Couscous and Quinoa Salad with peppers, red onion, chickpeas, spinach cucumbers and a lime vinaigrette. Perfect cold summer salad side dish for BBQs and potlucks.
The other night at a food and wine festival I had the most amazing couscous and quinoa salad. I went back for seconds and thirds. It was still on my mind this weekend so I knew I had to make my own version at home.
Now I make quinoa salads and I make Israeli couscous salads but I have never combined the two. I mean it’s pretty genius when you think about the benefits of them.
Benefits of Couscous and Quinoa
Couscous and Quinoa is a great plant based protein and is very easy to prepare.
Quinoa are gluten free.
Quinoa is higher in fiber than most grains.
Quinoa is good for blood sugar control.
Sometimes I will eat a cold salad as a side and grill some meat or just eat it alone for lunch. I add protein so if I do eat a larger portion for lunch it keeps me fuller longer.
Perfect salad for
Summer side dish
BBQ side dish
Bringing to a friends house
Everyone prepares quinoa and couscous in their own ways but this is how I always prepare mine for salads.
Preparing Couscous and Quinoa
I like to roast my Israeli couscous before boiling. Just slightly so it turns just golden. This gives the couscous a nutty flavor.
My favorite way to cook quinoa is in my Instant Pot. 1 cup of water to 1 cup of rinsed quinoa. Cook on manual high for 1 minute with a natural release of 12 mins. You can also substitute chicken broth for water.
- 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
- 1 Cup Cooked Israeli Couscous
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp of White Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp of Minced Garlic
- 1 Lime Zested
- 1 Lime Juiced
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Red Pepper Chopped
- 1/4 Red Onion Finely Chopped
- 1 Cucumber Chopped
- 1 Can of Chick Peas rinsed
- 3 oz of Baby Spinach
- Cook Israeli couscous and quinoa as directed. Set aside to cool toss with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Note I like to cook my quinoa in the instant pot but its not necessary.
- Whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, minced garlic, lime zest, lime juice and salt & pepper (to taste).
- Combine couscous, quinoa, red pepper, red onion, cucumber, chick peas and baby spinach.
- Toss with dressing.
- Serve cold.
I am not a fan of tomatoes but I think if you are then tomatoes would be a great addition. Wanting a Mediterranean vibe? Add feta cheese. Just want some cheese? Add fresh mozzarella and maybe some basil. This really is a base to a great salad and you can substitute in and out any veggies you’d like.
This is a great dish to bring to a friend who maybe just had a baby, death in the family or just needs some help with meals.