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Roasted vegetable couscous combines tender, lightly charred roasted vegetables with slightly chewy giant couscous, topped with lemon, parsley, and pepper flakes for a flavor-packed, super satisfying simple meat-free lunch or dinner!

completed Roasted Vegetable Couscous plated against a white surface
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Why You’ll Love this Roasted Vegetable Couscous Recipe

  1. Easy: Aside from chopping, the recipe is hands-off and easy enough for beginners.
  2. Cost-effective: It uses simple, easy-to-find, inexpensive ingredients for roasted veg couscous packed with flavor that won’t break the bank.
  3. Flavorful: Well-seasoned, herby vegetables become slightly caramelized/crisp in the oven before combining with garlicky couscous, all topped with lemon, parsley, and red pepper flakes for simple roasted vegetable couscous that’s loaded with fragrant, savory, slightly smoky, and a little spicy, complex, full-bodied flavor.
  4. Healthy: This veggie couscous is packed with beneficial fiber, carbs, vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants that provide heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory, and digestion-boosting benefits, thanks to the combination of vegetables and herbs.
  5. Customizable: Enjoy the roasted veg couscous warm or chilled and experiment with different herbs, spices, & veggies (a great way to clear out the fridge) to make this recipe your own.   
  6. Meal prep friendly: In the fridge or freezer. Plus, it reheats well, too.  

Looking for more satisfying, hearty dishes? Check out our Mediterranean chickpea lentil salad, sesame noodle salad, or orzo chickpea salad!

The Ingredients and Substitutes

This roasted vegetable couscous recipe comprises inexpensive, easy-to-find, and often pantry-friendly ingredients.

ingredients for Roasted Vegetable Couscous
  • Giant couscous: This is a durum wheat-based pasta called pearl couscous. Use regular or whole wheat.
  • Vegetable broth: Use homemade or store-bought. Use reduced-sodium vegetable stock if preferred. Vegetable bouillon with water will also work.
  • Olive oil: We prefer olive oil, though avocado oil would also work.
  • Garlic: It’s best to use fresh garlic cloves, as they’re roasted and then mashed into the couscous. However, garlic powder over the veggies works in a pinch.
  • Vegetables: While you can mix and match plenty of veggies, for this batch of couscous with roasted vegetables, we’ve used:
    • Broccoli
    • Red onion
    • Cherry tomatoes (or baby plum/grape tomatoes)
  • Seasoning: This vegetarian couscous recipe relies on a simple, aromatic combination of:
    • Minced rosemary
    • Dried thyme
    • Smoked paprika
    • Sea salt & black pepper
  • To garnish: We use a combination of lemon wedges, fresh parsley (or other fresh herbs like basil, dill, green onion, and/or mint), and red pepper flakes to brighten the flavor and add a kick to the roasted vegetables and couscous.

What Could I Add to Roasted Veg Couscous?

  • Other vegetables: Bell peppers (any color), eggplant, spinach (ribboned), yellow squash, sweet potato, mushrooms, asparagus, cauliflower, etc.
  • Dried fruits: Like raisins, apricots, or cranberries – will add a hint of sweetness to an otherwise savory veggie couscous.
  • Vegan cheese: We love using crumbly vegan feta cheese, though a small amount of nutritional yeast for a subtle nutty, ‘cheesy’ flavor would work, too.
  • Other seasonings: Feel free to experiment with earthy cumin, vibrant turmeric, and/or spicy chili powder/ cayenne pepper for more warmth and flavor. Meanwhile, ras el hanout and cinnamon are delicious additions to Moroccan roasted vegetables and couscous.
  • Nuts/seeds: Like almonds, peanuts, pistachios, pine nuts, or pepitas lightly toasted in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes will add crunch & nutty flavor (plus fiber and protein).
  • Lemon zest: Add brightness and a citrusy tang with the zest from one lemon.
  • Pulses: To increase the heartiness and turn the couscous with veggies into more of a complete meal, add a vegan protein source like lentils, chickpeas, or white beans.

How to Make Roasted Vegetable Couscous

  • 1) First, heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add one tablespoon of oil and the couscous, and sauté for about 2 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.
process shot of adding couscous to pot
  • 2) Then, add the vegetable broth. Next, bring it to a boil, cover it with a lid, remove it from the heat, and allow it to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.

Alternatively, follow the package instructions (if using whole wheat/gluten-free varieties), cooking the couscous until tender but not mushy.

