Vegan couscous salad combines refreshing plant-based ingredients into a flavor-filled salad. Make this delicious couscous salad in under 20 minutes! It’s super healthy, easy to make, and dairy-free.
I adore this salad. I eat it plain, serve it on veggie wraps, add it as seasoning to my romaine salads, use it on sandwiches, etc.
You get the idea? I’m obsessed!
There is something about the flavor combination, the vegan feta, and the texture of the cucumbers that gets me every time. And don’t get me started on that lemon vinaigrette.
I hope YOU love this salad as much as I do!
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use a fresh lemon in this recipe, using both the zest and the juice.
- Couscous — You’ll need a cup dry couscous. I use small couscous and you can find that near the rice in most major grocery stores.
- Olive oil — We’ll use olive oil in the couscous and in the dressing.
- Flavoring — To flavor the dressing, we’ll add minced garlic and some finely-diced red onion. I prefer the color of red onion, but you can substitute a yellow onion if that’s all you have.
- Tomatoes — I prefer cherry tomatoes because they’re sweeter and easier to chop and add to the salad.
- Cucumber — Add some chopped cucumber for the freshest flavor. If you’re not a fan of cucumbers, I encourage you to try the little cucumbers sold in Costco. They’re easier on the tummy. Or, you can substitute chopped zucchini.
- Feta — This salad is not the same without feta. I bought dairy-free feta cheese at the health food store and it was perfect for this salad. If you’d prefer to make your own, check out my recipe for this easy tofu feta.
- Parsley — You can buy fresh parsley in the produce section or keep some growing fresh in your kitchen. Either way, you’ll need around ⅓ cup of chopped fresh parsley.
- Seasoning — Add salt and pepper to taste.
How to Make Vegan Couscous Salad
- Combine couscous with hot water and let it sit to soften.
- Zest and juice the lemon.
- Add still-warm couscous to a bowl with minced garlic and chopped red onion.
- Create dressing by combining olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
- Add veggies to the bowl with the couscous.
- Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
- Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Is couscous salad vegan-friendly?
Yes, couscous salad can easily be made vegan-friendly. The base ingredient, couscous, is plant-based. To ensure it’s vegan, use vegetables, herbs, and proteins like chickpeas, tempeh, or grilled vegetables. For the dressing, opt for olive oil-based vinaigrettes without dairy.
What is couscous made of?
Couscous is basically pasta granules made from semolina flour and water. It has a high-protein content and is considered relatively healthy.
Couscous Salad Add-Ins
Here’s a list of favorite add-ins to enhance the flavor and texture of couscous salad. These additions can make your couscous salad more exciting and appealing to your audience:
- Red or yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
- Finely chopped baby spinach or arugula for added greens
- Roasted red or yellow beets, cubed
- Chickpeas (a great vegan protein source)
- Grilled tofu or tempeh for a heartier salad
- Dried cranberries, raisins, or apricots for a hint of sweetness
- Crushed red pepper flakes for some heat
- Kalamata olives or green olives for a briny kick.
- Sliced or diced avocado adds creaminess and healthy fats.
Mix and match these add-ins to create unique couscous salad recipes that resonate with the people at your table.
Serve this tasty couscous dish on its own (it’s seriously that good!) or serve it as a side dish with some plant-based mains, such as:
- A tasty salad pairs nicely with Impossible Vegan Meatloaf.
- Serve this Baked Lemon Pepper Tofu with or even on this salad.
- This Italian Meatball Sub Sandwich is perfect with a salad on the side.
- Serve some Spicy Cauliflower Wings with this fresh salad on the side.
- Plant-based Stuffed Peppers are delicious with a side salad like this one.
Store this salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The texture of the veggies will degrade over time, but I found the flavors and texture to be great!
This vegan couscous salad is the perfect summer meal! It’s light and flavorful and will tantalize your tastebuds with its unique combination of veggies, herbs, and spices. Try this easy vegan recipe today and enjoy a healthy, delicious dish in minutes!
Vegan Couscous Salad
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup dry couscous
- 1 medium lemon
- ¼ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ⅓ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 ⅓ cup chopped cucumber (substitute zucchini)
- ⅓ cup dairy-free feta cheese
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint (optional) finely chopped (see notes)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat water until just boiling (in a saucepan over medium heat or in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave). Stir in couscous. Set aside for up 5 minutes, to allow the couscous to soften.
- Prepare the lemon by zesting it, cutting it in half and extracting the juice. You should get around 3 teaspoons of zest and 3 tablespoons of juice.
- After the couscous has rested, stir in 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Use a fork to fluff the couscous, transfer to a salad bowl, add the minced garlic and chopped red onion, and set aside to cool for around 10 minutes.
- For the Dressing: In a separate small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
- For the Salad: Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl with the couscous, including tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, vegan feta, chopped parsley, and mint (if using). Pour dressing and toss to combine.
- Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve fresh.
- This salad can keep up to 4 or 5 days in the fridge. The texture of the chopped vegetables can soften over time, so it's best served within a couple of days.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.