Easy Healthy Roasted Vegetable Couscous Recipe

Roasted Vegetable Couscous perfuming your kitchen with fragrant Moroccan spices? It’s our favourite healthy warm salad idea.

Looking for the best Roasted Vegetable Couscous recipe? Our vegetarian and vegan couscous recipe is inspired by our travels to Morocco.

Serve this spicy couscous on its own in a bowl or as a healthy side dish to accompany grilled seafood, barbecued meat, tasty tagine or your favourite vegan entree.

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Travel to Morocco by Eating Roasted Vegetable Couscous at Home

I love traveling to Africa and the Middle East.

As a food and travel writer I’ve had the opportunity to write about the food culture in Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Dubai, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Morocco.

I had the opportunity to visit Morocco on a 2 week trip. I highly suggest organizing a road trip of Morocco to explore the North African country’s diverse tourism destinations. You can enjoy bustling cities like Casablanca and Marrakech or explore rural mountain towns and beautiful beaches.

What I find most fascinating is Morocco’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in France, Germany, Italy or Spain, each region has its own local speciality.

Visitors can enjoy authentic Moroccan dishes at affordable local restaurants, or dine at famous luxury hotels such as Four Seasons Casablanca, Four Seasons Marrakech or La Mamounia.

Once back home you’ll have a newfound appreciation for Moroccan flavours and can impress friends and family by making the best Roasted Vegetable Couscous!

Ingredients you'll need to make Roasted Vegetable Couscous.
Ingredients you’ll need to make Roasted Vegetable Couscous.

Where To Eat Roasted Vegetable Couscous

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to a local Moroccan restaurants that serve traditional couscous.

Haven’t traveled to Morocco before? It may be helpful to first sample roasted vegetable couscous at a local Moroccan restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can also assess the ingredients and texture of the dish before trying to make it at home from scratch.

In Toronto, popular Moroccan restaurants that may serve roasted vegetable couscous include Atlas, Diwan, Byblos, The Sultan’s Tent, Bar Sybanne and Morocco House.

What is Couscous?

Couscous is crushed durum wheat semolina formed into small granules that are smaller than rice. The savoury dish is commonly served in North African, Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian cuisine. The less refined grain is sold in different varieties of couscous with interesting nutritional benefits.

The neutral taste of couscous allows it to be served as a simple side dish. It can also be transformed into more creative recipes like fresh salads or infused with broths, stocks, meats, vegetables, and spices for a satisfying soup.

In Morocco, couscous is traditionally served as a hearty main course, topped with roasted vegetables and meats like grilled lamb, goat or chicken.

At your local grocery store you will likely find two varieties of couscous: regular (the smaller variety) and Israeli, the size of a small pearl.

Couscous is an excellent vegetarian or vegan grain option, but not gluten-free. It’s low in fat and offers healthy proteins and some minerals. Search for a whole wheat flour variety to increase the dishes dietary fibre and protein content.

Chop vegetables so they are approximately the same size before roasting.
Chop vegetables so they are approximately the same size before roasting.

My Family Loves Roasted Vegetable Couscous

My family loves roasted vegetables and fresh salads so preparing a Moroccan couscous was a no brainer.

My dad’s favourite way to eat vegetables is by roasting root vegetables in olive oil and baking them in the oven. We usually like to roast vegetables like onions, parsnips, carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, yams and zucchini.

My mother has a huge spice drawer in the kitchen and endless bags of couscous in her cupboards. She typically prepares couscous when she’s looking to make a quick and healthy last minute meal. Couscous does not require cooking over the stove. The hot broth is simply poured over the dried couscous and in a few minutes they are ready to eat!

Our Roasted Vegetable Couscous recipe marries my families love for crispy veggies and flavourful North African salads.

Roasted Vegetable Couscous: Mix wet ingredients then add them to a bow filled with dried couscous and raisins.
Roasted Vegetable Couscous: Mix wet ingredients then add them to a bow filled with dried couscous and raisins.

Tips for Making Crispy Roasted Vegetables

If you’re a beginner cook you’ll find the preparation of the broth and couscous to be very straight forward and easy. If you’re a family with kids you might want to have your children help in the kitchen as couscous does not require hot flames or sharp knives.

This recipe calls for chicken broth but if you are vegetarian or vegan you can substitute for mushroom or vegetable stock.

