This Orange Pistachio Pomegranate Couscous Salad recipe is very easy to make with pantry staples and comes together in just 15 mins. A colourful vegan couscous salad suitable for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Suitable for Vegan diets. Post includes Weight Watchers points.
This colourful Couscous Salad is festive enough to be on both your Thanksgiving and Christmas menu every year. It is easy to make and ca
It is certainly full of all the right flavours – sweetness from the cranberries and the juicy pomegranate, nutty crunch from the pistachios and flavours from the oranges and mint.
You get the drift. It is full on Christmas mode Chez Recipe From A Pantry and I am loving every moment of it. I think I am even more excited than the kiddoes. I am the one who wakes up every morning and ticks the ‘it is only 30 more sleeps till Christmas’ calendar. Sad but true. And trying this Pistachio Pomegranate Orange Couscous salad makes it even more festive. I looooooooooove Christmas.
Why Make This Recipe
- It is super easy to make and so colourful and welcoming that it deserves its own song and dance moment in the festivities.
- You can make it a few hours ahead of time and easily triple the recipe to feed a crowd.
- It is flexible so you can serve it as a main vegan and vegetarian dish or as a fun side dish.
- It is mostly made with ingredients lots of stuff that you already have in your pantry or fridge during the winter months.
- Couscous – this calls for instant Moroccan Couscous.
- Salt – feel free ti to use the best ever sea salt flakes.
- Boiling water – which will help soften and cook the couscous.
- Citrus juice – for the best results use fresh lemon juice and orange juice
- Citrus – This recipe calls for fresh oranges peeled and cut.
- Nuts – Chopped pistachio nuts are my favorite addition.
- Dried sweetened cranberries
- Green onions – add a little kick.
- Fresh herbs – Chopped mint lifts this salad.
- Pomegranate seeds – add color and a burst of juice in every bite.
Ready for some fun? Then gather your ingredients and let me show you…
How To Make Couscous Salad
Get complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.
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- Step 1. Mix couscous, salt and water in a bowl, then cover with a plate and let it stand for 5 minutes.
- Step 2. Then stir it again and cover for another 5 minutes.
- Step 3. Using a fork fluff up the couscous and add everything and mix well and serve.
Chefs tip. If you have time then let it stand for an hour for all the flavours to meld together.
- The first thing is obviously making the couscous. You need the perfect fluffy couscous which forms the base of the salad. The secret to getting couscous right every time is the right couscous to liquid ratio which volume wise is 1 to 1. So 1 cups / 180g couscous to 1 cup / 240ml of liquid. Read this post to find out more about How To Cook Couscous in 10 minutes.
- For savoury couscous salads, you can use either hot water or broth as the liquid. However, for fruity couscous salads it is worth using only water as you get to add taste later on with salad dressings and fruit juices.
- My preference for simply dressing couscous with flavor is either adding in some citrus juice ie orange, lemon or lime juice or adding a bit of balsamic vinaigrette dressing. A little bit of citrus zest works wonder too.
- For the best results, make sure you fluff the grains and the allow them to cool before you use them in the salad.
- Vary the citrus fruit – use which ever variety of orange type citrus fruit you have or like. I love adding in tangerines, clementines and blood oranges. You may want to avoid using entirely sour / sharp tasting citrus fruit.
- Add in salad greens – like arugula, baby butter lettuce, baby spinach etc.
- Add in fruit and veggies – like avocado slices, radishes, roasted squash, roasted beets, apples, pears, fennel and green onions. You can even add in finely chopped raw vegetables like peppers and zucchinis. Roasted beets and roasted pumpkin work well.
- Vary nuts and seeds – like chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, pine nuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds or poppy seeds.
- Add in cheese – if not vegan then you can use feta cheese, blue cheese crumbles, small slices of parmesan cheese etc.
- Add fresh herbs – I love adding in fresh mint leaves.
- Vary the citrus dressing – with things like mix in some lemon juice, orange juice, lime juice and more. You can add sweetness in by adding maple syrup.
- Add protein – You can add in cooked chickpeas if you like. If not vegan then you can add in grilled meats like chicken, grilled seafood like shrimps or salmon, cheeses.
- Vary the grain. You can also use pearl couscous or quinoa to make this. However please cook these according to their packet intsructions.
All good stuff really and hopefully lots of stuff that you already have in your pantry or fridge.
Wondering how long this salad will keep in the fridge? Well, generally couscous salads keep for up to 3 days in the fridge depending on the ingredients you add. If you want to keep this salad I would omit the orange and the mint and add these in when you are ready to serve your salad
Couscous can be served both hot and cold depending on the recipe. For salads like this one couscous is best served cold. Let it cook, then leave to cool down after fluffing the grains.
You can freeze your leftover plain cooked couscous and defrost when you need it. Then add the fresh ingredients to make the salad when you’re about to serve it. Most of the ingredients in this salad will not do well if frozen.
Couscous is actually a pasta made from semolina flour (from durum wheat and water). A lot of people think it is a grain and they and I refer to it as such.
You will use Instant Moroccan couscous which is the one most easily found in supermarkets and grocery stores. These have already been partially cooked for us so they are very ‘instant’ to cook.
What to Serve with Couscous Salad
This recipe actually works well as a main dish by itself especially a light lunch. However, if you want to serve it as a side here are a few ideas.
Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipe (if not vegan).
More Easy Salad Recipes
If you want more quick and easy salad recipes then why not check out these below.
- Cornbread Salad. So so good.
- Broccoli Canberry Salad. Full of great flavor.
- Tomato Feta Salad with Fresh Peaches. A great summer salad.
- Greek Potato Salad – Comforting and filling.
- Orange Pistachio Pomegranate Couscous Salad – a great holiday recipe.
- A Christmas Fruit Salad. Another great holiday recipe.
- And if you want more vegan recipes, check out this list of 10 vegan Instant Pot recipes.
Thank you for reading my orange pistachio pomegranate couscous salad recipe post. And please come visit again as I continue dreaming up recipes, traditional African recipes, African fusion recipes, Sierra Leone recipes, travel plans and much more for you. Thanks for reading Recipes from a Pantry, food blog.
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Couscous Salad With Orange And Pomegranate
- 360 g (2 cups) couscous
- 500 ml (2 cups) boiling water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 8 tbsp orange juice
- 5 large oranges peeled, pitted and finely chopped
- 50 g (1/2 cup) pistachio chopped
- 100 g (1 cup) dried sweetened cranberries
- 4 large spring onions scallions, finely chopped
- 2 large handfuls of chopped mint
- Seeds from one pomegranate
- Add the couscous, salt and water into a bowl mix very well, then cover with a plate and let it stand for 5 minutes.
- Then stir it again and cover for another 5 minutes.
- Using a fork fluff up the couscous and add everything and mix well.
- The first thing is obviously making the couscous. You need the perfect fluffy couscous which forms the base of the salad. The secret to getting couscous right every time is the right couscous to liquid ration which volume wise is 1 to 1. So 1 cups / 180g couscous to 1 cup / 240ml of liquid. Read this post to find out more about how to cook couscous in 10 mins.
- For savoury couscous salads, you can use either hot water or stock as the liquid. However, for fruity couscous salads it is worth using only water as you get to add taste later on with salad dressings and fruit juices.
- My preference for dressing couscous is either adding in some citrus juice ie orange, lemon or lime juice or adding a bit of balsamic vinaigrette dressing. A little bit of citrus zest works wonder too.
This post has been updated in Oct 2017. The previous picture from Dec 2014 is here.