This vegan couscous salad is a healthy and filling dish that takes just 25 minutes to make and it’s perfect for non-vegans too.
Are you looking to cut down the meat in your diet, but not taste? Or are you a vegetarian looking for a healthy and easy veggie recipe? Or maybe you’re looking for a side dish, other than the good old roasted potatoes.
Well, today’s recipe is going to answer all of these questions.
This vegan couscous salad is an easy and healthy recipe that you can make in just 25 minutes.
You can have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a side dish. It integrates perfectly with many diets and it’s very nourishing and filling.
So if you worry that most vegan food is not enough to satisfy you, then you gotta try this quick and easy couscous salad.
More Healthy Salads:
- Grilled Chicken Salad (Greek Style)
- Tuna Pasta Salad (With Corn, Capers And Olives)
- Shrimp Salad With Lettuce And Roasted Veggies
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I like to give a lot of details about the ingredients I use in my recipes (and plenty of tips and tricks).
And if you’re like me, I am sure you want to know more about the food that you and your loved ones eat (other than the usual ‘healthy’ and ‘tasty’ tags).
Knowing what we feed ourselves, is essential to understanding whether a particular dish is really healthy and good for us.
So before showing you how to make couscous salad, let me tell you a few details about the main ingredient. If you already know what it is, where it comes from and what benefits it has, you can skip to the Tips & Tricks.
What is Couscous and where does it come from?
Couscous has its origins in North Africa and it is a Berber traditional ingredient made of durum wheat and semolina.
It was first referenced in the 13th century in a North-African cookbook, “The cookbook of the Maghreb and Al-Andalus”.
Nowadays, we have three types of Couscous: Lebanese, Moroccan and Israeli. The difference between them is just the size of the pellets.
This ingredient is very popular in Middle-Eastern Cuisine where it replaces rice and Quinoa.
Contrary to people’s belief, couscous is not a whole grain. It belongs to the Pasta family because the dough from which it’s made is pretty similar to pasta dough.
Now you might wonder if couscous is healthy.
Well, let’s see its proven benefits.
Organic Facts wrote an in-depth article about Couscous and its benefits, and I will summarize them below:
- Contains many vitamins and minerals, among them: Selenium, Thiamin, Niacin, Folic Acid, Potassium, and Manganese.
- Selenium is an essential mineral in the human body, that is difficult to find in other foods.
- Cardiovascular Health. Selenium helps to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
- Potassium regulates the normal beating of the heart and it reduces blood pressure.
- Cancer Prevention. Selenium helps to prevent lung cancer when combined with Vitamins E and C. The deficiency in Selenium was also linked to increasing the risk of prostate cancer appearance.
- Immune System
- Muscle Building
- Wound Healing
- Weight Loss
- Body Metabolism
- Antibacterial Activity
After that long list of proven benefits, I think it’s safe to say that this is one super healthy ingredient, right?
Now that we know more about the main ingredient of this vegan couscous salad recipe, let’s move on to the Tips & Tricks.
How To Make Couscous Salad With Roasted Veggies & Peanut Butter Dressing – Best Tips & Tricks
1. How to make couscous fluffy
If you want to make the best couscous salad recipe, then you must learn how to make couscous fluffy.
The general rule of thumb is to use 1 1/2 cups of water for every cup of traditional wheat or whole-wheat couscous. For every cup of Pearl Couscous, you need to use 2/3 cup of water.
It’s worth noting here that 1 cup of dry couscous will make 4 servings after cooking.
2. Adjust this quick and easy couscous salad recipe to your taste
I know that some of you foodies might not like couscous as much as the majority of us, or maybe you’re just not used to it.
But don’t worry! You can still enjoy this recipe because you can easily replace it with cooked quinoa, bulgur, brown rice or other cooked grains that you might like.
Or, you can replace the grains with greens like baby spinach, arugula, or romaine salad.
I made this vegan couscous salad with roasted veggies and they are a perfect addition, especially when it’s cold outside. If you serve them warm it’s like a hug in a bowl, if you know what I mean 🙂
So I suggest you keep the roasted veggies, and if you don’t like the ones I used or if you just want to try something new, replace them with roasted cauliflower, broccoli, carrots or Brussels sprouts.
But no matter what, keep the peanut butter dressing!
This is the ingredient that makes the best couscous salad recipe ever. It’s truly a game-changer.
3. Use peanut butter dressing to make the best couscous salad
This dressing is inspired from Thai cuisine and you’ll find it in many salad recipes, but it’s also great with stir-fried chicken and veggies.
Please don’t tell me you’re allergic to peanuts!!
Ok, don’t worry, even so, I’ve got a solution for you.
You can replace the peanut butter with any nut butter, like cashew or almond. But make sure you add a pinch of salt because peanut butter is usually saltier, while cashew and almond are more on the sweet side.
Now, my foodies, it’s time to go from theory to practice. With all this knowledge, you’ll surely make the best couscous salad recipe ever!
So let’s get to it, shall we?!
As usual, take some photos of it and post them on social with hashtag #blondelish and tag @theblondelish. Let’s see what you make of it.
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Vegan Couscous Salad Recipe (With Roasted Veggies & Peanut Butter Dressing)
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 red bell peppers - chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 medium butternut squash - peeled, deseeded and diced
- 2 medium red onions - peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper - to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts - chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley - chopped
- 4 spring onions - sliced
Ingredients For Peanut Butter Dressing:
- 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp light sodium soy sauce - or coconut aminos for gluten-free
- 1 lime - juiced, about 2 Tbsp
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2-4 Tbsp warm water - to thin dressing, if needed
- Preheat the oven at 180C/350F.
- In a baking tray, place the butternut squash, onion and bell pepper.
- Add olive oil, paprika, salt and ground pepper, then toss to combine.
- Roast in the preheated oven for about 17-20 minutes, or until the veggies are golden brown on the sides and fork tender.
- In a saucepan, add water and bring it to the boil. Once boiling, add the couscous, 1 teaspoon of salt, and give it a good stir. Put the lid on and remove from heat.
- Let it sit for about 5 minutes to absorb all the liquid, then fluff it with a fork.
- Meanwhile, prepare the peanut butter sauce. Place all sauce ingredients into a jar with tight lid. Shake vigorously until all perfectly blended and smooth.
- In a large bowl, add couscous, roasted veggies, green onions, peanuts, and parsley.
- Drizzle with peanut butter dressing and gently toss to combine.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.Enjoy!
- For every cup of traditional wheat or whole-wheat couscous use 1 1/2 cups of water to make it fluffy. For every cup of Pearl couscous, you need to use 2/3 cup of water.
- You can replace couscous with cooked quinoa, bulgur, brown rice or other cooked grains that you might like. Or you can replace it with greens like baby spinach, arugula, or romaine salad.
- Use peanut butter dressing if you want to make the best vegan couscous salad recipe ever.