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Moroccan Couscous Salad (vegan & six portions of veg!)

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This Moroccan couscous salad has got to be one of the most flavourful and vegetable-packed salad recipes I’ve ever had the pleasure of presenting to you!

A big bowl of moroccan couscous salad and a smaller bowl with a spoon in it, on a wooden surface. | Hurry The Food Up

Did you know that the common injunction to ‘get your five a day’ actually falls short? Researchers have found that aiming for ten fruits and vegetables a day is optimal.

Does this seem like an impossible ask? Never fear, this Moroccan salad contains a whopping SIX fruits and vegetables – eat this and you’re well on your way to ten a day!

Ingredients

Couscous

Instant couscous is super easy to make and doesn’t require any cooking – just add boiling water and cut down on your cooking time.

Olive Oil

The oil is key for bringing out the flavours of the vegetables in this moroccan couscous recipe.

Ginger Powder

Fresh ginger also works well, just chop it finely as large chunks could be overpowering!

Cumin

Cumin is one of the key spices in this flavourful moroccan couscous salad, but replace the ginger, cumin and paprika for ras al hanout if you have it – a staple of moroccan cuisine!

Paprika Powder

Paprika creates a lovely warmth with a hint of spice, proving that salads needn’t be bland.

Zucchini/ courgette

You may be expecting roasted vegetables in this moroccan couscous salad recipe but I use raw veg, and the key is chopping it finely so it’s crunchy but not overwhelmingly so!

Pomegranate

The crunch of the pomegranate seeds in this salad is so refreshing.

Red Pepper

Red bell pepper is full of vitamin C and is a perfectly sweet contrast with the citrus flavours of this salad.

Orange

Nothing goes to waste here as we use the orange zest as well for a citrus tang that finishes this salad perfectly!

Fig

This is kind of optional as I know how tricky it can be to get hold of fresh figs out of season, but if you can find one, it really elevates this salad.

Parsley

Fresh herbs really make this salad, and a quarter cup of fresh parsley shouldn’t be underestimated for what it does to the flavours of this salad.

Raisins

They can be divisive but if you like sweet raisins, chuck them in because they add a lovely texture and sweetness.

Ingredients for a moroccan couscous salad are laid out on a wooden surface, including a pomegranate | Hurry The Food Up

How many calories in this Moroccan Couscous Salad?

This Moroccan Couscous Salad contains 427 calories per serving, and it contains 12g protein per serving.

Here’s a quick overview of 1 serving:

kcal 427kcal
Carbs 84g
Fat 6g
Protein 12g

This Moroccan salad is vegan, meaning it’s egg-free and dairy-free, so works perfectly when catering to a large crowd with various diets!

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Health Benefits of this Moroccan Couscous Salad

Did you know couscous originates from North Africa, where it is usually used in soup or stew-based meals, rather than salads? But however you eat it, couscous is full of health benefits.

Couscous is high in selenium, a trace mineral that is very hard to find in many foods. Selenium is an antioxidant that helps maintain normal cardiovascular function by fighting LDL cholesterol and plaque buildup in our arteries. A single serving of couscous contains over 60% of our daily recommended intake!

Selenium may also help improve muscle mass, since studies have found that selenium deficiency can be the cause of muscle weakness and degradation and fatigue!

Finally, the myriad of health benefits found in the vegetables and fruits in this Moroccan Couscous Salad are too numerous to list! However, just a few, such as the high levels of vitamin C in red bell pepper that help boost your immune system, and the high antioxidants in zucchini that help protect your body against free radical damage, are just a couple of reasons why getting your ten a day is such a great goal to aim for!

If you enjoy this recipe and want more like it, we’ve got healthy meals plans for three meals a day every day of the week! 

I could talk more about the benefits of this delicious summer couscous salad, but I don’t want to keep you away from the kitchen any longer!

A saucepan full of couscous on a white surface, ready to be used in the vegan moroccan couscous salad. | Hurry The Food Up

How to make the best Moroccan Couscous Salad

  • Couscous prep: boil the water and add to couscous in a large bowl, then cover and set aside for five minutes. Return to couscous and use a fork to loosen up the couscous and add the cumin, ginger, olive oil and paprika powder.
  • Salad prep: Wash the orange, grate the zest in a small bowl, then chop the orange and add it all to couscous bowl. Deseed the pomegranate, finely dice the zucchini and bell pepper and add to bowl. Now, add the raisins and sliced radishes, if using. Add the fig, if using.
  • Seasoning: The final but crucial step – flavour time! Wash and chop the parsley and add to salad. If you have any leftover fresh mint or cilantro, add these in too. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • Serving: Toss everything together and present your guests/family/friends with the healthiest, most delicious salad they’ve ever laid eyes upon, prepared and served in a matter of minutes!

