Spicy Moroccan Chickpea and Couscous Salad

Moroccan chickpea salad with couscous, veggies, green olives, and mint in a blue bowl.

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You'll love the enticing flavors and textures of spicy Moroccan chickpea and couscous salad with nutritious vegan ingredients and no added oil.


Units Scale
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 cans), rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white wine, broth, or water
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 zucchinis (courgette), diced
  • 16 pitted, green olives
  • 2 teaspoons harissa powder
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint chopped or chiffonade


  1. Prep the veggies, chickpeas, and dressing. Gather all the ingredients before you begin cooking. Mix ¼ a cup of lemon juice, the harissa powder, and maple syrup in a small bowl and set it aside. Toss the chickpeas with the cumin, paprika, and salt.
  2. Make the couscous. Add dry couscous to a medium bowl. Add ¼ a cup of lemon juice plus 1 ¼ cup of boiling water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid. Allow the couscous to rehydrate.
  3. Toast the chickpeas. Heat a large skillet or heavy-bottomed pan to medium heat. Add the seasoned chickpeas and stir them constantly for about 5 minutes until they get slightly brown and firm. Remove them from the skillet and place them in a small bowl.
  4. Deglaze the skillet and sauté the veggies. Return the skillet to the stove and add ¼ a cup of wine (you can also use broth or water). Heat the skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and zucchini. Allow the veggies to cook, and stir them often until they are soft and tender. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove any stuck-on spices from the chickpeas.
  5. Add olives and dressing. Adjust the heat to low, and stir in the olives and lemon dressing. Turn off the heat and toss in the chickpeas.
  6. Fluff the couscous. Remove the plastic wrap from the couscous and fluff it with a fork. Stir in half of the mint.
  7. Finish the salad. Transfer the veggies, chickpeas, and couscous to a salad bowl, or add the couscous to the skillet. Garnish with the remaining mint and lemon wedges (if desired). Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • Harissa powder is quite spicy, so you may want to start with 1 teaspoon and taste the dressing before adding it to the vegetables. If harissa powder isn’t available, try ras el hangout, berbere spice blend, or chili powder.
  • Store leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Mix in a bit of lemon juice to spruce it up before serving it.


Keywords: Moroccan chickpea salad, vegan salads, garbanzo beans, couscous