Roasted Cauliflower Couscous

Cook Eat WorldAfrican FoodMoroccanRoasted Cauliflower Couscous

By Lee Jackson ↣ Published on: January 8, 2021

Last Updated: January 5th, 20230 Comments

My roasted cauliflower couscous is an amazing healthy combination of flavour and texture. Roasted cauliflower is sheer perfection when it’s teamed with fluffy grains of couscous and soft, creamy garlic and vegetables. A cornucopia of flavour and fragrance.

Roasted Cauliflower Couscous on a platter

This Moroccan inspired roasted cauliflower couscous is one of the tastiest side-dishes ever. I say side-dish, it can easily handle being a meal in its own right. Oven roasted and charred cauliflower intensifies in flavour and takes centre stage in this combination of vegetables and soft, fluffy couscous. Did anyone say flavourful? Did they then say healthy? Yes! Yes, they did!

This happens to be one of my most popular Moroccan inspired recipes, both here and at home, so it's about time you tried it yourself, right?

Couscous in a bowl

What is couscous?

Did you know that couscous is a type of pasta? To create couscous, durum wheat flour is combined with water and in-turn creates tiny grain sized balls. They look a little like bulghur wheat or quinoa but are not actually a whole grain at all. Couscous is a staple in North Africa and eaten widely in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. It's often steamed, fresh or dried and rehydrated and easy to find in most supermarkets. Rehydrating couscous is simple and quick, making it one of my favourite, fuss-free staples to serve alongside tagine stews.

But couscous it's also a fantastic ingredient to combine with fresh and cooked vegetables to create exciting main courses, just like this healthy and flavourful recipe for roasted cauliflower couscous.

Why it works

  • Abundance - I love that this dish is a celebration of cauliflower alongside other roasted vegetables. You can just feel the goodness with every heaped spoonful.
  • Roasted cauliflower! - If you haven't experienced the transformation of cauliflower by roasting it, you haven't lived.
  • It's Easy! - All you need to do is roast some vegetables and rehydrate the couscous. So easy!
  • It's filling and healthy - It's a hearty, filling dish that will satisfy any hunger.

Stuff you'll need

Roasted cauliflower couscous is simple to put together, with a few key ingredients to make the magic happen. There's a full recipe below.

  • Couscous - plain variety.
  • Cauliflower - If you're new to the magic of roasted cauliflower, you're in for a treat!
  • Red onion, garlic and red bell pepper - bring more sweet savouriness to the mix, especially when it's roasted!
  • Stock - soaking the couscous in stock gives it a tonne more flavour. Chicken is my go-to, but vegetable is great too.
  • Butter - I'll often add a little ghee or butter to the hot stock for even more flavour. In Morocco they use a fermented butter attractively named 'smen'. Its funky smell is most like a stinky blue cheese, if you're up for a challenge, make your own smen for the full Moroccan experience. I made some once, and I kinda love it!
  • Tomatoes - I like tangy heirloom or small and intensely tart Campari tomatoes.
  • Herbs & lemon - A Moroccan dish wouldn't be the same without citrus and herbs. Mix and match your favourite herbs. I always use parsley but often interchange with the likes of fresh dill, cilantro, mint, thyme and oregano.
Roasted Cauliflower Couscous on a platter

Step by Step

Making roasted cauliflower couscous is pretty simple. Learn how in only 4 steps.

  1. Step 1 - Roast the cauliflower, pepper and garlic with a little cumin, olive oil and seasoning until charred (around 30-40 minutes)
  2. Step 2 - Bring the stock to a boil and pour over the couscous in a bowl add the ghee and cumin and salt & pepper. Cover and leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Step 3 - Fluff up the couscous with a fork and then combine with the roasted vegetables, tomato and herbs.
  4. Step 4 - Squeeze over the lemon and drizzle with a little oil then serve.
Roasted cauliflower, peppers, onion and garlic on a baking tray for Roasted Cauliflower Couscous

