Simple Couscous Salad with raisins, crunchy pistachios, fresh greens, and the most incredible homemade orange vinaigrette. It’s an energizing lunch or dinner that couldn’t be easier to make!
Couscous Salad Recipe
This couscous salad is one of my favorite “simple” salads. A perfect light lunch or side salad that isn’t weighed down with heavy dressings, meats, or too many extras.
That said, I thought I’d add couscous for a little extra added goodness – like fiber and protein. I always buy this whole wheat couscous from TJs as it’s my favorite, but quinoa would make a fantastic and equally delicious alternative. You can use your favorite greens, but spinach, baby kale, and baby chard are highly recommended (plus, I cheat and just buy this which makes my life a billion times easier). Arugula would also be a fantastic addition (or substitute). The pistachios add a creamy earthy crunch, while the fresh orange chunks and raisins add a subtle sweetness.
But that’s not the whole story of this salad.
The cilantro orange vinaigrette is perhaps the best part of the whole salad. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Made with just 2 tablespoons of oil, it’s super light, ridiculously healthy, and oozes with flavor. Seriously, citrus and cilantro mixed together is a beautiful thing.
I have made this salad a couple of times now, and it never disappoints. It’s also a fantastic salad for entertaining or potlucks (plus, it makes a great vegetarian option!).
What is Couscous?
Couscous is a traditional North African dish made from rolled semolina flour (wheat flour) and water. Mild and delicious, couscous contains more protein, vitamins, and minerals than white rice. It is often steamed and fluffed to separate the grains, then served as a side dish or as the main course in various dishes.
How to Make the Best Couscous Salad
First, prepare the couscous according to the package directions. When it’s done, remove it from the heat, fluff it with a fork, and set it aside to let it cool.
Next, prepare the dressing. Add the dressing ingredients – oranges, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, cilantro, water, and honey – to the bowl of a blender or food processor and process until fully incorporated. Store the finished dressing in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Finally, in a large bowl, toss together the couscous, raisins, pistachios, greens, and more orange with the dressing. Once everything is fully coated, serve immediately.
Is Couscous Gluten-Free?
No. Couscous is made from wheat.
How to Serve
This couscous salad makes the perfect quick lunch or weeknight dinner. It’s also a great side dish alongside a Mediterranean meal (i.e. falafel, kebobs). Feel free to experiment with additional toppings, like feta cheese, red onion, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, or additional fresh herbs. Use this dish as a dinner party/potluck/summer backyard companion–it’s a lovely protein and fiber-packed vegetarian option!
Storage and Freezing
You can keep this couscous salad in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to two days, although it is best enjoyed immediately (especially once the vinaigrette has been added). I don’t recommend freezing the whole salad (although just the couscous can be frozen for three to four months).
More Salad Recipes:
- Tabbouli Salad (Tabbouleh)
- Farro Salad with Caramelized Onions
- Fresh Corn Salad
- Mediterranean Salad
- Orzo Arugula Salad with Feta and Grapes
If you try making this Couscous Salad Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
For the Salad:
- ½ cup uncooked whole wheat couscous - (Moroccan couscous)
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup pistachios
- 6 ounces greens - baby spinach, kale, etc. pick your favorite
- 1 orange - peeled and chopped
- Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. When finished cooking, remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
- Prepare the dressing- place all ingredients in the bowl of a blender or food processor and process until fully blended and fully immersed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
- In a large salad bowl gently toss together the salad ingredients with the dressing until fully coated. Serve immediately.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)