This vegan couscous salad recipe is packed full of pomegranate seeds, chickpeas and fresh herbs. Perfect for a dairy free festive side salad or a healthy packed lunch.
Aside from lots of fresh parsley and mint, this vegan couscous salad is all about the chickpeas and refreshing, bold pomegranate seeds. Tart and tangy, this a dish that's perfect for the holidays or a light lunch.
What I love the most about this vegan couscous salad is how easy it is to make! You only need about 15 minutes to throw together this vibrant and nutritious gem. You can also make it ahead....in fact, the flavors deepen and intensify as it's resting in the fridge. Perfect for a time-saving stress-free Christmas side dish, or a grab and go lunch.
What You'll Love About This Vegan Couscous Salad
- It's dairy free
- It only takes 15 minutes to make
- It's a great make-ahead side salad for the holidays
- It's healthy
How To Make Pomegranate Couscous Salad
- Heat your olive oil in a saucepan. Add your Israeli couscous (aka pearl couscous) to the pan and toast it for 3 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn. You want for it to be a toasty golden brown.
- Add your vegetable stock to the pan, and bring it to a gentle simmer. The typical water to couscous ratio is higher for Israeli (aka pearl couscous) than it is for small couscous. It's 1 cup Israeli couscous to 1 ½ cups liquid. Be sure to keep the stock at a gentle simmer so that the water doesn't boil off and leave you with burnt couscous.
- While your couscous is simmering, chop your parsley and mint finely. I like to do this in a food processor because you can get a really fine mince quickly. However, a sharp knife will work just as well.
- Prepare your citrus dressing by whisking together your orange juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil.
- If you're using a whole pomegranate this is a great way to remove the seeds.
- Assemble your vegan couscous salad by transferring the pearl couscous to a serving bowl. Stir in the chopped herbs, pomegranate seeds and chickpeas. Pour the dressing over the top and mix everything together. Enjoy!
Did You Make This Recipe?
Download My Free Vegan Grocery List
Ready to getting your next shopping trip organized? I've put together a printable vegan shopping list that will help beginner vegans navigate the grocery store aisles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, dried couscous is simply small balls of semolina. Couscous is not made with eggs or any dairy products, so it's entirely plant based and safe for vegans to eat. However, that doesn't mean that every couscous dish you order will be vegan - you'll need to check the ingredients on any pre-packaged couscous salads etc.
No, it's not gluten free. If you want to make this vegan couscous salad gluten free, you'll need to omit the couscous and replace it with quinoa. Follow the packet instructions for cooking the quinoa.
Craving More Easy Vegan Recipes?
Pomegranate Couscous Salad
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 cup pearl couscous *aka Israeli couscous
- 1½ cups vegetable stock *or hot water
- ¾ cup pomegranate seeds *see note 4
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- ½ cup mint finely chopped
For The Citrus Dressing
- 1 orange *juiced
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the couscous and toast for 3 minutes. *see note 1
- Add the vegetable stock to the pan and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes. *see note 2
- While the couscous is simmering, chop the parsley and mint finely with a food process or a sharp knife.
- Transfer couscous to serving bowl. Stir in chopped herbs, chickpeas and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle the dressing over the top, stir and enjoy.
- Toasting the couscous is optional, but I highly recommend it. It adds a sweet, nutty flavor to the couscous. Just be sure not to burn it.
- The typical ratio of water (or stock) to Israeli couscous (aka pearl couscous) is 1:1 ½. So, that's one cup of couscous to 1 ½ cups of liquid. Be sure to keep the heat fairly low so that the water doesn't boil off straight away.
- Gluten Free Option: Couscous is not gluten free. For a gluten free salad, simply substitute quinoa. Follow the package instructions for cooking the quinoa.
- If you're using a whole pomegranate, have a look at this article for instructions on how to easily remove the seeds.