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Overhead of the finished vegan couscous salad in a big bowl.

Vegan Couscous Salad

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  • Author: Lexi
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8-12 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This Mediterranean- and North African-inspired Vegan Couscous Salad is loaded with vegetables and coated in an herby, lemony, and tangy dressing. It's a nutritious and filling side dish option that can be served instead of rice or a boring side salad.


Units Scale


  • 4 cups cooked pearl couscous (~2 cups uncooked)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced (~1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced (2 large cloves)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups diced eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (~1/2 of a large eggplant)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups diced zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 large or 2 small zucchini)
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper (1 small bell pepper)
  • 1 cup diced Roma tomatoes, deseeded (~2-3 large tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 15.5 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 cup roughly chopped golden raisins*
  • 1/2-2/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons honey or agave
  • 1 tablespoon Harissa spice blend (or 2 tbsp Harissa paste)**
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin



  1. Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until well combined. Let the dressing sit while you make the rest of the salad.


  1. Cook couscous according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
  2. While the couscous is cooking, add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, then stir in garlic and lemon zest and continue cooking for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the eggplant and 1/4 cup of water and cook for another 8 minutes, until the eggplant starts to soften. (The steam from the water helps the eggplant soften faster without drying out). 
  4. Add in the zucchini, pepper, tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, and salt, and increase heat to medium high. Continue cooking for another 8 minutes, until all of the vegetables are fork tender. 

  5.  Add the cooked couscous, beans, raisins, pistachios, and vegetable mixture to a large serving bowl and toss with the dressing until well coated. Enjoy right away or refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. 


*Raisins: Feel free to use regular raisins, sultanas or currants instead of golden raisins. You can also use finely chopped medjool dates or dried apricot. 

**Harissa: If you can't find any harissa, you can use a mix of paprika and chili powder instead.

Couscous: We're using pearl couscous (aka Israeli couscous). You can also use regular couscous. Feel free to sub in quinoa for a gluten free option that's equally as delicious. Farro would also work well in this recipe. Whichever grain you use, just use 4 cups of the cooked grain to make sure the quantities remain the same.

Pistachios: You can also use cashews, slivered almonds or pine nuts. 

Storage: Place the salad in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Refrigerate for an hour before serving: This isn't required, but encouraged. After you toss everything together, give the salad an hour or so to soak up all of the flavor from the vinaigrette. The salad will be more flavorful, and it tastes best chilled (in our opinion). If you don't have time, no worries – it's also delicious warm!

Meal prep: You can make this entire salad (including tossing it in the dressing) in advance and enjoy throughout the week for a quick, easy meal.

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It may vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Moroccan


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 408
  • Sugar: 11.1 g
  • Sodium: 277.3 mg
  • Fat: 16.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 55.9 g
  • Fiber: 8.2 g
  • Protein: 11.6 g