Caramelized roasted vegetables, crispy chickpeas and plenty of herbs make for a flavorful, rich and filling couscous dish.
This dish is so easy to make and provides a great alternative to tabbouleh for fall throughout spring. I love making my favorite tabbouleh recipe in the summer when the tomatoes are so flavorful and perfect, but in the spring it’s still too early to get good tomatoes so until then, I am really excited with this delicious recipe that includes roasted vegetables and chickpeas along with couscous or bulgur wheat and of course plenty of herbs.
The roasted vegetables caramelize a bit giving this dish a deep flavor making it less of a salad and more of a hearty meal. And with the addition of the chickpeas you get a good dose of protein and fiber. This was gone so quickly, we all loved it! And it’s really easy to make: a quick slicing of the vegetables and you just pop them in the oven for a 20 minute roast, enough to get them soft. Mix your herbs, grain and chickpeas and you’re done!
What to Serve with Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Couscous
Honestly this dish can be served perfectly on its own, it combines vegetables, grains, protein and good fats. I enjoyed it right after I tossed in the warm roasted vegetables, but is is also very good after a day as the flavors have melded together more like a salad. This is great to take with you for lunch too! Or a picnic. Or a potluck. You can serve it as a side to a meat or fish dish. And don’t forget that this is a vegan dish, so almost everybody can enjoy it!
The Roasted Vegetables
For the roasted vegetables I simply used carrots, onions and red pepper and there was so much flavor, it didn’t need more than that. I just made sure that I used a large amount of vegetables compared to the starch. You want this dish to have more vegetables and less couscous or bulgur wheat. You can use other vegetables, but make sure to include onion it really adds a caramelized sweet flavor to the dish.
When preparing the vegetables, you want to slice them thinly. For the carrots I used a grater to cut them into thin rounds. When roasting, make sure you spread them out in one layer (like in the photo below), you want them to cook quickly and caramelize somewhat.
How to Prepare Bulgur Wheat
Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and add double of the amount of boiling water. For example, if you are using ½ cup bulgur you will add 1 cup boiling water. Cover and let it sit for 15 minutes. Drain and fluff up with a fork.
How to Prepare Couscous
Generally, I recommend using bulgur wheat which maintains much of its bran and therefore is a good source of fiber, for this recipe I used couscous because I had some leftover and wanted to use it.
Here we are referring to Moroccan couscous which is the smallest and cooks very quickly. Place the couscous in a bowl and add about the same amount of boiling water plus a bit more. So, for example if you use 1 cup dry couscous (like I am in this recipe) you add 1 ¼ cup boiling water. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. Drain if there is any water left and fluff with a fork.
Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas
For the vegetables
For the couscous or bulgur wheat
- 1 cup (175 g) uncooked couscous or bulgur wheat
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth or water
- ¾ cup fresh chopped parsley
- ½ cup fresh chopped mint
For the dressing
- 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice plus more for serving
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ⅓ tsp fine salt if broth does not include salt
- Preheat oven at 425 F (220 C).
- Mix the carrots, onions, and pepper with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread on a pan in one layer and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Place in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes tossing them halfway.
- In the meantime prepare the couscous or bulgur wheat. Empty of the couscous or bulgur in a bowl and add 1 ¼ cup boiling water or broth if using couscous or 2 cups boiling water if using bulgur. Cover and let it sit (5 minutes for couscous or 15 minutes for bulgur). Drain if needed and fluff up with a fork and set aside.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic and salt (if not using broth). And set aside.
- Assemble the dish by mixing the couscous with the herbs well. Add the dressing and mix. Add the roasted vegetables and chickpeas and toss well.
- To serve: Squeeze some lemon juice and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Store covered for up to 3 days.
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Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved