Warming ras el hanout spices, fluffy couscous, roasted vegetables and filling humble chickpeas with a welcome sweetness of dried apricots are all combined to create a delicious vegan couscous salad! Eat it warm on chilly winter days, or make it into a cold al fresco meal for hot summer days! Serve this Moroccan Couscous Salad as a side dish or as a satisfying lunch, that you can easily pack to take to work or on a picnic!
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Why You’ll Love This Vegan Couscous Salad
- It packs a lot of vegetables, so you are on the right track to having your 5-a-day!
- Ras El Hanout spices make it a warming salad, that is just perfect for chilly evenings.
- Chickpeas in this vegan couscous salad provide lots of healthy protein.
- It’s so quick to make – it all takes under 30 minutes!
- Perfect meal prep dish – you can have it warm right away, then pack leftovers in airtight containers and enjoy them for lunch over the next few days. Eat this Moroccan Couscous Salad cold or reheat it in a microwave!
- It is relatively inexpensive to make: couscous, tinned chickpeas, onions and a few other veggies make a cheap but satisfying lunch dish!
Ingredients and Substitutes
- vegetable stock cube: make sure it doesn’t contain any milk powder if you’re cooking for vegans.
- couscous: regular couscous or wholewheat couscous will both work here.
- chickpeas: we use 1 x400g tin of chickpeas (240g drained weight), but you can cook dried chickpeas if you wish.
- olive oil: can be replaced with avocado, or cold-pressed rapeseed oil.
- butternut squash: can be substituted with carrots or sweet potato.
- ras el hanout: shop bought or you can make your own ras el hanout if you have a well-stocked spice cabinet.
- flaked almonds: can be replaced with blanched almonds, chopped up into small pieces. Or you can use other nuts.
- courgette: one green courgette will serve two.
- garlic clove: can be replaced with shop-bought garlic paste.
- dried apricots: can be substituted with dried cranberries, raisins, dates or sultanas.
- bell pepper: choose any colour you like, or mix the colours for a more vibrant dish.
- red onion: peeled and cut into 8 wedges.
Add the chopped red pepper, red onions, courgette and butternut squash to a prepared tray, spreading the vegetables out as much as possible. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20-25 min until tender and slightly browned.
In the meantime, drain the chickpeas and run them under cold water.
Toast flaked almonds in a dry frying pan until slightly browned.
Place couscous into a large heatproof bowl, crumble in a stock cube and give it a good mix. Pour 160ml of boiling water on top and cover the bowl with a plate and leave it for 7 minutes for the stock to absorb.
Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil to a large non-stick frying pan set over medium heat. Add the ras el hanout into the oil and cool for 30 seconds.
Then tip in the drained chickpeas, apricots and garlic and stir for a minute to coat everything in spices.
Fluff the couscous up with a fork, then add the roasted vegetables and spiced chickpeas. Mix everything well.
Divide Moroccan Couscous Salad between bowls, scatter toasted almonds on top and drizzle everything with some extra virgin olive oil.
Toppings For Moroccan Couscous Salad
If you are serving this salad warm, it will leave nothing to be desired. This vegan couscous salad with apricots is full of flavours and textures. But if you are packing it for lunch and intend to have it cold the next day, it can get a little dry. So we suggest adding a little something on top to make it that tiny bit better:
- Plant-based yoghurt mixed with some mint sauce.
- Avocado slices.
- Vegan mayo, harissa paste and a tablespoon of water will make a lovely spicy drizzle.
Tips For Making A Great Moroccan Couscous Salad
- Cut your vegetables into sizes that will cook at a similar rate. For example, we cut butternut squash into smaller chunks than peppers and courgettes, because the latter cook quicker.
- Couscous to Water Ratio: as a general rule of thumb, it is advised to use 1:1.5 ratio (1 part couscous to 1.5 part water) in volume. However, if you are using weight measurements, However, couscous may differ, so always check the instructions on the packet.
Storage and Reheating
Let the Moroccan Couscous Salad cool down to room temperature, then transfer it into airtight containers and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Unfortunately, this salad doesn’t freeze very well: the roasted veggies lose their texture and become quite mushy.
Whilst this couscous chickpea salad can be enjoyed cold, you may choose to reheat it in a microwave for about a minute.
What To Serve With Morrocan Couscous Salad?
If you are serving your couscous salad as a side dish, there are plenty of things that it goes well with. Whilst we love pairing this salad with Moroccan-inspired dishes, like tagine or ras el hanout chicken, this salad is actually really versatile and goes well at any BBQ Party or as a companion to stuffed mushrooms and seitan steaks. What is more, you can top this salad with Beetroot Falafel or Lebanese Falafel Patties for a satisfying lunch!
Other Moroccan-Inspired Recipes
- Warm Moroccan Aubergine Salad With Feta
- Ras El Hanout Chicken with Tahini Lime Dressing
- Vegetarian Filo Pastry Pie with Feta and Chickpeas
- Moroccan Briouat | Pistachio & Almond Filo Pastries
Moroccan Couscous Salad (Vegan)
- ½ vegetable stock cube
- 100 g couscous
- 400 g tinned chickpeas 240g drained weight
- 5 tablespoon olive oil
- 100 g butternut squash peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 tablespoon ras el hanout
- 30 g flaked almonds
- 1 courgette cut into thick semi-circles
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 30 g dried apricots roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper cored and cut into chunks
- 1 red onions peeled and cut into 8 wedges
- Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan. Line a large baking/roasting tray with baking parchment.
- Add the chopped red pepper, red onions, courgette and butternut squash to a prepared tray, spreading the vegetables out as much as possible. Drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 20-25 min until tender and slightly browned.
- In the meantime, drain the chickpeas and run them under cold water.
- Toast flaked almonds in a dry frying pan until slightly browned.
- Place couscous into a large heatproof bowl, crumble in a stock cube and give it a good mix. Pour 160 ml of boiling water on top and cover the bowl with a plate and leave it for 7 minutes for the stock to absorb.
- Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil into a large non-stick frying pan set over medium heat. Add the ras el hanout into the oil and cool for 30 seconds.
- Then tip in the drained chickpeas, apricots and garlic and stir for a minute to coat everything in spices.
- Fluff the couscous up with a fork, then add the roasted vegetables and spiced chickpeas. Mix everything well.
- Divide Moroccan Couscous Salad between bowl, scatter toasted almonds on top and drizzle everything with some extra olive oil.