How to Use Couscous + Broccoli Couscous Salad

broccoli salad with couscous

If you’ve never worked with couscous before, I hope you will love it. Here’s a quick post about how to use couscous and a quick, easy recipe to use it.

How to Use Couscous

Couscous is not a whole grain. It is made with semolina flour, so you can think of it like teeny, tiny pasta. But because it’s so small, it ‘cooks’ in just five minutes. Simply boil some water (1-1 ratio of grain to water) and pour over the couscous. Let stand for 5 minutes, and done! I like to add some salt, pepper, olive oil and dried basil while my couscous is softening to add some flavor. And then proceed with the salad. If you are gluten-free or looking for whole grain options, this could just as easily be made with quinoa or millet- although cooking directions differ. See our guide to millet here and quinoa tips here.

Couscous Broccoli Salad

This gorgeous and simple salad is a great winter-to-spring transitional food. The cooked stuff gives you the warming energy needed for winter, but because it’s served cold it works during the spring season too. But, of course, swap out the veggies to keep it good for all seasons (snap peas and greens in spring, beets and pumpkin in autumn, perhaps?)


how to use couscous broccoli couscous salad
broccoli salad with couscous

3 cups water
1 cup couscous
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup sliced olives (any variety)
Mustard Dressing
¼ cup olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon mixed Italian herbs

  1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add couscous to a large glass bowl. Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water on top of couscous and stir. Cover and let stand 5-10 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Place broccoli and carrots into a large glass bowl. Pour remaining boiling water over broccoli and carrots. Cover, and let stand five minutes to slightly blanch, then drain and toss with couscous. Add olives and chickpeas.
  3. Toss together Dressing ingredients and then pour over couscous mixture. Toss to combine. Serve immediately of save leftovers for up to three days. Enjoy!

Yield: 3-4 servings


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About Andrea Bertoli 518 Articles
A vegan chef, cookbook author, educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in Honolulu, Andrea is also the Accounts Manager for Important Media. Follow her foodie adventures at, Vibrant Wellness Journal, and Eat Drink Better. Find more from Andrea on Facebook and Instagram

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