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Israeli Couscous Salad with Cinnamon Ginger

This Israeli couscous salad makes a delicious lunch, light dinner, or side dish. It can even be made ahead of time to allow the warm flavors of cinnamon and ginger time to deepen even more.

colorful artichoke bowl filled with couscous salad

Pearl, or Israeli, couscous has much larger pieces of pasta than the more familiar style and brings an interesting texture to a very easy-to-make dish. Adding ginger and cinnamon to apricots gives them an earthy, almost dessert-like flavor and will compliment any main course.

What is couscous?

In many parts of the world, couscous is a pantry staple because it is super easy to cook and pairs well with just about any main or side dish. My Vegan Meatloaf or Lentil Shepherd Pie would be terrific served with this vegan side dish.

While many people think of couscous as a grain like rice, quinoa, and bulgur, it’s actually a type of pasta that is made with ground durum wheat semolina. Since it is a wheat product, that means it is not gluten-free.

There are a number of different types of couscous, and it’s Israeli couscous (sometimes also called pearl couscous) that is used in this recipe. It’s a larger type and requires a little extra cooking time.

Raw Couscous in a  bowls on the grey concrete background

Health benefits

Couscous has a number of health benefits and one is that it is a good plant-based source of protein with 6 grams per one-cup serving. In addition, it is a rich source of selenium which can help boost the immune system and is very low in fat.

Nutrition in one cup of cook couscous:

  • 176 calories
  • 0.3 fat
  • 91 mg potasium
  • 36 grams carbohydrate
  • 2.2 fiber
  • 6 grams protein
israeli couscous with veggies served in an artichoke heart shell

Cooking Israeli couscous

Making couscous is as easy as cooking rice and it can be done right on your stovetop. The smaller types require the least amount of time, but Israeli or pearl couscous is larger and takes about 10 minutes to cook fully.

Add the uncooked couscous to a dry saucepan to toast for about 1 minute. This toasting adds a nice nutty flavor, but be sure to watch it closely to prevent burning.

In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in the toasted dry couscous, salt, and ginger and return to a boil.

Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer on low for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Add apricots, peppers, parsley, and cinnamon. Garnish with toasted almonds, if desired, and serve immediately.

Recipe created by Chef Edwin Cabrera

This recipe comes from a book titled, Eat Plants Feel Whole, by Dr. George Guthrie, and he along with AdventHealth Press have graciously shared it with us for this post. Purchase the book at a 40% discount with the discount code EATPB40. The offer expires on Oct. 31, 2021.

Copyright & Photos © AdventHealth Press

Pro Tips and variations

  • Vegetable Broth- Most couscous packages say to cook it in water, but using vegetable broth instead adds a lot more flavor.
  • Toasting Couscous- Use a dry skillet to toast the couscous before boiling to give it a rich nutty flavor, so I highly recommend taking a few minutes to do this. Just be careful not to let it burn.
  • Serving Suggestions- Israeli (or pearl) couscous is about the size of a peppercorn when cooked, and it makes a great addition to cold salads and even soups. You might even try it in stir fries like my Broccoli & Red Pepper Stir Fry or these really simple Veggie & Grain Bowls.
  • Avoiding Gluten- If you need a gluten-free dish, grains such as quinoa, rice, and bulgur can be substituted in this recipe.

What to serve with couscous

colorful artichoke bowl filled with couscous salad

Israeli Couscous Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This Israeli couscous recipe makes a delicious lunch, light dinner, or side dish. It can even be made ahead of time to allow the warm flavors of cinnamon and ginger time to deepen even more.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add the uncooked couscous to a dry saucepan to toast for about 1 minute. This toasting adds a nice nutty flavor, but be sure to watch it closely to prevent burning.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in the toasted dry couscous, salt, and ginger and return to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer on low for 8-10 minutes.
  4. While this is cooking, go ahead and dice up the peppers and apricots.
  5. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Add apricots, peppers, parsley, and cinnamon. Garnish with toasted almonds, if desired, and serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe created by Chef Edwin Cabrera

Copyright & Photos © AdventHealth Press

Pro Tips:

  1. Vegetable Broth- Most couscous packages say to cook it in water, but using vegetable broth instead adds a lot more flavor.
  2. Toasting Couscous- Use a dry skillet to toast the couscous before boiling to give it a rich nutty flavor, so I highly recommend taking a few minutes to do this. Just be careful not to let it burn.
  3. Serving Suggestions- Israeli (or pearl) couscous is about the size of a peppercorn when cooked, and it makes a great addition to cold salads and even soups. You might even try it in stir-fries like my Broccoli & Red Pepper Stir Fry or these really simple Veggie & Grain Bowls.
  4. Avoiding Gluten- If you need a gluten-free dish, grains such as quinoa, rice, and bulgur can be substituted in this recipe.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 106mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 4.5g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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