We’ve included raisins in our Roasted Vegetable Couscous recipe but you could use other popular Middle Eastern dried fruits such as apricot, figs or dates.

Roasted vegetables are a bit more tricky to perfect so we’ve included a few tips and tricks to ensure they end up perfectly browned, caramelized and crispy.

  • Select vegetables that have a similar moisture and sugar content. This recipe features many hearty vegetables like sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots, which tend to cook at a similar rate. This ensures the vegetables cook evenly. There’s nothing worse than eating a roasted vegetable couscous muddled with burnt or undercooked food.
  • Cut, chop or slice the vegetables so they are a uniform size. Before placing it in the oven, the baking tray should feature a variety of vegetables that are similar in size. This ensure that small pieces do not burn before the rest of the vegetables are perfectly cooked.
  • Toss your vegetables in oil such as canola or olive. Do not toss vegetables in any liquid other than oil or they will cook into a mushy product rather than a crispy and crunchy carrot or parsnip. My father loves sherry and once tossed vegetables in fortified wine, which was a huge mistake. They came out of the oven soggy and sad.
  • Give your roasted vegetables plenty of space on the baking sheet. This recipe will likely require you to use two large baking sheets. Ensure the chopped vegetables are spaced out and not touching so they can brown and crisp in the oven properly. It’s important you understand the science to roasting. Our goal in the oven is to ensure the vegetables release moisture when exposed to high temperature so the oil they’re tossed in can help crisp the exterior. This is why we don’t add liquid flavourings like lemon juice, vinegar or wine until after the vegetables have roasted. If your baking sheet is overly crowded, the moisture gets trapped, causing the vegetables to get mushy rather than crispy.
  • Ensure the oven is set to a very hot temperature. The vegetables will crisp up quicker on a metal baking pan at temperatures over 400 F.
Let couscous and roasted vegetables cool before assembling the warm Moroccan salad.
Let couscous and roasted vegetables cool before assembling the warm Moroccan salad.

How To Make Moroccan Couscous

  1. Preheat oven to 475F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place bell pepper, carrots, parsnip, sweet potatoes, onions and zucchini on baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and toss to evenly coat. Roast in preheated oven about 45 minutes until tender, tossing once after 30 minutes of roasting.
  3. In a small mixing bowl whisk together remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and season with salt. Set aside.
  4. Heat broth in microwave or over the stove, adding remaining salt and turmeric. Place couscous and raisins in a large mixing bowl, pour hot chicken broth over couscous and stir, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Add roasted vegetables, chickpeas, almonds, cilantro, mint and lemon mixture to couscous and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with sumac and serve warm.
Serve Roasted Vegetable Couscous topped with chopped almonds.
Serve Roasted Vegetable Couscous topped with chopped almonds.

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Best Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Healthy Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Looking to learn how to make the best Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Couscous? Our quick & easy recipe is a healthy warm salad for vegetarians and vegans.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 6
Calories: 637kcal

Equipment

  • French knife
  • mixing bowl
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • pot
  • baking sheet
  • oven
  • spatula

Ingredients

  • 1 Red Bell Pepper cored and diced
  • 1 Large Carrot diced
  • 1 Large Parsnip diced
  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato diced
  • 1 Vidalia Onion diced
  • 1 Zucchini diced
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cups Dry Couscous
  • 1 3/4 cups Chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 cup Raisins
  • 14 oz Canned Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Smoked Almonds roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp Cilantro
  • 2 tbsp Mint
  • 1/2 tsp Sumac

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 475F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place bell pepper, carrots, parsnip, sweet potatoes, onions and zucchini on baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and toss to evenly coat. Roast in preheated oven about 45 minutes until tender, tossing once after 30 minutes of roasting.
  • While vegetables are roasting, in a small mixing bowl whisk together remaining 3 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and season with 1/4 tsp salt, set aside.
  • Bring chicken broth, 1/2 tsp salt and turmeric to a boil. Place couscous and raisins in a large mixing bowl, pour hot chicken broth over couscous and stir, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Add roasted vegetables, chickpeas, almonds, cilantro, mint and lemon mixture to couscous and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with sumac and serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 637kcal | Carbohydrates: 104.8g | Protein: 22.9g | Fat: 15.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Sodium: 309mg | Potassium: 1472mg | Fiber: 19.3g | Sugar: 23.2g | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 8mg

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