Curried couscous vegan salad is an easy, healthy and fully vegan recipe for meal-prep. Tossed in a tahini curry sauce, it's full of flavor and nutrients!
I love a leafy kale salad as much as the next dietitian, but in Autumn a grain salad just hits different.
This vegan couscous salad is full of my favorite seasonal fall/winter veggies like cauliflower, carrots and onion. It's got some crunch and nuttiness from some almonds and crispy chickpeas, which are balanced out by sweet raisins. When you toss the grains, chickpeas and veggies in my tahini curry sauce, you're left with a mouthwatering curried couscous salad.
If you're looking to spice up meal prep, you need this curried couscous!
Why This Recipe is Dietitian Approved
- Warming spices. Traditional spices found in South Asian and Indian cuisine include turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, garlic, and more. These are often combined to form a curry powder, which is what I used in this recipe. Adding warming spices to make a curried cauliflower couscous salad is a guarantee that every bite will delicious. Nutrition bonus: spices are high in antioxidants!
- Meal prep friendly. This isn't a salad that will get soggy. Actually, curried couscous gets even more flavorful as it marinates in the dressing. It stores well in the fridge and doesn't needed to be heated- perfect for a packed lunch.
- Filling with fibre. If you never feel full after eating a salad for lunch, give a couscous salad a try. Grain based salads like this one are high in fibre, which helps keep us full. This salad also includes chickpeas, which are full of protein and fibre to satisfy your hunger.
- Pearl couscous
- Red onion
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Tahini curry dressing:
- Garlic clove
- Turmeric powder
- Curry powder
- Black pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Cook couscous according to package instructions.
Add chickpeas, red onion and cauliflower to a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Toss to coat. Bake for 20 minutes. Toss and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your dressing by whisking together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, black pepper, honey and water. Set aside.
To make your salad: To a large bowl add cooked couscous, cooked chickpeas, onions and cauliflower, shredded carrots, raisins, chopped almonds and cilantro.
Drizzle with curry dressing and toss to combine.
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: Unfortunately, I have not found a gluten-free pearl couscous. As couscous is traditionally made with semolina, it does contain gluten. Quinoa would be a great option to use in this recipe as a gluten-free alternative!
To make vegan: This recipe is naturally vegan. I know that some vegans choose not to eat honey, so you can always use maple syrup instead.
To make nut-free: Swap the almonds for sunflower seeds.
Missing an ingredient? Try these:
- Pearl couscous: Swap for pearl barley, quinoa or 1.5 cups of dry Moroccan couscous
- Raisins: Swap for dried cranberries or chopped, pitted dates. Finely diced apple is another great way to add some sweetness!
- Almonds: Swap for pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or cashews
Leftover curried couscous can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
To make the prep easier, buy pre-shredded carrots and chopped cauliflower florets.
I find this salad is best when the cauliflower is chopped into fairly small sized florets, allowing for an even bite every time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Couscous is actually a small, grain-like pasta made from water and semolina flour. It's often eaten as more of a grain than a pasta.
They're both made from semolina flour and water. Pearl couscous or Israeli couscous is a larger version of Moroccan couscous.
This depends on your grocery store- sometimes it can be a little tricky to find. It can either be in the pasta aisle, the grain/rice aisle, or in the “International Foods” aisle.
If you don't like the curry flavor profile, you can make this same salad with another dressing.
What I love the most about this salad is it's great both cold or warm! This makes it the ideal meal prep recipe because you can eat it warm when you first make it and then cold when your at the office for two different options!
More Salad Recipes
Meal prep friendly salads? I recommend these:
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this vegan couscous salad, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Curried Couscous Vegan Salad
- 1 cup pearl couscous dry (cooked according to package instructions
- 1 can chickpeas 398 ml rinsed and drained
- ½ of one medium red onion thinly sliced (about 1.5 cups)
- ½ large head of cauliflower about 2.5 cups, chopped into small florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 2 large carrots shredded (about 2 cups)
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup almonds chopped
- ½ cup cilantro chopped
Tahini curry dressing:
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 lemon juiced (about 3 tbsp)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- ½ tablespoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon dried turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 4 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 400F. Cook couscous according to package instructions.
- Add chickpeas, red onion and cauliflower to a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Toss to coat. Bake for 20 minutes. Toss and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your dressing by whisking together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, black pepper, honey and water. Set aside.
- To make your salad: To a large bowl add cooked couscous, cooked chickpeas, onions and cauliflower, shredded carrots, raisins, chopped almonds and cilantro. Drizzle with curry dressing and toss to combine.