Moroccan Couscous with Chickpeas and Peppers

Vegetarian Moroccan couscous with chickpeas and vegetables
Vegetarian Moroccan couscous with chickpeas and vegetables
  • 90 mins
  • Prep: 75 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: about 4 servings

Couscous and chickpeas form the base of this Moroccan vegetarian pilaf or salad. A hearty variety of spices, including ginger, paprika and allspice, give this Moroccan couscous it's unique flavor, and the lovely textures and flavors of the other ingredients -  including sweet potato, zucchini, chickpeas and bell peppers, pine nuts and raisins -  balance out the simplicity of the couscous to create a dish that ends up being quite varied and exciting.

Don't be intimidated by the long ingredients list of this couscous dish, as it really is simple to prepare, and many of the ingredients are just spices, some of which are quite common and you likely already have. Feel free to omit one or two, if don't have them on hand, but the combination of all of them together is really what gives this couscous its unique Moroccan-inspired flavor. 

If you like Moroccan flavors or couscous dishes, try this easy vegetarian and vegan couscous and chickpea pilaf. This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan, but couscous isn't gluten-free, but you could use a gluten-free substitute, such as quinoa or another gluten-free grain if you were looking for a gluten-free vegan version. Enjoy!

See also: Is it a main dish or a side dish?

What You'll Need

  • 1 sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained well
  • 2 red or yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt (sea salt or kosher salt is best)
  • 2 cups couscous, uncooked
  • water for cooking couscous
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

How to Make It

Sautee the sweet potato, zucchini and garlic in olive oil until just barely tender, about 5 minutes.

Add chickpeas, bell peppers, 1/4 cup water and all of the spices: cumin, allspice, ginger, paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Cover and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large saucepan, cover the couscous with water. Bring to a boil, then cover, remove from heat, and allow to sit for about 15 minutes, or until couscous becomes light and fluffy when mixed.

Combine the sweet potato, zucchini, chickpea and peppers mixture with the couscous, or, for a nice presentation, place the couscous, then pour the mixture on top and serve immediately. 

Like couscous? Like cooking vegetarian meals at home? Scroll down for more simple and meatless couscous recipes to try. 

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