Chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, and a homemade vinaigrette are tossed together with whole wheat couscous to make this delicious side salad!
As many of you probably know, couscous is a super tiny pasta that cooks very quickly. Literally, in about 5 minutes it can be ready to go! Couscous can be very nutritious depending on how you prepare it and the type you buy. I always select the whole wheat. I almost compare this dish to an interesting twist on a traditional pasta salad, but honestly it is so much better than that! This recipe stands alone for uniqueness and taste. It is much lighter than a traditional pasta salad due to the homemade vinaigrette, and the fresh vegetables explode with refreshing flavor in every bite! In addition to the bright taste from the vegetables, the balsamic vinaigrette adds a tangy flavor that is offset beautifully by the feta cheese. I used reduced fat feta crumbles that I sprinkled on top and then mixed into the salad.
Keep in mind this is a great option to bring to your next gathering because it serves a huge crowd and can be made the night before! You can make the vinaigrette, cook the couscous, chop your veggies, and mix them in a bowl ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. This side can be served cold or at room temperature.
My dear friend Jana passed along the base of this recipe to me back in college. I altered it quite a bit, and today it is still one of our favorites! Thank you, Jana!
Cool Couscous Salad
- 1 box whole wheat couscous, prepared
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 3 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 oz reduced fat feta cheese
- Lettuce leaves (optional)
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
1). In a small saucepan, bring water to boil. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat; let stand 4-10 min or until water is absorbed. Fluff with fork; Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hr.
2). Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: mix together the olive oil, balsamic, honey, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined.
3). In a large bowl, combine the garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomato, and couscous. Pour vinaigrette over mixture and toss to coat. Place lettuce leaves on plates. Top with couscous mixture; sprinkle with feta cheese.
Serving size: 1/2 cup. Servings: 16. Nutritional Information per serving: Calories: 174 Fat: 9g Carbs: 20g Protein: 5g Sugar: 4g Sodium: 334 mg