A perfectly light and healthy little meal, my couscous salad is kissed with a touch of lemon and filled with sweet dates, sliced almonds, chickpeas and tangy sun-dried tomatoes! It packs both crunch and sweet-savory flavor, and it's a terrific pick-me-up!
For a Quick and Healthy Energy Boost, Whip up a Couscous Salad!
Lately, I find myself gravitating towards simple, slightly lighter meals that have some staying power to give me energy throughout my day.
Loaded with texture, couscous is a terrific ingredient to use when I'm looking to prepare a hearty couscous salad recipe kissed with lemony flavor and filled with lots of delicious, sweet-savory Mediterranean ingredients.
Delicious either cold or warm, this tasty and healthy couscous salad is a simple meal to prepare, one that I can keep in my fridge for a few days and easily “dip into” any time I'm hungry and in need of a quick, healthy energy boost!
How to Make Couscous Salad with a Mediterranean Twist
One of my favorite things about couscous is how quick and easy it is to cook. If you've got ten minutes, and equal ratios of couscous to vigorously simmering broth or water, you've pretty much got it made! 😉
Loading up my couscous with a variety of fresh herbs such as dill, parsley and mint, some chopped dates, almonds, and sun-dried tomatoes is one of my favorite ways to prepare it. I even like to add in a handful of chickpeas for that extra little boost of protein!
When mingled together with the brightness of a kiss of fresh lemon juice and zest, this combination of ingredients is absolutely delicious, and offers a hint of Mediterranean flavor which is a terrific way to “dress up” a couscous salad.
The beauty of this couscous recipe is that it can be served directly out of the fridge, room temp, or gently warmed. Whichever way you prefer it, it makes for a wonderfully satisfying meal!
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 262 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
• 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, or water
• Olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• Black pepper
• 1 1/2 cups couscous
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed (a few reserved for garnish)
• 1/2 cup pitted dates (about 6 large dates), chopped or sliced (a few pieces reserved for garnish)
• 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced (pat dry if oil-packed, and reserve a few for garnish)
• 1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds (a few reserved for garnish)
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (plus extra for garnish)
• 1 tablespoon chopped/julienned fresh mint (plus extra for garnish)
- To a medium-small pot or sauce pan, add the chicken broth or water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the pressed garlic cloves, and a small pinch of black pepper, and bring to a vigorous simmer; turn off the heat and stir in the couscous, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, fluff the couscous with a fork, spoon out into a large bowl, and allow to cool to room temp.
- Once cooled, add into the couscous a pinch or two of salt (to taste), about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the remainder of the ingredients; toss the couscous salad well to combine everything, check to see if more salt/pepper is needed, then spoon into a serving dish or platter.
- Top with the reserved garnish ingredients to decorate the top, and serve room temp, or place into the fridge to chill, then serve.
Tips & Tidbits for my Couscous Salad:
- How to cook couscous: When cooking couscous stovetop, a ratio of equal parts broth or water and couscous is what you’ll need. I add the liquid to a small pan or pot along with some olive oil, garlic and seasonings, bring to the simmer, then stir in the couscous off the heat. I cover, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes, then fluff!
- Use broth for more flavor: To add more flavor to the couscous, I like to use chicken broth instead of water. Either will work great, but the broth gives it a bit more savoriness!
- Pitted dates: If you can find organic, pitted dates, then those are perfect as you can then simply chop them; otherwise, use regular (not pitted) dates, and remove the pit before chopping.
- The fresh flavor of herbs: You can use your favorite combo of fresh herbs, but I love dill, mint and parsley for the cool, clean Mediterranean flair. Use all three, or a combination of your own favorites!
- Getting nutty: Toasted, sliced almonds are delicious in this couscous salad, but feel free to sub cashews, walnuts, pistachios, or pine nuts.
- Add more protein: Toss in some diced chicken or even tuna for extra protein and substance!