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Looking for an easy side dish that will make you feel good on the inside? Try this simple vegan couscous salad recipe tonight. Some links in this article are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Perfect easy couscous salad side dish

This easy recipe comes together quickly and is a perfect side dish for pretty much any meal. With the lime inclusion, this is just as delicious the next day as it is the day you make it.

While I serve this vegan couscous salad warm, that’s by choice. If you make it in advance, feel free to serve it chilled straight from the fridge.

One of the things I like best about this recipe? It essentially gets made entirely in one pot. That’s fewer dirty dishes and work, which makes me happy.

In summer, I serve this alongside my son’s bacon cheddar stuffed burgers as it works perfectly for a picnic meal. It pairs just as nicely with anything from pizza to my favorite lemon garlic chicken.

I like this for a potluck dish, as it stretches further than my straight avocado salad. In fact, I often double the recipe when I make it to ensure it doesn’t disappear before everyone gets to enjoy it.

What kind of couscous should I use?

I typically use an Israeli couscous when I make this vegan couscous salad because I find that the size of the pearls fits best with the rest of the dish. However, this works equally well with any couscous.

The key is to purchase unflavored couscous. Most times in the grocery store, the couscous you see comes in flavored varieties. You want the original or – better yet – a larger bag than the nearly single serving box you most commonly find.

What’s the difference between varieties of couscous?

Most couscous you find in stores is Moroccan cousous and the smallest kind. It’s slightly bigger than a breadcrumb, but really pretty tiny. If you use this kind in the recipe, reduce your cooking time by 2-3 minutes as it cooks faster.

I prefer the Israeli couscous, which is a larger pearl. The recipe cook time is written based on the Israeli couscous. This one is the size of a peppercorn.

You can also find Lebanese couscous, which is the largest of the three. It takes longer to cook, so increase your boil time by at least 15 minutes to account for that if you use these.

One side note: couscous is not gluten free. It is made from semolina, which is a durum wheat, although some are made from barley.

How to Make This Vegan Couscous Salad

bowl of avocado and couscous salad
Heat the stock to the point of steaming but not boiling in a saucepan. While this heats, add the olive oil to a different hot pan – not a nonstick one, but a good cast iron or heavy aluminum one.

Once it starts to shimmer, add the onion and let it cook for a couple minutes while you chop your tomatoes. Add the tomatoes and then chop the garlic and add it.

Add the couscous, as well, and stir for a couple minutes while it toasts.

Couscous salad toasting

Pour the hot stock atop the couscous. Add the salt and parsley (only if you’re doing dried – if you’re using fresh, add it at the very end when you add the lime juice), and cover the pot to simmer the mixture for 8-10 minutes.

CousCous covered in stock to cook

While the mixture simmers, cut the avocado into cubes. Once the couscous is cooked, stir in the corn and lime juice (and parsley if you’re using fresh), along with the sugar.

If you use frozen corn, you can add the corn to the couscous while still frozen. Save yourself the time and hassle. If you use fresh corn, toss it in a pan and roast it on medium heat for five minutes while other ingredients cook.

Once this is mixed, add the avocado and gently mix it again. Serve your vegan couscous salad while still warm or chill and serve the next day.

This will keep for just two days in a tightly sealed container or so because of the avocado, but I doubt it will last that long! The lime helps keep it good longer, thankfully.

couscous salad ready to dress

What’s your favorite couscous recipe?

CousCous Salad

CousCous Salad

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This couscous salad is full of flavor and so easy to make. It's a perfect side dish to so many meals. You'll love it!

Ingredients

  • 1 c couscous
  • 1 1/2 c vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • 2 t salt
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 c corn kernels

Instructions

  1. Heat stock to steaming but not boiling in saucepan.
  2. While this heats, add olive oil to a different hot pan. Add onion and cook 2 minutes while you chop tomatoes.
  3. Add tomatoes and chop garlic, then add it. Add couscous, and stir 2 minutes while it toasts.
  4. Pour hot stock atop couscous. Add salt and parsley, and cover pot to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  5. While the mixture simmers, cut avocado into cubes. Stir corn and lime juice into cooked couscous, along with sugar. Add avocado and gently mix.
  6. Serve immediately. This keeps in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to two days.

Notes

  • Use Israeli pearl couscous if you can. If you can't find that, use whatever couscous you can find. Moroccan couscous cooks in 5 minutes, while Lebanese will take up to a half hour.
  • If you don't need or want to make this vegan, you can use chicken stock in place of the vegetable stock. You can also sub the sugar for honey, if you need to.
  • This is great while still warm or chill and serve the next day. This will keep for just a day or so because of the avocado, but I doubt it will last that long!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 956mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 6g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
Simple Couscous salad recipe

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    Comments

  • Tara R.


    I have some of the larger pearl Israeli couscous, I think that's an omen. I must make this.

    • Michelle


      You must make it. It’s so good and really pretty healthy, too. It’s definitely one of my faves!

  • Sally


    couscous is a fav of mine in the summer, so light and versatile

    • Michelle


      It is. It’s amazing how different it tastes depending on what you do with it. It makes it so fun to play with.

  • Diane Balch


    This looks a great salad especially for the summer. Please share this on my foodie friday party today.

    • Michelle


      It is a great summer salad because it’s cool and not heavy. I love finding different ways to feature veggies.

  • Trackbacks

  • Trackback from Fit Update: Week 5
    Monday, 11 February, 2013

    […] started to get my veggies in.  I actually made my couscous salad for lunch on Saturday even though I was the only one at home simply because I wanted to eat some […]

  • Trackback from The Amazing Avocado – $100 GC Giveaway
    Thursday, 2 May, 2013

    […] the three of us.  And I’ve posted plenty of other ideas for avocados before, too, from my couscous salad to my avocado tomato salad to a riff on California rolls to black bean and corn salsa and […]

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