Beach Cottage Too Easy Dump & Go Cous Cous Salad

Tue 24th, Jan, 2012

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G’day Beach Cottage friends, how’s about we have us a little coastal summer recipe today huh?

Well, it’s not really coastal and we eat this in the Winter too, but it looks like summer to me at the moment, I love the colours in this salad.

I wanted to blog this before Australia Day, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere that read this blog, because just like my layered salad (if you are looking for a super salad and haven’t tried it yet, this is THE salad for you, click here for the recipe), this is an easy peasy bring-a-long and even better, you can make it the night before and it will sit happily in the fridge until needed.

I first discovered couscous not long before I had baby number three and it’s been saving my bacon ever since.  I always always have at least two packets of this stuff in the cupboard…it’s quick, easy and very economical.

My favourite salad with couscous is Tabbouleh, which I also make a lot, but, if I were to be really honest, the Beach Cottage kiddos prefer this one…that’s ok with me.

This is a wonderful combo of my fave flavours lemon, garlic and a glut of herbs…I was reminded of it recently while camping when a friend had bought along something similar.

The best thing about this salad is that it’s throw-together…another Dump & Go Salad…we love us some dumping yeah ;-)


Beach Cottage Too Easy Dump & Go Couscous Salad


1 1/2 cups couscous

1 1/2 cups chopped preserved peppers (capsicum)

1 small red onion

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 cup cold water

1 chicken or vegetable stock cube

1/4 cup water from the kettle

1/2 clove garlic

2 tomatoes

juice of 1 large lemon

1 tsp white wine vinegar

2 1/2 cups fresh herbs (basil, Italian parsely)

5 tbsp olive oil



1. You need a nice looking bowl to start with (this doubles as the mixing bowl & serving bowl : limited clear-up)


2. Add your couscous to the bowl


2. pour on 1 cup water & from a recently boiled kettle 1/3 cup water into which you have popped a chicken or vegetable stock cube

3. add the juice of 1 large lemon & the olive oil


4. finely chop the onion & garlic


5. chop the tomatoes &  sun-dried tomatoes & herbs


6.  now add all your chopped ingredients to the couscous,  lots of salt & pepper to taste & stir

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7. taste and add another squeeze of lemon, lug of oil should it need it


Beach Cottage Notes :  you can leave out the sun-dried tomatoes  *ensure your onion is finely chopped  *if you love garlic, like me, up it  *if you prefer your couscous without a bite boil all the water, add it to the bowl and pop a plate on top (my kiddos like it this way)  *any fresh herbs you have work here really…I go for mostly Italian Parsley, basil and whatever else is growing, coriander/cilantro will work beautifully here (I don’t like it)   *you can use roasted fresh pepper and I often do (I don’t bother to lose the skin, just chuck it all in)  *I always chuck in a bit of the sun-dried tomato oil  *this will sit happily overnight in the fridge…it will be a bit more ‘claggy’ but no dramas  * add some protein for a one dish meal…I often add feta cheese or leftover roast chicken  *double the recipe to have this as a main dish, this serves 4 as a side to a main meat etc


So that’s it for me and my Beach Cottage salad today, I hope you enjoyed the recipe…


For those interested the bowl is from Target, I have a few in this range, I love its chunky vintage style, its coastal blue and its quality…and with ‘vintage’ prices these days as we said the other day, this is a budget no-brainer


See you tomorrow for Good Life Wednesday…there’ll be yellow in the cottage…be there



p.s I’d love to hear how you use couscous in your life????


find more easy Beach Cottage Dump & Go Recipes for Real Girls here 



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53 Responses to “Beach Cottage Too Easy Dump & Go Cous Cous Salad”

  1. Alyson says:

    I’ll have to remember this one too – but I am still taking the layered salad to our neighbourly Australia Day Barbie :)

  2. Melinda says:

    Cous Cous is a big favourite around here – I love how you can throw all sorts of things into it to make endless”new” salads. AND its so quick!