Moroccan Couscous Salad FAQs

Can I make this Moroccan Couscous Salad ahead?

This Moroccan Couscous Salad lends itself perfectly to making ahead of time, as this gives the fresh herbs and spices time to infuse and the flavours to develop. Make it a day ahead for optimum flavour.

How to store and re-heat this Moroccan Couscous Salad?

Store this Moroccan Salad in an airtight container or a bowl covered with cling film for a few days in the fridge. Bring it out of the fridge about twenty minutes before serving to allow the salad to come to room temperature.

What to serve with Moroccan Couscous Salad?

Moroccan Couscous Salad is a great main dish with some pita bread and homemade hummus. Alternatively, serve it alongside these roasted cauliflower steaks with red pepper sauce for a complete meal.

What can I add to couscous for flavor?

Fresh herbs are the best thing to give otherwise plain couscous a boost of flavour. Chop up fresh parsley or coriander, or even mint, and mix through the couscous with a generous drizzle of olive oil. Grated orange zest or lemon zest (or lemon dressing) also gives couscous an irresistible zing, while dried fruit like golden raisins or pine nuts add both flavour and texture.

What is the difference between Israeli couscous and Moroccan couscous?

The difference between Moroccan and Israeli couscous is size! Moroccan couscous is the smallest, thus cooking faster, while Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous is larger.

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A big white bowl of colourful vegan Moroccan couscous salad is on a dark wooden surface. | Hurry The Food Up

Moroccan Couscous Salad Variations and Alternatives

One of my favourite tips for cooking (if it can even be called that) instant couscous, is using vegetable broth instead of regular boiling water. It adds a great boost of extra flavour, but give the couscous a taste test before adding any more salt.

Feel free to replace the spices for Ras El Hanout, if you have it. This is an authentic Moroccan spice blend, but our suggested mix and quantities create an equally tasty, albeit slightly different flavour profile.

This recipe uses raw vegetables diced finely, but if you prefer to roast your veg, cover it in a harissa paste for optimum Moroccan flavors before roasting. The textures and flavours will be different to this salad, but this is a great variation to try if you’re feeling adventurous.

If you have other fresh ingredients in your fridge that need to be used up, feel free to add them. Other fresh herbs that work well include fresh mint or cilantro, and other vegetables could include red onion or cherry tomatoes.

More great salad recipes

If you’re looking for more out-of-the-ordinary salads, check out this sweet potato and broccoli salad bake. Like this Moroccan couscous salad, it contains six vegetables!

Try this lentil and quinoa salad for a salad with complete protein and heaps of flavour.

What our readers are saying

This was delicious. I was a little skeptical about the ingredients at first: I never had pomegranate in a salad, I never ate raw zucchini (didn’t even know you could eat this stuff raw until today); but I mixed everything as instructed, including the optional ones. The only thing I changed was I used 2 dry figs instead of a fresh one because I couldn’t find fresh figs; and I splashed lime juice on the salad. And I love it.

Eva ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Made this to go with a lentil spinach and tomato stew. It was absolutely delicious and made a hearty meal for a couple joining us for dinner, one of which is a meat eater and one who is off meat at the moment.

Leonie ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A big white bowl of colourful vegan Moroccan couscous salad is on a dark wooden surface. | Hurry The Food Up
Moroccan Couscous Salad
4.80 from 15 votes
Want a salad that’s vibrant, different, and delicious? This Moroccan Couscous Salad packs SIX portions of fruit and veg!
Cuisine:Moroccan
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, vegan
Prep Time:30 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
Servings:2 servings
Calories:427kcal

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup instant couscous (¾ cups = 130g)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp ginger powder (fresh is fine too. Chop it finely.)
  • 1 tsp paprika powder (or use 3 tsp Ras El Hanout to replace the cumin, ginger and paprika powder)
  • ½ pomegranate
  • ½ medium zucchini
  • ½ bell pepper, red
  • ½ orange
  • ¼ orange zest
  • 1 fig, fresh (don’t worry if you can’t find one)
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • ¼ cup parsley, fresh
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional

  • 4 radish (thinly sliced)

