Southwest Couscous Salad with Black Beans, chopped peppers and crunchy corn is a perfect side salad that can be served hot or cold. If you haven’t tried couscous, you must get behind this not-quite-a-pasta, not quite-a-grain dish that is served all over the world in International cultures.
Southwest Couscous Salad
Typically when you see couscous ingredients, they are Moroccan or Israli in nature. However this particular couscous recipe below is just as good. Full of Southwestern (Tex-Mex) flavors, its a delicious way to test out couscous if you have never tried these little baby balls of goodness. Now admittedly, couscous can be a weird texture for many, but my husband, who is SO sensitive to texture, LOVES this salad.
Couscous is not like anything else out there that are usually in our diets so stepping out of the comfort zone can be hard. But once its full of spices and containing some veggies or protein, can be a perfect filling meal or side dish.
DO NOT BE AFRAID OF IT! IT’S COUSCOUS IS DELICIOUS!
You can whip this delicious couscous salad together in 20 minutes, with the majority of the time being cooking the couscous itself. It’s pretty quick and its the BEST! This salad, which can be used as a delicious serving salad for potlucks, is also a really great salad for just your family on a Tex-Mex cooking night. This recipe was first published in Jan 2019 and was updated with a few ingredient changes to make it even better in Sept 2020.
- (1) 10 oz box of Couscous – make as directed on box
- 1/4th cup + 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 freshly squeezed lime
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup corn
- (2) 15.25 ounce cans black beans, drained & rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
What Exactly is Couscous?
Couscous is actually little granules made from the hardest part of wheat. Its a common meal in Morocco and North Africa and considered a “pasta” dish by most. Couscous look like tiny small pellets and is one of the better dishes for large crowds. You can make it like I did above, in a side dish salad, or even add meat and spices for a traditional main dish recipe.
Many people mistake spelling it like kuskuz or cuscuz.
Types of Couscous you can buy:
- Moroccan – semolina and small
- Israeli – semolina and larger
- Lebanese – Pearl Couscous and much larger than the other two
- For this recipe, I used the FAR EAST COUSCOUS brand, which I purchased at Walmart for about $1.
Couscous Black Bean Salad Recipe
To get started on this recipe, first make your box of couscous. Just follow the instructions on the 10 oz box. Once done, set aside to fluff and break up any chunks.
Moving on to the dressing, in a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar and ground cumin.
In a separate bowl, add chopped green onions, chopped red pepper, fresh cilantro, drained corn and drained beans and toss together.
Add cooked couscous into the vegetable bowl and mix again well until ingredients are combined.
Pour Southwestern dressing into couscous bowl and mix up. A spatula (and a deep bowl) works well to make sure everything is properly coated.
Feel free to add salt and pepper (you should always add salt and pepper!) and finished salad can be served immediately or stored in a sealed container till ready to eat.
Just a side note- this recipe is really forgiving to add or take away from. You could add yellow peppers, more corn, ground beef – totally fine to make it “your own” too!
How to serve Couscous Salad?
- Warm – great as a warm salad side dish, along side fish Tacos, BBQ, or stuffed into a burrito. Makes a great vegetarian meal OR just add a little ground beef for a filling option.
- Cold – This salad can be served immediately and still tastes great right out of the fridge the next day. VERY versatile!
Is Couscous healthy?
There are much healthier (and also worse) options on the nutrition scale. Couscous is not considered a huge source of nutrients but like many foods can be purchased with a whole wheat version. Its not exactly unhealthy either and fine for a balanced diet.
- Is Couscous a carb? Yes, couscous is a carb.
- Is Couscous a grain? Not really.
- Is Couscous a pasta? Not really…but closer to a pasta than a grain.
If you made this recipe and altered in any way that tastes delicious (or have feedback!) please leave me a comment.
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