I am seriously in love with this ultra delicious Moroccan Couscous Salad! Packed with flavored and tender couscous, roasted vegetables, chickpeas, raisins, carrots, parsley, and slivered almonds. Super easy to make and full of fresh ingredients!
Make this flavor-packed Moroccan Couscous Salad tonight! It’s a great side dish option and pairs well with grilled chicken or your favorite protein. It’s also a great lunch idea if you’re thinking about meal prep!
Couscous looks like a grain, but it’s actually a form of pasta made of semolina flour. There are several types of couscous: Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese. In this recipe, I’m using Moroccan couscous, which looks like very small grains. On the other hand, Israeli and Lebanese couscous are larger.
This Moroccan couscous salad recipe in particular calls for roasted veggies (red bell pepper, eggplant, red onion, zucchini), chickpeas, grated carrots, parsley, raisins, and almonds. The couscous is cooked until tender and fluffy, and is so tasty. And to make it even better, it’s tossed with an amazing cumin and coriander dressing. Yum!
8 Things I Love about this Moroccan Couscous Salad
Here are my 8 favorite things about this salad, but we all know there are way more reasons to love it!
- It’s colorful and vibrant
- The roasted veggies add tons and tons of flavor
- The couscous is so tasty! It’s cooked with broth and turmeric.
- The grated carrots and parsley add freshness
- It’s got chickpeas, and chickpeas are amazing
- It’s got sweetness from the raisins
- The dressing is AMAZING! Made with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, and coriander.
- It’s got a crunch from the slivered almonds
…okay, did I convince you to make this amazing Moroccan couscous salad yet?!
Moroccan Couscous Salad Ingredients
I’m not gonna lie…the ingredient list is not short, but all these items should be very easy to find:
For the tasty couscous:
- Couscous: We’re using the small couscous (Moroccan), not Israeli couscous. I used RiceSelect’s brand.
- Chicken broth: Adds flavor.
- Olive oil: To keep the grains separated.
- Ground turmeric: For color.
- Raisins: We’re adding the raisins with the couscous to steam them up a bit and slightly rehydrate them.
For the roasted veggies:
- Veggies: Red bell pepper, eggplant, red onion, zucchini.
- Minced garlic: Use fresh.
- Olive oil, salt and pepper: essential for roasting!
For the dressing:
- Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for intense flavors.
- Fresh lemon juice: Freshly squeezed!
- Minced garlic: Use fresh.
- Ground cumin: Adds flavor.
- Ground coriander: Adds flavor.
- Salt and pepper: To taste.
Toppings and mix-ins:
- Grated carrots: Adds color and freshness.
- Chickpeas: Makes this salad more filling. Plus, who doesn’t love chickpeas anyways?! My husband. That’s who.
- Italian parsley: Curly parsley would work too, but I love the stronger flavors of Italian parsley.
- Slivered almonds: You can also use pine nuts or pistachios.
Couscous to Water Ratio
Cooking couscous is possibly the simplest thing on the planet. All you have to do is boil the liquid (water, broth, etc), add the couscous, cover with a lid, remove from heat, and let it steam for 5 minutes or so. Yup, that’s all.
Here’s the most common guideline: For every cup of couscous, use a cup of water or broth.
HOWEVER, I like to add a bit more than a 1:1 ratio for some extra tenderness. It won’t make it mushy, no worries! For this Moroccan couscous salad recipe, I used 1 1/2 cups of couscous and 1 3/4 cups broth.
How to Make this Moroccan Couscous Salad
Making this super delicious Moroccan couscous salad is super easy. Should take about 45 minutes.
It makes enough for about 8 people, so it’s definitely a potluck-friendly dish!
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Make the couscous: Bring chicken or vegetable broth, olive oil, and ground turmeric to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add raisins, cover again, and set aside to let the couscous cool slightly while you roast the veggies.
- Roast the veggies: I used red bell peppers, eggplant, red onion, and zucchini. Roast in a 450 degree oven. 15 minutes should be enough since these are soft veggies.
- Make the dressing: Simply combine olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, and pepper. Shake well.
- Toss to combine: Toss the prepared couscous with the roasted veggies, chickpeas, grated carrots, chopped parsley, and slivered almonds. Add the dressing and toss a few more times to combine.
This salad will store well for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container.
If you’re planning to make this for lunch or meal prep, I’d recommend not adding the dressing until you’re ready to eat. The dressing will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
I love couscous so much, so this salad was like the best thing ever. I’ll be making it over and over again!
The flavors are deep and intense, and the freshness from the carrots and parsley balance everything out. Plus, the sweetness of the raisins and the crunch from the almonds adding really nice contrast. What’s not to love about this couscous salad?!
I’ll be making more couscous salads and soups over the next few months, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out these other salad recipes:
- Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Kale and Apple Salad with Candied Pecans
- Roasted Cauliflower and Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Mint and Tomato Quinoa Salad from my friend Chelsey at The Saucy Fig
Thanks for reading, and please don’t forget to pin this recipe!
- Cooking couscous: The general rule is a 1:1 couscous to liquid ratio, but I like to add extra liquid for tenderness. I use about 1 1/4 cups of liquid for 1 cup of couscous. Some people like their couscous a bit crunchy and use 3/4 cups water per cup of couscous. It’s all about preference!
- Use the right type of couscous: This recipe calls for Moroccan couscous, which are tiny.
- Chickpeas: If using canned chickpeas, remember to remove the skin. Simply, rinse and rub the skin off with your fingers. It should come off easily.
- Carrots: To grate them, use the big holes of a box grater.
- Almonds: I used slivered almonds. Other great options are pine nuts or chopped pistachios.
Moroccan Couscous Salad
- 1 1/2 cups couscous (not Israeli couscous)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups diced eggplant
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
Toppings and mix-ins:
- 2 medium carrots, grated (use a box grater)
- 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas, drained and peeled (see note below)
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley, plus more if desired
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Make the couscous: In a medium saucepan, combine chicken broth, turmeric, and olive oil. Bring to a boil and stir in the couscous. Cover with a lid and remove from heat immediately. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Then fluff couscous with a fork. Add raisins, cover again, and set aside to let the couscous cool slightly.
- Roast the vegetables: On 2 large sheet pans (to avoid overcrowding), add the diced red bell peppers, diced eggplant, diced zucchini, and diced red onion. Toss with salt (about 1/2 teaspoon per sheet pan), ground black pepper, and minced garlic. Roast for about 15 minutes or until softened, tossing halfway through.
- Make the dressing: In a mason jar, combine the Dressing ingredients: olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and shake well to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss prepared couscous with the raisins, the roasted vegetables, chickpeas, grated carrots, chopped parsley, and almonds. Add the dressing and toss to combine a few more times. If needed, season with more salt and pepper. Enjoy!
- Special equipment: 2 large sheet pans.
- Couscous: use the small grain couscous, not Israeli or pearl couscous.
- Peeling canned chickpeas: Simply rinse and rub the skin off with your fingers. It should come off easily.
- Make ahead: 1. cook the couscous the day before and store in the refrigerator, and warm up the next day before using, 2. dice the veggies (for roasting) and store in the fridge, except for the eggplant as it will get brown when exposed to air, 3. make the dressing up to 1 day in advance, 4. carrots can be grated up to 1 day in advance.
- Meal prep: If you're packing these up for lunch, don't add the dressing until you're ready to eat.
- Storing: store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.