Lemon Couscous Salad with Raisins, Roasted Chick Peas and Avocado

This anti-inflammatory & mouth-watering lemony couscous salad is packed with roasted chickpeas, golden raisins, fresh greens, pistachios, avocado and everything you should be eating right now.

a platter of chickpeas, lemon, pistachios a pomegranate and uncooked couscous
Eat your colors!

Why this salad is so special?

Lemon Couscous salad has an explosion of unusual ingredients that work perfectly together.

This salad is packed with antioxidant rich ingredients like spinach, avocado and nuts.

The dressing is just 5 simple ingredients- olive oil, dijon mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

Plump large pearl couscous means this salad fills you up like a hearty meal.

It’s a great make ahead salad. Just toss everything together just before serving.

Only 8 ingredients need to be bought fresh- they rest are pantry staples like canned chickpeas or frozen items like peas

a platter of peas, couscous, avocado, greens, nuts and sliced lemons
This salad is full of Mediterranean ingredients.

Ingredients in Lemon Couscous Salad with Raisins, Chickpeas and Avocado:

  • Fresh produce items:
  • feta cheese
  • lemon
  • baby spinach & arugula
  • avocado
  • fresh mint
  • pomegranate arils-optional
  • shallots
  • frozen peas
  • Pantry Items:
  • golden raisins
  • large pearl couscous
  • chickpeas
  • pistachios
  • dijon mustard
  • olive oil
  • sherry vinegar
  • garlic salt, salt, pepper, sugar, red pepper flakes
a white bowl of a green salad
Plump golden raisins add the perfect amount of sweetness.

This Lemony nutrient rich couscous salad is packed full of healthy, filling goodness. Even the most picky eater will have a hard time not loving this dish. It has three kinds of greens: baby arugula, baby spinach and mint. It has pickled shallots for sour notes, roasted chickpeas and pistachios for crunch, golden raisins for sweetness, couscous to fill you up, feta for tang and pomegranates and avocado just because they are so yummy. That is a lot of stuff packed into one salad.

a small pile of chickpeas, olive oil and spices

Tips for a successful recipe:

1. Toast your couscous in a bit of olive oil before cooking in water.

2. Be sure to fluff couscous with a fork after cooking.

3. Watch your chick peas. They can go from perfectly toasted to burnt in just a minute or two.

4. Lower carb recipe: substitute broccoli (3.95 net carbs per cup cooked) for the peas and quinoa (34 net carbs per cup cooked) for the couscous.

5. A squeeze of lemon juice added to the avocado will prevent browning.

6. Use imported Greek whole block Feta cheese instead of pre-crumbled. It has a much tangier flavor.

a cookie sheet with roasted chickpeas
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Equipment needed for Lemon Couscous Salad with Raisins, Chickpeas and Avocado:

  • rimmed baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • small saucepan
  • medium sauce pan
  • large salad bowl
a collection of small white and glass bowls filled with spices and oils

Common Questions:

Is this recipe Vegan or Dairy Free?

It is a vegan-friendly recipe. To make Dairy-free, just omit the feta cheese.

How can I add more protein?

Substitute the couscous for quinoa OR add roasted chicken or shrimp.

How long can I store this recipe?

To maximize the storage, place everything in an airtight container in the fridge. The avocado will brown fairly quickly, so you may want to store them sparely in a glass container filled with water once they have been peeled. Consider storing the couscous separately if possible.
The salad will last 2-3 days in fridge but the greens may wilt a bit.

Can I use a purple onion instead of the shallot?

Yes, be sure to slice the onion very thinly.

How can I make this recipe less expensive?

Substitute whole grain rice in place of the large pearl couscous
Use citrus slices or apple slices instead of pomegranates.
Try roasted almonds in place of the pistachios.
Omit the pricey sheep’s milk Feta and give Halloumi a try.

a large wooden salad bowl with cooked couscous

Other salad recipes to try:

a generous pile of mint, arugula and spinach in a large wooden salad bowl
Toss in the greens gently.

More tips for the best salad:

  • Dress the couscous in the vinaigrette while still warm. This prevents the salad greens from becoming too soggy
  • Place the avocado and feta on top of the salad after tossing. This prevents them from becoming a mushy mess.
  • Add in the chickpeas once completely cooled. You can make the roasted chickpeas a day in advance and store in an airtight glass jar.
sliced shallots, vinegar and sugar in bowls
shallots cooking in a saucepan of vinegar

This recipe is based off two of my favorites salads: ATK’s Israeli Couscous salad and the Tavern Salad at Osprey Tavern here in Orlando. I combined my favorite elements of both and then threw in things I love. To make it truly my own, I sweetened the dressing by adding a touch of maple syrup, roasted the chick peas, added pomegranates, raisins and avocado. I also combined warm couscous with the dressing and then tossed in the salad. Many comments about the ATK salad are the next day the greens are wilted. Dressing the couscous soaks up most of the dressing so the salad stays in pretty good shape for lunch on day 2.

golden raisins and pickled shallots of a bed of greens
a close up picture of feta cheese, pomegranate arils, avocado and greens in a large salad bowl

Lemon Couscous Salad with Raisins, Roasted Chick Peas and Avocado

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Meggen Wilson Course: Florida Kitchen, Healthy, Main Course, MOST POPULAR RECIPES, Summer Recipes, SaladsDifficulty: moderate
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

492

kcal

Antioxidant rich Lemony Couscous and chickpeas salad with spinach, avocado, mint, feta, and pomegranate arils to nourish your body.

Ingredients

  • 15 oz 15 chickpeas, canned. Drained, rinsed, patted dry

  • 6 TBSP 6 olive oil , divided

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 garlic salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 ground pepper

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 sherry vinegar

  • 2 TBSP 2 sugar

  • 3 small 3 shallots, outer shell peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 tsp 1 maple syrup

  • 1 tsp 1 dijon mustard

  • 1 large 1 juice of one lemon

  • 1/8 tsp 1/8 red pepper flakes

  • 1 cup 1 couscous, large pearl,

  • 3 cups 3 baby arugula, washed and dried

  • 3 cups 3 baby spinach, washed and dried

  • 1 cup 1 fresh mint leaves, washed and patted dry

  • 1 cup 1 frozen peas, thawed

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 roasted and salted shelled pistachios

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 golden raisins

  • 4 oz 4 feta, crumbled

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 pomegranate arils

  • 1 large 1 avocado, ripe, pitted, peeled and sliced

Directions

  • Pre heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine chick peas with 2 TBSP olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. Spread chick peas onto the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until dark golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.
  • In a small sauce pan combine sherry vinegar with sugar. Cook on medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Add in shallots and cook for 1 minute on low. Remove from heat and cover. Let rest for 30 minutes. Drain liquid and set shallots aside.
  • Prepare couscous by toasting it in 1 TBSP of olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Stir constantly to prevent sticking. Add in water according to instructions on box. Cook 8-10 minutes until couscous is plump and tender. Fluff couscous with a fork- do not use a spoon.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine with a whisk 3 TBSP olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and pepper flakes. Gently stir in warm couscous and toss until combined.
  • Add to couscous, spinach and arugula and mint, shallots, chick peas, raisins, thawed peas, pistachios and toss. Gently top with pomegranate arils, avocado and crumbled feta and serve. Serves 4-6.
a white bowl filled with salad
This salad is impressive enough for company and healthy.

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