This easy Couscous Salad with Dried Fruit, Chickpeas and Mint is a great side dish for grilled meats or any summer dinner party. Pair this salad with my Cinnamon Chicken Recipe for some unexpected flavors at your next gathering.
Couscous can be pretty bland on its own, but it really comes alive when amped up with dried fruits, crunchy nuts and fresh mint! It’s so an easy salad to whip up that it makes for a perfect side dish. It’s also really cost effective too, which makes it great for feeding a crowd at a potluck.
Watch How to Make My Couscous Salad Below!
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Also featured this video is my recipe for a fantastic Creamy Cucumber Dill Salad and a Charred Asparagus Salad with Vinaigrette
Here’s How to Make a Chilled Couscous Salad
Step 1: Make the CousCous
In a a large saucepan, add water, butter and salt.
As the water begins to boil, pour in the couscous. Then, turn off the flame and cover for five minutes.
This is the easiest dish to make because in five minutes, the couscous is done! Seriously, what else is done in just 5 minutes?!
What grain is couscous?
Couscous is tiny pasta rounds made of wheat or barley. Traditionally, it’s served in many North African dishes and has a super light texture. It’s great served with meats like chicken, beef or lamb or as a vegetarian main course.
When the couscous is finished cooking, fluff with a fork and transfer it to a large mixing bowl to cool.
Step 2: Roast the Nuts
This recipe calls for two types of nuts: almonds and pistachios. I really love the flavors of roasted almonds with the raw pistachios. Roasting the nuts beforehand really brings out the natural flavors of both!
TIP: I find if you buy “pre-roasted” nuts they essentially loose the flavor before you use them. You’ll get a much more pronounced flavor by roasting raw nuts yourself and it’s not hard.
To roast the almonds, spread almonds out onto a large baking sheet in a single layer. Then, roast at 350F (170C) degrees for about 6-8 minutes, just until they are fragrant and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Then, add the pistachios and almonds to the bowl of couscous.
Tip: For those that live in the States, Trader Joe’s sells shelled pistachios by the bag. Save your fingers from shelling and buy them at Trader Joe’s. You can also find pre-shelled pistachios in bulk at Mediterranean markets as well.
Step 3: Add the Remaining Ingredients
To the bowl of couscous and nuts, add the dried cherries and golden raisins.
Then, add a can of garbanzo beans that have been drained and rinsed. The garbanzo beans add a little extra protein to the dish along with the nuts which is great if you plan to serve this as a vegetarian entree. Stir until well-combined.
If you aren’t serving this right away, cover and refrigerate so the salad stays fresh.
Before you serve, add some chopped mint and stir.
If you add the mint to soon and refrigerate it will loose its flavor so best to add moments before serving for the best mint flavor.
I like to serve this salad in a shallow bowl – about a step up from a plate. That way the couscous mounds up on the platter and looks really pretty.
For a finishing touch you can garnish with a few mint leaves!
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- 1 ½ cup (350 ml) of water
- 2 tbsp (30 g) butter
- ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
- 1 ½ cups (270 g) Couscous
- ½ cup (75 g) raw sliced almonds
- ½ cup (75 g) raw pistachios, shelled
- 1/3 cup (50 g) dried cherries
- 1/3 cup (50 g) golden raisins
- 1-15 oz (450g) can garbanzo beans, drained rinsed
- ½ cup (120 ml) fresh mint, chopped
- In a large sauce pot bring water, butter and salt to a boil. Then add couscous. Turn off heat and cover for 5 mins. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F (176C). Place almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake almonds for 6-8 minutes until roasted and golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- To the cooled couscous add roasted almonds, raw pistachios, dried cherries, golden raisins, and garbanzo beans. Toss to combine. Keep refrigerated just until ready to serve. Moments before serving, add fresh mint, toss to combine.
- Serve in a shallow bowl so couscous is piled high like a pyramid. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 725 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 32mg Carbohydrates: 116g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 32g Sugar: 22g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 38g