Light, refreshing, and full of garden fresh herbs and vegetables, this veggie couscous salad is a yummy addition to any spring or summer meal.
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Spring here in California has been mild so far, but that hasn’t stopped my tastebuds from craving a taste of summer. One of my favorite ways to satisfy that craving is with this veggie couscous salad. It’s light but satisfying with the crisp crunch of garden fresh vegetables.
While I love to take this salad to a BBQ, I love it even more when I get to eat it all myself. Selfish? Maybe, but you probably haven’t yet tasted this salad!
The recipe makes about 12 servings and lasts for about 3 – 5 days in the fridge, so it’s nice to have someone help you eat it, but it’s okay if you don’t. I won’t judge.
So far this week I have paired this salad with salmon, shrimp, and chicken. I’ve been known to make it for burgers, ribs, steak, and pork too. Just about any BBQ friendly protein will go with this salad, or even none at all.
I had it for breakfast this morning with a side of scrambled eggs as well. Not because that was my breakfast plan, but because I just couldn’t help myself.
The preparation is super simple. All you need is a large cutting board, a very sharp knife, and an extra large mixing bowl. Basically, you chop the veggies, cook the couscous, and then mix it all together.
If you are new to the kitchen it’s a great way to practice your knife skills! The goal is to get all of the veggie chunks to be roughly the same size. You want them large enough to taste, but small enough that you can fit bits of all of them on your fork.
The time I estimated below is based on my knife skills. The first time I made this, it felt like it took forever because my skills were lacking and my knife was dull. You can easily correct the knife, but the skills take practice.
Good news is that you can make this the night before when you have more time and it will taste even better than right after you make it.
There isn’t a lot to the instructions, but I’ve created this handy video to walk you through all the steps.
The one thing missing from the video is the couscous instructions. I use the original couscous from Rice Select – not the pearled version.
Measure out the water in a small sauce pan – use one that has a fitted lid. Bring the water to boil over a high flame. Stir in the couscous along with the salt, cover the pot with the lid and remove from the heat.
It needs to sit at least 5 minutes to absorb the water. I like to do it early in the process and remove the lid to let it cool a bit before adding to the veggies.
You’ll notice that the avocado is added separately at the end. If you add it early, it will turn to mush with all the mixing. I haven’t had any trouble with the avocado turning brown in this recipe. The lime is a natural preservative and if it’s sealed up and stored in the fridge you shouldn’t have any problem either.
Next time you need a fresh healthy option to take to that family BBQ, try this veggie couscous salad. Click HERE to pin for later!
Veggie Couscous Salad
For the couscous
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/3 cup plain couscous
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the salad
- 1 large slicer tomato
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 of a sweet yellow onion
- 1/2 a bunch of cilantro
- Juice of 1 1/2 limes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1 avocado
Make the couscous first:
- In a small sauce pan with a fitted lid, bring 1 1/3 cups of water to boil over a high flame.
- Stir in 1 1/3 cups of couscous and 1/2 tsp of salt.
- Cover the pot with the lid and remove from the heat. Allow to stand while covered at least 5 minutes to absorb the water.
To make the salad:
- Start with the cucumber. Cut off the ends, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Remove part of the peel. You can do all or none of the peel as well, but I like the slight crunch of having some peel.
- Chop cucumber into a medium to small dice and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Core and chop the tomato and yellow bell pepper, and chop the onion into the same size dice as the cucumber and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Using half of a bunch of cilantro (adjust for taste) remove the stems, chop and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Roll out two limes to release the juices, cut them in half, then juice them into the bowl of vegetables.
- Add in the cooked couscous and stir to combine, breaking up any chunks of couscous as you go.
- Add in the olive oil, pepper, salt, and feta cheese. Mix again to thoroughly combine.
- Add in 1 chopped avocado and fold in gently, being careful not to turn the avocado to mush.
- Serve immediately or cover and store in the fridge for 3 - 5 days.
1. The veggie sizes are estimated as large, but the actual size doesn't really matter, which is why I don't have cup or volume measurements on the recipe. It may turn out slightly different each time, but it's always good.
2. I suggest using a yellow bell pepper just because of the additional color it adds. You can also use red, orange, or even purple. I'd stay away from green, as I find they taste underripe, but if you like them by all means use them.
3. I like the recipe best with 1 1/2 limes. Taste it before you serve it and add more if needed. You may also need more if your lime isn't very juicy. You can also microwave your lime for 15 seconds to loosen it up and release the juice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 13mg Sodium: 342mg Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Protein: 4g