Vegan Couscous with Veggies

BY : PUBLISHED : June 14th, 2022 UPDATED: August 5th, 2022

This easy vegan couscous recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients and takes just 20 minutes to cook. Use it as a side dish for meals or add a healthy plant-based protein and it turns into a tasty main dish.

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completed Vegetable Couscous in a white plate against a white surface

I love couscous! It cooks so quickly which makes it perfect for busy weeknight dinners. If you enjoy this recipe, you might also love this pesto couscous and pearl couscous salad.

You can even turn this into a delicious vegan couscous bowl for an easy-to-carry lunch meal.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Quick and easy. This easy veggie couscous recipe is ready in a snap.
  • Make it into a main. Add your favorite plant-based protein such as tofu, chickpeas, or black beans to this vegan couscous recipe to make it a hearty main dish.
  • Healthy and delicious. Fresh veggies add tons of nutrition to this delicious vegan couscous recipe.
  • Tired of pasta and rice? Couscous with veggies makes a nice change in your side dish rotation.

What is Couscous?

Couscous is closely related to semolina. Both are made with durum wheat that is coarsely ground rather than finely ground like flour. Couscous is a bit larger in size than semolina.

It is a staple of North African cuisine and can be served sweet as a porridge or served up with vegetables in more savory dishes. The types and flavors vary greatly depending on the country serving it.

It gets its name from the special pot, couscoussière, which has a perforated aspect that holds the couscous over the water to steam it rather than boiling it.

Since couscous is made with durum wheat, it is more closely related to pasta than to grains. It has a light and fluffy texture along with a relatively neutral flavor making it perfect for picking up the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish. 

What Goes Into Veggie Couscous

This easy couscous recipe requires only four simple ingredients to make.

ingredients for Vegetable Couscous against a white surface
  • Dried couscous: Use any variety of couscous you prefer and follow the instructions on the box for making it.
  • Vegetable oil: Any vegetable oil will work. Olive oil, grapeseed oil, and sunflower oil are just a few of my favorites.
  • Veggies: Fresh asparagus, bell pepper, and tomato.
  • Garlic cloves: Fresh is best for flavor.

How To Make Vegan Couscous Recipe

  • 1) Cook couscous according to the package instructions.
skillet alongside water and couscous against a white surface
  • 2) Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and let it heat. Next add in your asparagus, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. 
  • 3) Season with salt and pepper. Fold the veggies into the couscous along with the diced tomato. Serve up veggie couscous warm or room temperature. 

Expert Tips 

  • Follow the instructions on the package of couscous. You can use this vegan couscous recipe with fine-grain couscous or the larger size Israeli couscous but the cooking time is slightly different.
  • Don’t overcook the veggies. Leaving the vegetables with a bit of crunch makes a better-tasting veggie couscous.
  • Works hot or cold. This means you can eat it hot for dinner and save the leftovers to carry for an easy weekday lunch.

FAQs

What can I add to the couscous?

Couscous is naturally vegan so you can add any vegan ingredients to it for meals. It especially loves to be paired with dried apricots, nuts, cinnamon, mint, lemon, oranges, tomatoes, chickpeas, kale, garlic, and asparagus.

What is the ratio of water to couscous?

The ratio of water to couscous is generally around 1:1 which means for every cup of couscous you will need one cup of water. Couscous can be prepared by soaking or using a pilaf method. To soak, boiling water is poured over the couscous and left to sit and soak up the water. In the pilaf method, it is first toasted in plant-based butter or oil and then cooked with broth or water.

completed Vegetable Couscous in a white plate against a white surface

What Goes with Couscous

The neutral flavors of couscous make it the starting point for a wide variety of preparations. It works as a sweet or savory dish, so serve it up with dried fruits, chopped vegetables, and nuts. 

Also, it works cold in salads or you can serve it hot in porridge or as a main or side dish similar to a pilaf or bowl.

 More Easy Side Dishes Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Vegetable Couscous in a white plate against a white surface

Vegan Couscous with Veggies

Margaret Chapman
This easy vegan couscous recipe is made with just a handful of ingredients and takes just 20 minutes to cook. Use it as a side dish for meals or add a healthy plant-based protein and it turns into a tasty main dish.
5 from 33 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 2 servings
Calories 412 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup of dried couscous
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 6 spears of asparagus, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a medium pan, cook couscous according to the package instructions.
  • Heat a large pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add in your asparagus, bell pepper, and garlic, and cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • To season, add a little salt & pepper. Fold in with couscous and diced tomato, and serve warm.

Notes

  • Add extra flavor: Lemon juice with minced parsley pair nicely with this dish.
  • Don’t overcook the veggies. Leaving the vegetables with a bit of crunch makes a better-tasting veggie couscous.
  • Works hot or cold. This means you can eat it hot for dinner and save the leftovers to carry for an easy weekday lunch.

Nutrition

Calories: 412kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 12gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 14mgPotassium: 421mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2398IUVitamin C: 85mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

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.

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About Margaret Chapman

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Michelle says

    5 stars
    My family loves this recipe!! Also, I miss Margaret, the recipe creator!!

    • Andrea White says

      Always a goodie! Loved her on the plant-powered people podcast!

  2. Janaye says

    5 stars
    I haven’t seen the yellow couscous before! This looks so good!

    • Andrea White says

      You'd love it!

  3. Jacqui says

    5 stars
    Such a fantastic meal! Love how simple this one is!

    • Janaye says

      5 stars
      I haven’t seen the yellow couscous before! This looks so good!

    • Andrea White says

      The simple ones are always the best one!

  4. Teodora says

    5 stars
    Perfect for summer days! It is delicious and healthy!

    • Andrea White says

      Yess! Easy, refreshing, and delicious!

  5. Gina H. says

    5 stars
    I love the combination of couscous with veggies! It's easy to switch things up by using different veggies in season, too. Yum!

    • Andrea White says

      Definitely, plus super filling and wholesome too!

  6. Tina says

    5 stars
    This couscous looks wonderful! Love that it only takes a handful of ingredients to make too.

    • Andrea White says

      So easy and delicious!

  7. Carmen says

    So good! So quick! My family loved the asparagus addition! Winner!

    • Andrea White says

      Awesome! Such a great meal to enjoy asparagus with!

  8. Grace Tejero says

    5 stars
    I can't wait to try this recipe! So easy to make, and I'm sure very delish 🙂

    • Andrea White says

      It's a good one! Let us know what you think 🙂

  9. Andrea White says

    5 stars
    Love how quick it is to whip up. So good!

  10. Kayla DiMaggio says

    5 stars
    This veggie couscous was so delicious and I loved how easy it was to make! I love the texture of it!

    • Andrea White says

      So glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  11. Katie says

    5 stars
    This couscous is fantastic! Love how many vegetables are in this recipe, and how simple it is to make!

    • Andrea White says

      Nutrient-packed and delicious! Always a great dinner idea!

  12. Natalie says

    5 stars
    I love couscous recipe ideas. I fell in love with it when my kids were babies. Love your recipe, thanks!

    • Andrea White says

      They're always so wholesome!

  13. Choclette says

    5 stars
    Couscous is just fabulous when you haven't got much time or headspace to make a meal. I have asparagus and peppers, so I know what I'm eating tonight.

    • Andrea White says

      Definitely! Nothing like a simple delicious and easy to whip up meal!

  14. Melanie says

    5 stars
    You had me at "takes less than 15 minutes!" 😉 I love simple, but tasty (and savory) recipes and this one is a keeper. Thank you!

    • Andrea White says

      The quick ones are always a winner!

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