Curry Couscous Chickpea Salad

NFNut FreeSFRefined Sugar FreeVVegan
5 from 4 votes
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This Curry Couscous Chickpea Salad is a colorful and filling Indian-inspired fusion dish that makes for a perfect make-ahead lunch! Vegan.

Tired of eating the same boring lunch? Give this Curry Couscous Chickpea Salad a try! This tasty recipe is packed with colorful vegetables, herbs, and protein-dense chickpeas to make a wholesome and hearty lunch that will keep you full and satisfied.

Table of Contents
  1. Couscous: the 7-Minute Lunch You Didn’t Know You Needed
  2. Ingredients for Chickpea Couscous Salad
  3. How to Make Couscous Salad
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. How to Store Couscous Chickpea Salad
  6. Recipe FAQs
  7. Curry Couscous Chickpea Salad Recipe
curry couscous chickpea salad served on a wide bowl

Couscous: the 7-Minute Lunch You Didn’t Know You Needed

Did you know that couscous is actually a pasta? Well, kind of! Couscous is made from  crushed wheat flour that is shaped into small granules or larger pearls. This small grain-like pasta originates from Northern Africa and is very popular in couscous is very popular in African, Middle Eastern, and some Mediterranean recipes.

I love how couscous only needs to soak in boiling water for a few minutes instead of waiting for it to boil in a large pot of water – it’s a big time saver when you’re busy! I took my love of couscous and curry-flavored everything and combined them to make this colorful and nourishing Indian-inspired salad recipe.

Ingredients for Chickpea Couscous Salad

You only need 10 simple ingredients to make this hearty salad — most of them are pantry staples, plus a few veggies and herbs! I always keep couscous on hand in my pantry so I can make this fast and filling lunch recipe.

ingredients for curry chickpea salad laid out on a marble kitchen countertop
  • Couscous: this hearty grain is a great source of healthy carbohydrates! You can find couscous in the grain section of most grocery stores, often near the rice.
  • Shredded carrot: I like to buy pre-shredded carrot for this recipe to save on time, but you can also grate your own. 
  • Chickpeas: protein and fiber-rich chickpeas make this salad extra satiating and will keep you full until your next meal
  • Slivered almonds: add a lovely crunch! You could also use pine nuts or roasted cashews in this recipe, or swap the almonds for pumpkin seeds if you have a nut allergy.
  • Raisins: raisins add a nice sweet element to this salad – I especially enjoy them in my leftovers once they have had a chance to plump up and absorb some of the salad dressing.
  • Cilantro: cilantro adds a lovely green color to this salad and enhances it’s curry flavor! If you do not like cilantro, parsley would be a good substitute.
  • Avocado oil: this is the base oil for the easy curry-spiced dressing. I like to use avocado oil because it’s neutral in flavor, but extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil will work as well.
  • Lime juice: I prefer to use lime juice instead of lemon juice in this couscous salad recipe because it has a slightly sweeter flavor, and works really well with the curry flavor!
  • Apple cider vinegar: adds some extra acidity and helps all of the flavors of this salad “pop”
  • Curry powder: I recommend using a salt-free curry powder spice blend, which is available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. 

How to Make Couscous Salad

This recipe comes together in less than 15 minutes – and the majority of the time is waiting for the couscous to soak!

side-by-side images showing the preparation process of the salad
  1. Bring the water to a boil, then soak the dry couscous for 7 minutes in a large bowl.
  2. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small jar, seal, and shake until emulsified
  3. Fluff the couscous with a fork, then add in the remaining salad ingredients and dressing.
  4. Mix well, then serve and enjoy!

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Measure your water carefully: Properly cooked couscous should be light and fluffy, not dry or gummy. Make sure to use the exact amount of water listed (1 1/4 cup) for the perfect couscous texture.
  • Use the right couscous: I recommend using the fine-textured couscous for this recipe because you only need to soak it to cook it. Larger couscous shapes (like pearl couscous) require boiling and would make the recipe time longer.
a zoomed in image of the salad to show its texture

Serving Suggestions

This couscous salad is a perfect light lunch or dinner, or it can be enjoyed as a high-protein side dish alongside my Crispy Tofu or another protein of choice.

If you’re looking for more Indian-fusion recipes, you’ll also love this Curried Lentil Salad, this Chickpea Curry Dump & Bake Casserole, and this Creamy Coconut Red Lentil Curry!

How to Store Couscous Chickpea Salad

Unlike other pastas, couscous does not dry out after storing in the fridge. Store any leftovers in glass containers or jars in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you are making this recipe for meal prep I recommend pre-portioning your salad in advance!

This Couscous salad is meant to be served cold or at room temperature. I like to let my leftovers warm up for about 5 to 10 minutes before enjoying it for a healthy lunch!

curry couscous chickpea salad served in a white bowl with a fork dug in, topped with silvered almonds

Recipe FAQs

Is couscous gluten-free?

No, couscous contains semolina flour, which is a type of wheat. Use cooked quinoa as a good gluten-free couscous substitute.

What does couscous taste like?

Couscous is essentially a pasta, so it has a very subtle nutty flavor. This makes it very versatile and easy to season in a variety of ways!

Why is my couscous dry?

Couscous may have a dry texture if you did not cook or soak it in enough water. Make sure to read the instructions on your package of couscous to get the proper grain-to-water ratio.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Curry Couscous Chickpea Salad

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
This Curry Couscous Chickpea Salad is a colorful and filling Indian-inspired fusion dish that makes for a perfect make-ahead lunch! Vegan.


For the Salad:

  • 1 cup couscous*
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 15 ounce cans garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins*
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the Dressing:


  • Cook the Couscous: Bring the water to a boil on the stovetop or in an electric kettle. Add the couscous to a large bowl with a pinch of salt and pour the boiling water over it; mix well, then cover with a plate or lid and let sit for 7 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside. (Note: if you are warming the water on the stovetop, you can remove it from the heat and add the couscous directly to the pot)
  • Make the Dressing: Add the oil to a small jar along with the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, curry powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (if using), and salt. Seal the jar and shake well until emulsified; set aside.
  • Combine: Add the chickpeas, carrot, almonds, raisins, and chopped cilantro to the bowl with the couscous. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well until everything is combined.
  • Serve & Store: Enjoy immediately; if making for meal prep, transfer the salad into individual mason jars and store in the refrigerator. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

  • Gluten-Free: Couscous is not gluten-free, but you can make this salad with cooked quinoa instead! Cook 1 cup of dry quinoa according to package directions and proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
  • Raisins: If you do not like raisins you can substitute them with chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries


Calories: 605kcalCarbohydrates: 81gProtein: 20gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.003gSodium: 333mgPotassium: 734mgFiber: 15gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 5575IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 128mgIron: 5mg
Keyword: chickpea salad, couscous salad, curry couscous salad, vegan lunch ideas, vegan salad recipes
Course: Salad
Method: Stovetop
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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  1. 5 stars
    Perfect easy meal for weeknights and lunches! I swapped couscous for quinoa for added protein and to make it GF. Then did tofu instead of beans. Topped with asparagus and half an avo. I want to have this in my fridge at all times.

  2. 5 stars
    This is delicious! Really fresh with a lot of flavor from the fresh cilantro and curry and then a pop of sweetness from the carrots and raisins. I followed the recipe exactly but omitted the cayenne pepper.