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Mediterranean Couscous Salad With Chickpeas and Fresh Dill

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Melanie is an avid vegan homemaker who has been enjoying cooking and experimenting in the kitchen for over 15 years.

A refreshingly light yet filling salad with couscous, chickpeas, red onion, bell peppers, cucumber, and a light lemon vinaigrette.

A refreshingly light yet filling salad with couscous, chickpeas, red onion, bell peppers, cucumber, and a light lemon vinaigrette.

I hated tomatoes and avocados for the longest time—we're talking probably 15 years, if not longer. Yet despite the gag factor, I would force myself to eat them because I knew that they were good for me.

I am happy to say that all those seemingly endless, unpalatable meals shoveled into my mouth actually paid off over the years. Over time my taste buds shifted and now I can actually sit down and enjoy these ingredients. Particularly in my favorite guacamole recipe, which— scout's honor—was the thing that actually broke me down and allowed me to enjoy them both for the very first time in my life.

This, I would say, describes the current relationship I have with chickpeas. I'm truly not a fan, but the more I eat them, the more I can say they are becoming "tasty". Truth be told, I don't use them a lot in my cooking, but for some reason this particular salad is something I cannot get enough of. The combination of the unctuous dressing and couscous along with the freshness of everything else is, to me, the perfect combination, and makes for a very hearty meal.

While I can assuredly say that if the chickpeas in this salad were omitted the salad would still be delicious, the creaminess that they lend to the dish makes it a real bonne bouche. I love to have salads like these that are healthy, filling, delicious, prep up easy and store well in the fridge. This recipe checks all those boxes for me, so I know you will love it, too.

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

15 min

25 min

Makes about 8 cups


For the couscous:

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 vegan chik'n bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water

For the salad:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
  • 1 English cucumber, unpeeled, small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 orange bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 cup packed red onion, small dice
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, about 2 lemons
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Once melted add the couscous and toast it for about 5 minutes or until it's lightly golden brown, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  2. Once the couscous is toasted, add 1 1/2 cups of water to the pot, throw in the bouillon cube, and quickly bring to a light boil on high heat. Once boiling, immediately reduce to medium-low heat, place the lid on the pot, and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the couscous is tender. Stir it every now and then as it cooks to prevent sticking and burning.
  3. While the couscous is cooking, finely chop the dill. Then prepare the bell peppers, onion, and cucumber by dicing them small. The idea is to get everything in one bite so make sure the pieces aren't too large.
  4. Once the couscous is tender, drain and rinse under cold water until it comes to room temperature. Mix up the couscous with your hand as you rinse to make sure and break up the heat in the center. Place the strainer over a pot to drain all the water from the couscous.
  5. While it drains, juice the lemons and add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Mix and taste for salt and pepper; adjust as needed.


  • English cucumbers have a thinner skin than your average, everyday cucumber. Because I used an English cucumber in this recipe, I did not peel it. If you are substituting with a regular cucumber, you should consider peeling it because the skins can be very thick and unappetizing.
  • The bouillon cube is not necessary, but it does add a great deal of flavor. If you decide not to use it, make sure you at least salt the water to give the couscous some flavor.
  • The couscous will absorb the dressing as time passes. Refresh the salad with a little lemon juice and olive oil as needed.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

© 2022 Melanie

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