    I like to add cumin, preserved lemon, currants, pistachios/pinenuts, rocket leaves, crumbled fetta, mint and parsely and then drizzle with olive oil anda squeeze of lemon juice – great with bbq lamb or chicken

    I’ll give yours a whirl in the next week – looks good xx

    • sarah says:

      hmm Melinda, I hadn’t thought of using preserved lemons, genius! thanks I will try that next time…also love throwing in some pinenuts too x

  3. Yvonne says:

    I love how versatile and quick to prepare couscous is! I will be trying out your recipe for sure :)

    For take-to-work lunch, I pour couscous into a tupperware container, add a few spices, e.g. tumeric, coriander and ginger, and then a good heap of frozen veg, e.g. cauliflower, peas, carrots. At lunchtime I pour some boiling water over the whole thing, and microwave for a minute or two, then stir. If I’ve got protein leftovers from dinner, I’ll add them too, but otherwise it’s a super-cheap, super-easy vegie lunch.

    • sarah says:

      omg that is a fabulous idea! mr bc could take this to work…really healthy and lovely too and super cheap, love that, in fact both my big kiddos could take this to school too as they have access to hot water xxx thanks very much xx

  4. Alice says:

    Yummy! I will have to try this one… The way I eat couscous is no where near as simple as yours but here goes….
    I usually rub some olive oil through my dry couscous and then mix it through some boiling chicken stock until most of the liquid has been absorbed(less than a minute)…Then I remove it from the heat stir in some of my parsley green sauce (quite a bit maybe 4-5tbs) and let it stand in the pan with the lid ajar to finish absorbing the stock and parsly sauce… I then cook some lamb/kangaroo steaks (that I have marinated in garlic, oregano, lime/lelmon, salt, pepper and olive oil for at least two hours but preferbly over night) in a fry pan and let it rest for a good 15 mins(keep it warm in foil in the microwave – OFF – ofcourse)… While the meat is resting I quickly chop up some red (or salad onion), tomatoes and cucumber (avocado too if on hand) and mix together in a bowl with some rocket and feta cheese… I then slice the meat into thinish slices and add to salad… I drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vingear and mix… I then “fork” up the couscous to fluff it up and serve the salad over the couscous… BEST combo of flavours ever – YUMMO! We eat this at least once a week in ur home! It takes about 1/2 hour from start to finish to get ready! Too easy for me…

  5. Becs says:

    I roast chopped onion, diced pumpkin & pine nuts with cumin, paprika, sesame seeds and olive oil in the oven, then add it to the cous cous made with chicken stock instead of straight water. LOVE it, we have it about once a week. Often I’ll add stuff like diced zuccini to the roasting tray too, or some fresh herbs to the finished product. Mmmm.

    • sarah says:

      thanks Becs…I roast vegetables all the time, especially in my new convection oven so could throw in my couscous…

  6. Steph Wilson says:

    Looks great, can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing.

    My fav cous cous meal is lemon cous cous with lamb and greek yoghurt but I only have that one in a while… def need to use cous cous more.


  7. Glennie says:

    Yum – that looks so nice and I like the thought of adding in feta. I’ve been using a Jamie Oliver tip and replacing breadcrumbs with couscous when I make hamburgers and meatloaf and it works beautifully. Makes a much smoother mixture (just a tad more moist but I just cut back on whatever sauce I’m putting in) and I just love making these in summer – I chuck the meatloaf in the oven at night and then we have it cold the next day and of course you just can’t beat a homemade burger – with beetroot of course !! I suspect that’s a Kiwi thing tho …. x

  8. loulou says:

    Hi Sarah,

    thank you for reminding me about couscous.

    I love it. I do a similar recipe to yours and I add sliced or chopped up Kalamata olives and crumpled fetta cheese.

    it’s kind of one of my ” never fail recipes” as well.

    Gorgeous styling and beautiful photos as always.

    Have a wonderful day,

    loulou, from hereiamloulou blog


  9. My computer is wonky tonight and I am hoping this is not a multiple reply ..

    I love couscous and like to make mine with onions, cherry tomatoes, a bit of masala seasoning sprinkled in and golden raisins .. sweet and spicy. I make it with fish most often but since we are also in Summer right now, I think I am going to make your version of couscous tomorrow night.

    I like loulou’s version with kalamata olives and feta also :)

    besitos, C

  10. I discovered couscous via this famous cook http://giadadelaurentiis.com/ .
    Love recipes. I don’t use couscous too often…I prefer rice. But after looking at your lovely recipe, I may have to give it another go.

