If you like couscous pilafs or couscous salads, you'll want to try this simple and easy homemade vegetarian recipe for couscous salad with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and plenty of vegetables, including cucumber and red bell pepper in a light lemon, olive oil and Dijon mustard vinaigrette. It's made from all vegetarian and vegan ingredients, and, with less than 300 calories per serving, this couscous salad is also a low-calorie meal (scroll down for the complete nutritional breakdown if you're curious).
It's perfect for vegetarians and vegans, since the chickpeas add a nice protein boost. If you aren't eating vegan, this couscous dish might be nice with a bit of Parmesan cheese on top, or, sprinkle it with a touch of nutritional yeast if you are eating vegan.
Though this recipe is vegetarian and vegan, it is not gluten-free, since couscous contains wheat. If you'd like to try a gluten-free version, just use quinoa instead, and adjust the cooking time for the quinoa.
This vegetarian couscous salad recipe courtesy of The Wheat Foods Council.
- 2/3 cup vegetable broth or 1 14-ounce can (for cooking couscous)
- 1 cup couscous, uncooked
- 3/4 cup garbanzo beans, drained
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 2 tbsp green onions (scallions) chopped
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest (lemon peel)
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
First, prepare the couscous. In a medium sized saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil and stir in the couscous.
Once the couscous is simmering, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. then lightly fluff your couscous with a fork.
Let your prepared couscous cool for at least 10 minutes.
Once your couscous is cooked, slightly cooled and ready to go, place it in a large bowl and lightly toss the cooled couscous with the garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cucumber, red pepper and green onions.
Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, lemon zest and black pepper in a separate small bowl, or shake together in a mason jar. Add this vinaigrette and lemon dressing to the couscous mixture and gently toss to combine well.
Garnish your couscous salad with lemon pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings to taste. You can add a dash of sea salt or kosher salt, if you think it's needed, but use a light hand so as not to overpower the other flavors.
This couscous and chickpea salad can be prepared in advance and set in the refrigerator to chill. Just be sure to gently toss it again just before serving to mix up the ingredients and the dressing.
Nutritional information: Each serving provides approximately: 266 calories, 9 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 5 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 16 mcg folate, 1 mg iron, 698 mg sodium.