easy to make. If you can't find Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous) use the standard type. However, quinoa, orzo or other small pasta shapes can replace the couscous. From Good Housekeeping and slightly adapted by me. I had to stop my fingers from typing: "stir in 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water with the prunes."
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan
Calories 356.9 kcal


  • 1 cup israeli couscous
  • 14 ounces vegetable broth (unsalted) or 14 ounces chicken broth (unsalted)
  • 15 -19 ounces garbanzo beans, cooked and drained
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 -3 tablespoons red onions, diced small (my addition)
  • 1/2 cup prune, pitted and diced small (can substitute dried dates or dried figs if you prefer)
  • 1/2 lb Baby Spinach, washed and spun dried
  • 2 medium valencia oranges (original recipe specified navel oranges)


  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • fresh parsley, minced (my addition)


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon agave nectar (sugar or honey can be used instead)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I used 2 tablespoons white balsamic and 2 tablespoons dark aged balsamic)
  • 1/8 teaspoon spanish smoked paprika (optional and my addition)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Cook the couscous in the vegetable broth but *do not* add any salt or butter.
  • Drain. Set aside to cool.
  • Vinaigrette: Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • In a large bowl combine the vinaigrette with the cooked and cooled couscous, garbanzo beans, green onions, red onions and prunes. Toss well to combine.
  • Line a platter or individual salad plates with the baby spinach.
  • Arrange the couscous mixture on the spinach.
  • Peel one orange,remove the pith and slice. Peel the other orange, remove the pitch and cut into small bite-size chunks.
  • Arrange the orange slices around the edges and the chunks around and on top of the couscous.
  • Garnish with the almonds and fresh parsley.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 270gCalories: 356.9kcalCarbohydrates: 53.6gProtein: 9.8gFat: 12.2gSaturated Fat: 1.6gSodium: 471.1mgFiber: 7.2gSugar: 8.6g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beans, Easy, Middle Eastern, Vegan, Vegetable
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