  • 3) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F/200C and prepare the vegetables. Break the broccoli down into even-sized florets, chop the zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice it into ¼-inch slices along with the red onion, slice the carrots into thinner 1/6-inch slices, and peel the garlic cloves. Leave the tomatoes whole.
  • 4) Either in a bowl or directly on a parchment-lined baking sheet, combine all the vegetables and garlic with two tablespoons of olive oil and all the seasoning ingredients (rosemary, thyme, smoked paprika, salt & pepper), and toss well.
  • 5) Roast the vegetables for 35-40 minutes until lightly caramelized outside and tender in the middle.
  • 6) Next, remove the garlic from the pan, mash it well, and mix it into the pot of couscous.
  • 7) Finally, transfer the roasted vegetables and couscous to a large serving dish and toss well, then serve warm or at room temperature, optionally garnished with fresh parsley, lemon wedges, and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Toast the couscous: This step only takes a couple of minutes and helps to enhance the nutty flavor of the couscous.
  • Chop the vegetables correctly: Make sure each vegetable is cut into similar-sized pieces. However, cut carrots (and other root veggies) thinner than other veggies since they take longer to cook.
  • For extra caramelization: Broil the veggies for 1-2 minutes at the end.
  • Experiment with veggies: Based on what you have in your kitchen/pantry, and will cook at similar times. The sky Is the limit.
  • Enjoy warm or room temp: Enjoy it warm from the oven or allow it to cool to serve as a delicious vegan couscous vegetable salad.

FAQs

Is couscous vegan?

Yes, this durum wheat-based pasta is vegan but not gluten-free.

Can you cook couscous in the oven?

Although we haven’t tried it, we wouldn’t recommend trying to cook the giant couscous in the oven, as it requires boiling water for the method.

What can I add to couscous for flavor?

This roasted vegetable couscous recipe uses a combination of cooking the couscous in vegetable broth and then combining it with herby, seasoned roasted vegetables, topped with lemon juice, parsley, and red pepper flakes. The combination is packed with flavor and largely from inexpensive pantry/kitchen ingredients.

Can I substitute the couscous?

You could experiment with using quinoa, regular couscous, orzo pasta, farro, or barley. Adjust the cooking method accordingly.  

Could I grill the vegetables instead?

Absolutely. Just grill them until tender and lightly caramelized/blackened on the edges.

completed Roasted Vegetable Couscous plated against a white surface

What to Eat With Couscous?

Enjoy the roasted vegetable couscous either warm or at room temperature (as a roast vegetable couscous salad) on your dinner table, at potlucks, picnics, and more- alongside:

  • A protein: Like tofu/ tempeh kabobs, grilled tofu, meatballs, or vegan mock meat.
  • Vegan burgers: Like any of these 9 Mouthwatering Vegan Burger Recipes to Try.
  • Falafels: Optionally with hummus and pita bread for a delicious couscous plate.
  • A side salad: Like a simple green salad/garden salad with a vinaigrette.
  • Saucy dishes: Enjoy it in place of rice with saucy vegan stews, tagines, and other dishes, usually also paired with some naan or pita bread.

Storage Information

Once prepared and assembled, allow the couscous to cool and store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

This roasted veg couscous is also freezer-friendly in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then enjoy it as is or reheat.

When reheating the couscous and vegetables, add a splash of water or vegetable broth so it doesn’t dry out. We like to reheat it in a microwave in 30-second increments or on the stovetop. Note the vegetables will be softer after thawing.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

5 from 52 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Roasted vegetable couscous combines tender, lightly charred roasted vegetables with slightly chewy giant couscous, topped with lemon, parsley, and pepper flakes for a flavor-packed, super satisfying simple meat-free lunch or dinner!

Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups of uncooked pearl/Israeli couscous
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup of whole cherry tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of minced rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges, garnish
  • Crushed red pepper, garnish

Instructions 

  • In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of oil and the couscous. Cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring to avoid burning. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover, turn off the heat and let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, add the garlic cloves, broccoli florets, zucchini, onion, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss well to coat with oil. Then add the rosemary, thyme, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Add the seasoned veggies to a sheet pan and cook for 35-40 minutes.
  • Find the roasted garlic cloves, mash them, add the to the pot with the couscous, and mix well.
  • In a large bowl, mix the veggies and couscous.
  • Serve hot, sprinkle parsley and crushed red pepper flakes.

Notes

  • Toast the couscous: This step only takes a couple of minutes and helps to enhance the nutty flavor of the couscous.
  • Chop the vegetables correctly: Make sure each vegetable is cut into similar-sized pieces. However, cut carrots (and other root veggies) thinner than other veggies since they take longer to cook.
  • For extra caramelization: Broil the veggies for 1-2 minutes at the end.
  • Experiment with veggies: Based on what you have in your kitchen/pantry, and will cook at similar times. The sky Is the limit.

Nutrition

Calories: 495kcalCarbohydrates: 84gProtein: 15gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 543mgPotassium: 845mgFiber: 9gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 6937IUVitamin C: 88mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 3mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Method: Stovetop, Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner today. it is super flavorful and was very easy to make. It will be put into a regular menu rotation. Thank you Toni!

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks so much…this was delicious and satisfying. Exactly the type of recipe I crave…and the leftovers were fantastic as well.

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! It’s a great one to meal prep and enjoy the next couple of days for sure!

  3. 5 stars
    This is the perfect summer side dish! I love couscous, large and small. I want to try this with Sardinian fregola which is very similar to pearl couscous.