With this easy 15 minute vegan couscous salad, you’ll be treating yourself to a rainbow of nutrient packed veggies and Mediterranean flavor! This salad is great for meal prep lunches or as a side salad.
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly trying to up my salad game. I love a romaine or kale salad as much as the next veggie lover, but who said that salads have to include greens?
This dietitian says that salads can be anything veggie and nutrient-packed, a little crunchy (this part is very important!) and topped in a delicious dressing.
This grain salad fits those salad requirements to a T: it’s crunchy as can be (cucumber, bell pepper and red onion? hello!) and it’s packed with nutrients. A lemon-y balsamic vinaigrette ties the Mediterranean flavors together.
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What’s in this couscous salad?
This salad is balanced with protein, veggies, grains and healthy fats:
- red bell pepper
- red onion
- cherry tomatoes
- kalamata olives (optional if you’re not a fan)
- homemade balsamic vinaigrette
- fresh parsley
Crumbled feta would also go well if you’re not vegan.
Taste the rainbow!
You know that phrase taste the rainbow? Well, it applies to more than just eating your rainbow cereal when you were a kid (or as an adult, no judgment!).
Different colored veggies like the ones in this Mediterranean salad have different nutrients, so “eating the rainbow” is a great rule to live by with plant-based food.
Red bell peppers are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which is necessary for skin and eye health.
Aside from lending this salad an enticing crunch, cucumbers provide Vitamin K and a variety of antioxidants.
And let’s not forget red onions. They’re not just crunchy and flavorful, they also lend a healthy helping of fiber like the other ingredients in this salad.
How do you cook couscous?
Couscous is a nice grain to use for quick, last-minute meals. One cup of dry couscous needs 1 and 1/2 cups of boiling water to cook and takes only about 10 minutes total to make.
Add 1 cup of couscous to 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water. Cover the pot and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the couscous to absorb the water. Fluff with a fork, add to your dish, and enjoy!
I like adding a dash (about 1 teaspoon) of olive oil to the couscous to prevent the grains from sticking together, but it’s okay to skip this step if you’re oil-free.
Can I meal prep this couscous salad?
Yes! This salad is totally meal prep-able. The recipe makes four servings. Just hold off on adding the salad dressing until right before eating to prevent the salad from getting soggy.
Looking for more veggie-focused recipes? Here’s a few of my favorites:
- Quinoa and Edamame Salad with Cashew Miso Dressing
- Hearty Vegan Potato Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Fresh Black Bean Salad
- Chickpea Avocado Salad
- Vegetarian Lentil Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
- Spring Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Vegetarian Pasta Salad in a Jar
Crunchy Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Crunchy Mediterranean Salad
- 1 cup dry couscous
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 medium cucumber cubed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1/2 medium red onion diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives optional
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
- In a small saucepan, heat the water until boiling. Stir in the dry couscous and olive oil. Remove from heat and cover. Let rest for 5 minutes, or until the couscous has fully absorbed the water. Fluff with a fork.
- While the couscous is cooking, prep your veggies. Combine cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, chickpeas, olives and red bell pepper in a large bowl.
- To make the vinaigrette: Stir together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey and lemon juice in a small container.
- Drizzle the dressing on just before serving. If preparing as meal prep, divide the dressing and salad into separate containers. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Can be enjoyed hot or cold. Enjoy!