This vegan Mediterranean salad with couscous and chickpeas is a delicious vegan lunch recipe or a tasty side dish for a dinner meal or potluck! The bright and fresh flavors of parsley and lemon, together with Mediterranean spices, makes a flavorful vegan couscous salad.
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Nutritionally Balanced Vegan Mediterranean Salad
This vegan Mediterranean salad recipe is nutritionally balanced all on its own! To consider a meal balanced, it should contain a good source of protein, carbohydrates (including fiber), healthy fats and vegetables.
Couscous is a grain which provides complex carbs with fiber. Choose a whole grain couscous if possible for extra fiber.
Chickpeas are great for providing plant-based protein, carbs and even more fiber!
The olive oil in the dressing is our source of heart healthy fats which not only make this salad taste amazing, they also help with satiation (making you feel full and satisfied). Fats are also essential to help with absorption of nutrients.
Lastly, any good salad contains veggies and we’re using a few different colored vegetables today for lots of flavor and variety. Differently colored vegetables offer different nutrients and antioxidants!
Meal Prep a Vegan Couscous Salad
Couscous salad is ideal for meal prep because you can toss the dressing onto the salad and not worry about any ingredients going soggy through the week.
In fact, the flavours tend to come together and improve the overall taste after a day or two in the fridge. This couscous salad should last in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Sometimes, the couscous absorbs the liquid from the dressing so the salad may seem a bit drier towards the end of the week. It’s perfectly okay to add some extra dressing or mash in some avocado to make up for the lost moisture!
Types of Couscous: Which is Best for Salads?
Couscous is essentially very tiny pasta, often made from wheat but it can also be made from barley. There are different types of couscous including:
- Moroccan couscous: this is the smallest in size and typically what you would find in a Canadian grocery store simply labeled couscous. Since the pieces are so tiny it cooks extremely quickly. You can buy white or whole wheat versions of this couscous.
- Israeli couscous: also known as pearl couscous. The larger pieces take longer to cook.
- Lebanese couscous: even larger than pearl couscous and will take the longest to cook.
All three varieties are great but my preference is Moroccan couscous because it’s so quick and simple to make. I also always opt for the whole wheat varieties for additional fibre (which will also help keep you feeling fuller for longer).
Different varieties also work better in certain recipes compared to others. In this cold salad preparation I’m using Moroccan couscous. This is a great whole grain staple ingredient to keep on hand in a vegan pantry.
Nutritional Value of Vegan Mediterranean Salad with Couscous and Chickpeas
This Mediterranean couscous salad recipe is simple to prepare and packs in great nutrition.
This recipe contains four out of the six food groups recommended for a balanced plant-based diet: whole grains, legumes, vegetables and herbs/ spices. Each food group provides its own health benefits and balance of nutrients.
The two missing food groups are nuts or seeds and fruit. Since there’s lots of vegetables, fruit isn’t strictly necessary but you could certainly add some for a bit of sweetness!
Nuts and seeds would add additional healthy fat, plant-based protein, fiber and some vitamins and minerals that are essential for plant-based eating patterns. I have added walnuts to this salad in the past and it’s a tasty addition so feel free to do so if you want an extra nutrition boost!
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Mediterranean Salad with Couscous and Chickpeas
- 1 cup couscous , uncooked
- 1 ½ cups chickpeas (15 oz can, drained and rinsed)
- ¾ cup fresh parsley
- 1 ½ cups carrot
- ½ cup green onion
- 1 ½ cups red pepper (1 medium to large-sized pepper)
- 1 ½ cups cucumber
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice , freshly squeezed
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare the couscous according to package directions. Once cooked, fluff it gently with a fork (try and remove any large clumps) and place it in the fridge to cool off.1 cup couscous
- Rinse and drain the canned chickpeas.1 ½ cups chickpeas
- Prepare the veggies: finely mince the parsley, shred the carrot, slice the green onions and finely dice the red pepper and cucumber.¾ cup fresh parsley, 1 ½ cups carrot, ½ cup green onion, 1 ½ cups red pepper, 1 ½ cups cucumber
- Whisk the dressing ingredients. I like to shake them in a jar.1 tablespoon lemon zest, 6 tablespoons lemon juice, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Toss everything together and serve!
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.
So easy and delicious!