Couscous and Quinoa Salad with peppers, red onion, chick peas, 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.
Couscous and 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.