Instructions

  • Boil the water and add it to couscous in a large serving bowl, with ½ tsp of salt.
    ¾ cup instant couscous, ½ cup water, ½ tsp salt
  • Cover the couscous with a tea towel or lid and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Take a fork and gently loosen up the couscous and add the cumin, ginger, olive oil and paprika powder. You want it nice and dry, no big clumps.
    2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, ground, 1 tsp ginger powder, 1 tsp paprika powder
  • Wash the orange and grate the zest.
    ½ orange, ¼ orange zest
  • Peel and chop the orange and add it to the salad, along with the zest.
  • Deseed the pomegranate (here’s a helpful video) and add the seeds.
    ½ pomegranate
  • Dice the zucchini and bell pepper finely. Add both to the salad, along with the raisins and radish slices, if using them.
    ½ medium zucchini, ½ bell pepper, red, 1 tbsp raisins, 4 radish
  • If you managed to find a fig, chop it up and add it to the salad.
    1 fig, fresh
  • Wash and chop the parsley and any other optional herbs, again add them to the salad – for example, if you have any spare cilantro or mint knocking around, they would be perfect. Season with salt and pepper.
    ¼ cup parsley, fresh, Salt and pepper to taste
  • Give it a good toss 😉
  • That’s it! You have one fresh, delicious, Moroccan couscous salad.

NOTES

After more filling salad recipes?
Egg-celent Healthy Egg Salad
Fresh & Summery Avo Tomato Salad
Protein Packed Lentil Quinoa Salad
Super Salad Topping Dukkah
Big & Hearty Lentil Potato Salad

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Moroccan Couscous Salad
Amount per Serving
Calories
427
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
6
g
9
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Sodium
 
843
mg
37
%
Potassium
 
761
mg
22
%
Carbohydrates
 
84
g
28
%
Fiber
 
10
g
42
%
Sugar
 
20
g
22
%
Protein
 
12
g
24
%
Vitamin A
 
2283
IU
46
%
Vitamin C
 
86
mg
104
%
Calcium
 
86
mg
9
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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I hope you enjoyed following the recipe card for this delicious, nutritious Moroccan salad. Let me know what you thought of this great recipe in the comments!

Comments

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Recipe Rating




13 comments
  1. 4 stars
    Tasty, lots of good stuff in there. It was nice to use pomegranate in something as well, such strange but delicious fruit. I put little squares of feta in to make it a bit more filling. Cheers!

    1. Sounds like a good addition James, glad you enjoyed it! Haha yeah, pomegrantes are great. They’re relatively new to me, but they’re good fun to use and the little ones enjoy watching them being opened (and eaten of course)…

  2. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I was a little skeptical about the ingredients at first: I never had pomegranate in a salad, I never ate raw zucchini (didn’t even know you could eat this stuff raw until today); but I mixed everything as instructed, including the optional ones. The only thing I changed was I used 2 dry figs instead of a fresh one because I couldn’t find fresh figs; and I splashed lime juice on the salad. And I love it.

    1. Yes, sometimes it can be hard to find fresh figs, agreed! Really glad you enjoyed it so much, Eva – and thanks for writing 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Great salad – made it last night and we enjoyed it with a wee slab of (eek, sorry in advance) wild salmon on top.
    Did add a can of chickpeas, green onion, the zests of a lemon, lime and the (entire) orange, and since we wanted a bit of green, some chopped up kale. Also whizzed up a vinaigrette with the oil/lemon/lime juice/spices and a tiny bloop of honey.
    A lot of tweaks there, but I’d like to think that perhaps I was magnifying the salad’s deliciousness, rather than completely mutating the original script?
    Thank you for the recipe!

  4. Very authentic way to make couscous i added grapes since pomegranate are hard to find where I live. Very healthy food 🙂

    1. Glad you like the recipe, rummii!! Yeees, pomegranates are not always available unfortunately!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m just going to say this sounds good especially for summer, being vegan I might put some chickpeas in to make it more hearty. I have not made it but printed it out. I have figs on a tree (but alas not ripe) but by they I will know if I like the recipe LOL. I will like the recipe I love all the ingrediants and have eaten similar things.

    1. Your own fig tree?! That’s AWESOME! Enjoy the recipe when you make it, Lynda – would love to hear how it goes!

  6. made this to go with a lentil spinach and tomato stew it was absolutely delicious and made a hearty meal for a couple joining us for dinner one of which is a meat eater and one who is off meat at the moment.

    1. Woohoo! Really glad to hear it went so well. Thank you for writing!

  7. 5 stars
    Cooked this yesterday and ate it for lunch today. What a tasteful recipe. I added diced abricots instead of raisins. Also gone for Ra’s el hanout option. Diced the radish too. I wasn’t sure if the juice or the peeled orange was to be added. I added the juice. This recipe will be added to my favourites.

    1. It’s really great! And apricots seem to be an awesome addition! Glad you liked it!