Vegetable couscous salad is a combination of stir-fried vegetables, roasted chickpeas and couscous. This easy and light meal can be enjoyed as a side or main.
Guys, I am a huge fan of easy meals and this salad is definitely one of those. It is also pretty versatile so you can use veggies of your choice.
And here are some more reasons why I love this vegetable couscous salad:
- It can be served on its own or as a side with Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken, Carrot Broccoli Fritters or Balsamic Chicken Skewers or any meat you like!
- Easy and quick preparation – nothing is better than having a delicious meal ready on your table in no time.
- Meat-free alternative – added chickpeas and feta cheese are both good sources of protein.
- Can be easily adjusted for vegans by omitting butter and both cheeses.
- Healthy meal option – only a little oil, butter and cheese is used. It’s healthy cooking with healthy, nutritious ingredients.
How to make vegetable couscous salad
Divide the prep into 3 stages:
- Making chickpeas
- Making couscous
- Stir-frying the veggies
Chickpeas are roasted on a pan with little oil, then paprika and parmesan are added. It’s a great plant-based protein alternative to meat and taste delicious. You can also serve it as a snack at a party or family gathering.
Couscous is one of my favorite sides. It is easy to make and ready in no time. So if you are looking for rice alternatives, I highly recommend it.
You will save so much time making it (I also have a recipe for Roasted Vegetable Couscous, if you prefer roasting to stir-frying). To cook it, just follow the package instructions. Just bear in mind that different brands might have slightly different instructions.
To stir-fry the vegetables I cut them into bite-size pieces or chunks. As for the onion, I cut it into quarters and separate the layers. Stir-frying is usually done in a wok but if you don’t have one, use a non-stick frying pan.
The whole cooking process is pretty quick (count with 3-5 minutes). The vegetables should have some crunch to them so don’t be tempted to overcook them.
At last combine everything together and sprinkle generously with Feta cheese. I also love finely chopping fresh spring onions (or chives) and garnishing the salad with them.
Useful tips when making vegetable couscous salad
- Parmesan can be omitted completely or substituted with Pecorino or Grana Padano.
- I usually use sweet paprika when making roasted chickpeas. You can also use smoked one, if that’s what you have on hand.
- Adding butter to couscous adds more flavor but is also optional. However, I recommend using it. Also I don’t recommend using any butter substitutes.
- I used red and yellow bell peppers but it does not really matter what type or color you use to make this vegetable couscous salad.
- If you don’t have or don’t like zucchini, don’t worry. Just don’t use it. It will still taste great.
Summer Vegetable Couscous Salad
For roasted/stir-fried chickpeas:
- 1 cup couscous
- salt to taste
- a knob of unsalted butter
For stir-fried vegetables:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red pepper (medium)
- 1 yellow pepper (medium)
- 1 zucchini (small)
- 2 onions , quartered (small)
Optional but recommended:
- 3½ ounces feta cheese (100 grams)
- 2-3 spring onions
- In a wok, heat up the oil and add drained chickpeas. Stir-fry until for about 5 minutes or until nice and brownish. At this stage, stir in the paprika and stir-fry for a further minute or two. Make sure not to burn the paprika. Season with salt, pepper and stir in the Parmesan. Transfer into a bowl.
- Cook the couscous according to the package instructions. When ready, stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to your taste.
For stir-fried vegetables:
- While waiting for the couscous, dice the peppers and zucchini. Quarter the onions and separate the layers. Stir-fry these on high heat for a few minutes. Stir-frying should partially cook the veggies so they should not turn soft completely. They should be crunchy rather than soft.
- Mix all the ingredients together, add crumbled Feta and chopped spring onions and serve!
- Either sweet paprika or smoked can be used here, depending on our preference.
- If you don’t have Parmesan, use Gran Padano or Pecorino instead.
- It doesn’t matter what color of peppers you use in this recipe. Use what you have on hand.
- The amount of veggies, couscous and chickpeas can be easily adjusted to your taste.
- This salad can be eaten warm or cold, as a side or meat-free main.
- This recipe can be easily halved.
- If you don’t have a wok, use a non-stick frying pan instead.