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Vegan Couscous Salad With Tofu

This light and fluffy vegan couscous salad with tofu is loaded with fresh and flavorful salad ingredients and a simple lemon juice dressing – perfect as a refreshing side dish, light main meal, or picnic offering.

Change up your couscous vegan salad with ease by adding in extra vegetables or making substitutions to suit your preference. This Mediterranean couscous salad stores really well in the refrigerator, allowing you to prepare your meal ahead of time. 

Is Couscous a grain?

While couscous certainly looks like a grain and is often thought of as a grain, there is some debate as to whether it’s more closely linked to pasta.

Regardless, couscous is made from wheat or barley (depending on the type purchased) and is typically enjoyed with stews, vegetables, tagines, or used as a base salad ingredient as done for this Turkish couscous salad with tofu. 

It’s packed full of health benefits too – a good source of protein and high in Selenium – meaning it’s something you can feel good about eating.

What You’ll Need to Make this Mediterranean Couscous Salad

This super easy couscous salad comes together with just a few simple, fresh flavors. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Dry couscous
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Firm tofu
  • Cucumber
  • Lemons
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs like mint, basil, parsley, or dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Tofu Couscous Salad

Start by cooking the couscous. In a pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add 1/2 tsp salt and the couscous, and stir. Put the lid on the couscous, and remove the pot from the heat, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then open the lid to let it cool.

Add a tbsp olive oil to a skillet and set the heat to medium. Fry the tofu until golden brown.

Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes and cucumbers and set aside.

Prepare the salad by adding the couscous, tomatoes, tofu, and cucumber to a large bowl. Add chopped herbs, lemon juice and a tbsp of olive oil. Stir well to combine.

Season with salt & pepper to taste, and serve.

How to Store Veg Couscous Salad

This easy couscous salad is great for storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, either as leftovers or with the intention of making your salad a day or two ahead of time. 

Since this tofu couscous contains fresh cucumber and tomatoes, I recommend serving any leftovers chilled. If you altered this recipe and used roasted or sauteed vegetables instead then you could certainly reheat your veggie couscous salad in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. 

While it’s best to keep this couscous salad chilled when not in use, I don’t recommend freezing it. The crisp salad ingredients are not going to hold up for any amount of time in the freezer. 

What Variations Can I Make to This Couscous Vegan Salad?

  • There’s no doubt that this vegan couscous salad recipe has a Mediterranean cuisine influence to it. If you enjoy Mediterranean food, you could easily take a step further and add in kalamata olives; roasted or fresh red peppers; or some crumbled vegan feta cheese.
  • I’ve used regular, Moroccan style couscous for this salad. It’s a smaller couscous, but you can certainly mix it up and use one of the larger varieties too. There’s Israeli (pearl), or Lebanese couscous varietoes too. Just make sure you amend the cooking instructions if using the larger varieties.
  • For a “meaty” couscous salad, consider adding in some sauteed mushrooms.  

Why is my Couscous Dense and Sticking Together?

If you’ve ever made couscous that has turned out dense and sticking together rather than being light and fluffy, it’s most likely that it was left in hot water on a high heat for longer than recommended.

As soon as the water on the stovetop has boiled, add the couscous with salt and stir once only. You then need to close the lid of the saucepan and remove it from the stovetop immediately, allowing the couscous to steam for about 5 minutes.

Once 5 minutes is up, remove the lid and allow the couscous to cool. This will provide you with light and fluffy couscous. 

How to Serve this Tomato Couscous Salad

Couscous vegan salad can be enjoyed as a starter salad, a side salad, or as a wholesome light main meal.

Adding additional vegetables can help make this couscous a more substantial meal or serve it alongside some freshly made homemade dinner rolls.

You could quite easily use this couscous salad as a filling in hollowed-out acorn squash or bell peppers too! If you go this route, you may wish to cut the salad ingredients into smaller sizes. 

Tips for Making the Best Couscous Salad

  • Couscous should never be cooked under high constant heat otherwise it will become dense. 
  • While I’ve used a very simple salad dressing consisting of lemon juice and olive oil (in fact, it’s really more of a light coating), feel free to add a different salad dressing to your salad.
  • This couscous salad can easily be doubled if you are serving more people or halved for fewer servings. 

Other delicious vegan salads to try:

Vegan Couscous Salad with Tofu

Vegan Couscous Salad With Tofu

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This light and fluffy vegan couscous salad with tofu is loaded with fresh and flavorful salad ingredients and a simple lemon juice dressing – perfect as a refreshing side dish or light main meal. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 12oz firm tofu
  • 1 cucumber
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh herbs such as mint, basil, parsley, or dill
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Start by cooking the couscous. In a pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add 1/2 tsp salt and the couscous, and stir. Put the lid on the couscous, and remove the pot from the heat, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then open the lid to let it cool.
  2. Add a tbsp olive oil to a skillet and set the heat to medium. Fry the tofu until golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes and cucumbers and set aside.
  4. Add a tbsp olive oil to a skillet and set the heat to medium. Fry the tofu until golden brown.
  5. Prepare the salad by adding the couscous, tomatoes, tofu, and cucumber to a large bowl. Add chopped herbs, lemon juice and a tbsp of olive oil. Stir well to combine.
  6. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and serve.

Notes

Optional extras include kalamata olives, red bell pepper, or vegan feta cheese.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 127mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 13g

Nutrition information should be considered as an estimation only.

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