This Moroccan Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables is the perfect warm summer meal for lunch or a light dinner.
It’s made with roasted zucchini, bell pepper, and red onion to add lots of savory-sweet flavors and other delicious ingredients, as well. There’s shredded carrot, chopped parsley and cilantro, raisins, and even toasted sliced almonds.
That makes this salad filling while still sticking with a whole-food, plant-based theme without oil.
The oil-free dressing is light and refreshing, too, with a touch of orange juice and a little lemon. It’s the perfect combination of flavors.
Whole Wheat Couscous
If you haven’t seen whole wheat couscous in the market, it is available through online resources like Amazon. There are several brands that offer it including Bob’s Red Mill, Near East brand, and even Trader Joe’s.
Be careful wherever you purchase it that it’s fresh. This can be the case with any whole-grain product. The problem is that whole grains contain the wheat germ and the germ has enough oil in it to go bad quicker than non-whole-grain versions.
Check the expiration date. You can usually tell if it’s fresh by giving it a whiff. If you’ve smelled rancid products before, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Roasting the Vegetables
Roasting the vegetables for this Moroccan Couscous Salad gives them a sweetness that you don’t get with raw and creates a more subtle flavor. It’s easy to roast them without oil, too. Once you’ve chopped the vegetables and they’ve had a chance to dry a little, toss them with some of the low-sodium vegetable broth you’ll be using to make the couscous.
Once they’re coated with the vegetable broth, you’ll add flavor with a sprinkling of cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Then roast them at 400°F for about 20 minutes and cool before mixing with the couscous and the rest of the ingredients.
Whole Grains Salads
Whole grain salads are perfect for those eating a whole-grain, plant-based diet.
I’ve also made this salad using quinoa and they’re interchangeable in this recipe. Quinoa will add more protein, too. I’ll bet brown rice would be good, as well.
Here are a few other whole-grain salads for you to choose from:
- Cauliflower Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
- Quinoa Salad with Spinach
- Quinoa Salad with Mango Dressing
- Barley Bean Salad with Cauliflower Rice
- Curried Chickpea Rice Salad
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Oil-Free Moroccan Salad with Roasted Vegetables Recipe! If you have a photo, post it on my Instagram page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!
Moroccan Couscous Salad with Roasted Vegetables
- 1 cup dry whole wheat couscous rinsed well under running water
- 1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth plus 1 tablespoon divided
- 1 medium red onion chopped, about 1/2 inch
- 1 medium zucchini chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 15-oz. can no-sodium chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup raisins preferably made without oil
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds toasted
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon date syrup or maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced, about 2 cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin divided
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Make the couscous: Place the couscous in a medium bowl and pour 1 1/4 cups of boiling water over it. Stir, cover, and let it stand 10 minutes.
- Roast the veggies: Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the onion, zucchini, and bell pepper with 1 tablespoon of the vegetable broth. If they don’t seem moist enough, add another teaspoon or two. Toss them 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, and with salt and pepper to taste. Spread on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. You may need two sheets. Flip halfway through until they’re golden but not overly cooked. Remove from the oven to cool.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients remembering to add only 1 teaspoon of the cumin and coriander. Whisk until well combined.
- In a large bowl, mix together the couscous, roasted veggies, chickpeas, raisins, toasted almonds, and chopped cilantro. Top with the dressing and stir well to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate for a few hours to meld flavors
- Store in the fridge for about 5 days.