Pro Tips to make your life easier

  • Make ahead - make this salad up to a day in advance and refrigerate until needed. Just before serving, give it a spritz of lemon and light drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
  • The perfect char on cauliflower will often look like you burnt it a bit. Don't be afraid of a little burn, it actually tastes terrific! Don't completely obliterate it, but see how far you can push it and taste the difference.
Roasted Cauliflower Couscous on a platter

Serving, storing and suggestions

  • Serving - Serve the cauliflower couscous at room temperature for the optimum taste. I like to serve it as a side dish or main course. If I'm serving it as a side dish I'll serve alongside Chicken Kebabs, Kefta Tagine or other vegetable dishes like Moroccan Matbucha, Zaalouk or Bessara.
  • Make a sauce - a quick tahini sauce works so well with this couscous dish. Mix 1/3 cup of tahini, 1/3 cup natural yoghurt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 garlic clove (minced), salt & pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Thin out with a little water to a thick, but runny consistency.
  • Substitutions and additions - You can add any kind of vegetables to this salad. I'll change up the recipe to add whatever I have and in the last have roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, green beans, celeriac. I'll often add a handful of pitted olives too or some chopped peel from preserved lemons.
  • Storage, Fridge - Leftovers will stay fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge. Either eat cold or bring up to room temperature for 1 hour for better a taste.
  • Storage, Freezer - For me, this is a dish best served fresh, so not a great contender for freezing.
Roasted Cauliflower Couscous on a platter

Ready to get cooking?

This assemblage of fresh, wholesome ingredients, mixed with fluffy tasty couscous is a super easy to make at home and a real winner for flavour, texture and fragrance. Hope you enjoy!

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower Couscous on a platter

Cous Cous with Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic

Rate this recipe

5 from 2 votes
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Recipe by Lee
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Moroccan
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 6
Calories (per serving) | 223

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cauliflower (separated into small florets)
  • ½ red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 garlic bulb (separated into cloves - skin on)
  • 1 red bell pepper (capsicum) (seeded and cut into chunks)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup couscous (plain)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (bring to boil)
  • 1 tsp ghee (or butter) (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tomatoes (cut into chunks)
  • 2 tbsp mint (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp dill (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp parsley (chopped)
  • 1 lemon (for squeezing over salad)
  • extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling - optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC
    Separate the cauliflower into small florets and arrange on a baking sheet with the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Drizzle over the olive oil and cumin seeds then season with salt and pepper and toss with your hands to ensure everything is coated.
    Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes until the everything is nicely charred.
    Remove from the oven and fish out the garlic cloves. Remove the skins and discard. Return the roasted garlic to the vegetables and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan then turn off the heat. Add the couscous, ghee (if using) and cumin powder and a little salt & pepper and stir once. Put on a lid and leave for 15 minutes.
    After 15 minutes fluff up with a fork.
  • In a large bowl, combine the couscous with the roasted vegetables. Gently stir in the tomatoes, mint, dill, parsley and the juice of half a lemon. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and season with a little more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve at room temperature with more lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Notes

  • Make a sauce - a quick tahini sauce works so well with this couscous dish. Mix 1/3 cup of tahini, 1/3 cup natural yoghurt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 garlic clove (minced), salt & pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Thin out with a little water to a thick, but runny consistency.
  • Substitutions and additions - You can add any kind of vegetables to this salad. I'll change up the recipe to add whatever I have and in the last have roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, green beans, celeriac. I'll often add a handful of pitted olives too or some chopped peel from preserved lemons.
  • Storage, Fridge - Leftovers will stay fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge. Either eat cold or bring up to room temperature for 1 hour for better a taste.
  • Storage, Freezer - For me, this is a dish best served fresh, so not a great contender for freezing.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal (11%) | Carbohydrates: 34g (11%) | Protein: 7g (14%) | Fat: 8g (12%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) | Sodium: 194mg (8%) | Potassium: 531mg (15%) | Fiber: 5g (21%) | Sugar: 5g (6%) | Vitamin A: 1186IU (24%) | Vitamin C: 89mg (108%) | Calcium: 47mg (5%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)
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