Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Spicy & Citrusy Couscous Salad

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 5 cups.

Servings: six as a side dish.

When I make this for picnics, I prepare it the night before, refrigerate it, and serve it cool the next day.


  • 2 cups vegetable broth, low-salt chicken broth, or water
  • 1-1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 pinch saffron threads (optional)
  • 3/4 tsp. harissa or 2 to 3 dashes of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on six servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 346
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 189
  • Fat (g): 21
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 308
  • Carbohydrates (g): 34
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 6


  • In a medium saucepan, bring the broth or water, paprika, saffron (if using), harissa or hot sauce, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of white pepper to a boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low to keep the broth at a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and red pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft but not browned, 8 to 10 min. Add the couscous and stir to coat the grains with oil. Remove  the pan from heat. Add the simmering liquid to the couscous and stir to evenly distribute the liquid. Cover the pan and let it sit until all the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, 5 to 7 min. Remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork. Set aside to cool for 15 min.
  • Whisk the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil with the orange zest, orange juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss with the couscous. Let cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container or a bowl covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Put the scallions, almonds, dried currants, and parsley in a separate container and refrigerate.
  • Just before heading to the picnic, stir the scallions, almonds, currants, and parsley into the couscous. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • NikkiR | 03/03/2014

    Easy and unbelievably good.

  • aburnette13 | 08/21/2011

    My husband didn't like this salad, but I count him as an anomaly. It was a hit at a potluck picnic. When I collected our container at the end of the meal, I found it nearly empty, while the other containers were at least half full.

  • Jason123 | 07/21/2008

    This is really delicious with lots of different flavours and textures. It's also an easy make ahead dish which is great for entertaining many at a time.

  • Cotoncook | 06/22/2008

    Couscous is always fast. This recipe's combination of herbs and orange creates a refreshing and bright dish. Perfect, perfect for summer -- great for a picnic, or barbecue.

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial