This super simple couscous salad is packed with kale, herbs, a kick of chilli and served up with well-spiced crispy chickpeas.

The weather in London this past few weeks has been absolutely unbearable, so I’ve been fine-tuning some delicious salads. There’s nothing more satisfying than a fresh, crisp salad when the weather is scorching outside. This couscous salad is pretty good on the wallet and the waistline, so let’s get into it.

Orange oval plate with a pile of couscous salad topped with vibrant red, crispy chickpeas. The plate is shot from above, against a concrete effect background.

Cost and Calories

Couscous is pretty high in fibre, so while it sometimes gets a bad wrap against other diet staples like rice and couscous it does have it’s own perks here and there. This recipe contains around 9.5g of fibre or 34% of your daily recommended allowance.

We’re also cleaning up in the vitamin stakes too – with Vitamin A, C and K in abundance in this super speedy couscous salad.

Ingredients for CousCous salad laid out on a concrete background

Couscous is super budget-friendly, I posted a picture over on Instagram recently talking about ‘the couscous times’ where I had just a bag of couscous to survive on for nearly two weeks. They were rough times, and I swore I’d never eat couscous again, but here we are, cooking with couscous again. It’s a wonderfully versatile ingredient on the condition you have something to flavour it..

This recipe serves four comfortably for a lunch or light evening meal. The cost per person for this couscous salad is a budget-friendly 72pence (based on prices from Tesco in August 2020). It also comes in at 356 calories per portion, which is fab if you’re trying to shift a lockdown belly like ME!

How long does it take to make?

I love this recipe for its simplicity and ease, which is what you want when the sun is beating down, and you’d rather be anywhere than a hot kitchen. This recipe takes just 10 – 15 minutes.

Start by getting a pan of water on to boil for the kale, then boil the kettle to get your vegetable stock ready. Once the water in the pot is boiling, blanch the kale in for 2 – 3 minutes, drain and cool under cold running water. Make up your vegetable stock, add couscous to a large bowl, pour over the stock and stir it. Cover and allow to stand for 10 minutes until everything else is ready.

Next pop a frying pan over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of oil, and then the drained chickpeas (don’t forget to keep the water and use for Carrot + Coriander Fritters). Add a teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika and cumin and half a teaspoon of both chilli powder and oregano. Cook for 7 – 8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Whilst the chickpeas are cooking finely chop the cooked kale, coriander, parsley, mint, chilli, garlic cloves and red onion. Stirred the herbs and vegetables through your fluffed couscous, and add the juice of a whole lemon.

To serve top the couscous salad with the crispy, spiced chickpeas.

Orange oval plate with a pile of vibrant couscous and herbs topped with vibrant red, crispy chickpeas. The plate is shot from a 45 degree angle, against a concrete effect background.

Serving Suggestions + Alterations

This couscous salad is a fabulous addition to a BBQ spread, a quick and easy dinner as I said, or, can be made in advance for weekday lunches. You can keep this salad in the fridge for up to three days, and just eat it cold – it’s delicious cold so don’t worry about the chickpeas, they’ll be just fine.

Like spice? No problemo – you can add extra heat to the chickpeas or another chilli into the couscous. A little sprinkling of chilli flakes over the salad as it’s ready to serve is also an excellent shout.

If you wanted to add some meat to the mix, my Harissa Roast Chicken (minus the trimmings) would be a fab accompaniment. Alternatively, my Pistachio and Lamb skewers would also work a treat.

White tupperware container containing couscous topped with chickpeas, surrounded by other colourful tupperware lids.

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Orange oval plate with a pile of couscous salad topped with vibrant red, crispy chickpeas. The plate is shot from a 45 degree angle, against a concrete effect background.

Couscous Salad


  • Author: JPLongland
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This super simple couscous salad is packed with kale, herbs, a kick of chilli and served up with well-spiced chickpeas. Perfect for a light lunch.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 75g Kale
  • 15g Coriander (including stalks)
  • 15g Parsley (including stalks)
  • 5g Mint Leaves
  • 1 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Red Chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 360ml Vegetable Stock
  • 240g Couscous
  • 380g Chickpeas 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the kale and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Drain the kale and run under cold water until completely cooled. 
  2. Place couscous in a large mixing bowl, pour over the vegetable stock and cover for 10 minutes. 
  3. Heat a pan over medium-high heat with a glug of oil, add the chickpeas and the dried herbs and spices. Cook for 7 – 8 minutes stirring frequently. 
  4. Finely chop cooked kale, coriander, parsley, mint, red chilli, garlic and red onion.
  5. Fluff the couscous using a fork and stir in the chopped vegetables and herbs. Squeeze over the juice of a lemon and stir. Season to taste. 
  6. Serve a pile of couscous with spiced, crispy chickpeas on top and a smattering of extra coriander if that takes your fancy.

Notes

Make ahead: If you’re getting ahead and making this for lunches, it’ll keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, and is delicious, even when the chickpeas have cooled.

  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Couscous, Salad, Quick and Easy, under 400 calories, vegan

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