    • sarah says:

      yes I LOVE rice too, especially fried rice, it’s my weakness…but this is SO easy, even easier, I believe than using my rice cooker, which is far from hard.

      thanks for stopping by Lisa x

  11. Susan says:

    Good Lord girl are we twins separated at birth?

    I add avocado to mine and have never tried the put of a jar capsicums {I always do my own but that would be so easy……. I must stop & have more of a browse in that supermarket section}

    Now… speaking of that have you tried the little red peppers stuffed with cheese? I first bought that at my local Sunshine Deli @ a ridiculous price & then discovered them in Coles. I put them in loads too… try them Yum!!

    Having a grey but pleasant day here….. hubby is high pressure hosing our driveway! I am cleaning a bookshelf in the twins room… because they are ALL at ‘school’…….. I am so excited! Is that awful? hahahaha

    • Susan says:

      “OUT” of a jar.. not put! see so excited I cannot type! :)

    • sarah says:

      awful, cripes I am JEALOUS as hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! especially of the pressure hosing the driveway …. bring on next week for us lol

      now, girl, we were separated at birth, I have been eating those red peppers stuffed with cheese from Coles since I came to Australia…I prefer the ones that aren’t sweet (the $40 a kilo ones!) but a lot of times they sell out of the other more hot ones…recently just discovered that Coles also do them in a jar on the shelves that you can keep in the pantry…they are ok, but not as good, but still good….could easily throw these in couscous…fab!

      love ya

  12. Kat says:

    I love cous cous, but never make it is hubby has coeliacs.
    Guess I could convince the four kiddo’s to eat it though!!
    This looks delish and very much to my taste. :)

  13. Tiff says:

    My go-to lunch is cous cous salad with whatever I have in the fridge. My kids hate it, so I enjoy it all to myself ;)
    Thanks for your take on in. I shall be trying it soon.

  14. Susan says:

    Hi, Sarah:

    I’ve never eaten couscous, so couldn’t tell you how I serve it, but I do have a general question, if you don’t mind! Your photographs are gorgeous as always. I’m curious how you take a picture of you holding something over the bowl – do you hold your camera with one hand (I’m sure I’d drop mine if I tried that!), or do you have someone else take the picture? I know – not really relevant to the post, but was just curious – I’m still learning this blog photography stuff :)

    • sarah says:

      Hi Susan

      I would rarely have someone take the picture for me…I just hold the camera in the other hand…if I am baking, or more correctly if Miss BC is baking and I am helping her she will often stop and take pics, but usually it’s me foofing around in the kitchen on my own

      also I am normally not willing to wait around for anyone else so just get on with it and snap myself…

      hope that helps


  15. I just need to substitute couscous with quinoa so it’s GF . YUM!

  16. Julia says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for the recipe. I like to add haloumi marinated in chilli, roast pumpkin, rocket, olive oil and lemon juice to couscous. This is a salad that I often take to BBQs. Will try yours this week.

  17. calliope (Greece) says:

    I do almost the exact recipe but with bulgur (the wheat cereal) which is more filling, full of proteins and fiber.
    Is couscous a kind of pasta??
    Good morning!

  18. Deanne says:

    This recipe would be great with quinoa instead of couscous for those of us unable to eat wheat!

  19. Yum! I love cous cous salads, although have recently been using quinoa instead. Great recipe, thanks.

  20. Ellie says:

    Ohhh I do a very very similar one except I add cucumber and feta both in similar size to the red onion. I like the crunch that the cucumber adds to the salad.

    Nom nom. Unfortunately I only make it when we have visitors as my husband had a bad experience with cous cous once and does not like it. Though my goal this year is to get him to love quinoa in its place.

  21. Barefoot Liz says:

    I bought couscous yesterday. I was craving sautéed veggies over couscous. I bought the pearl kind because I wanted something different. Hope I like it! mmmm

  22. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. Ive joined your rss feed and look ahead to in quest of extra of your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  23. I have never been able to find the Pearl Couscous .. it is much larger than the regular kind, right ?

    I have been known to make a ratatouille with the usual ingredients and serve it cold with couscous as a left-over dish. or over Polenta.
    Both work well ..

  24. Mavrik Lane says:

    No cous cous for this gal, but might give it a tray again someday …maybe :)

  25. melissa says:

    Yummy! Will be making! Do you ever substitute your couscous for quinoa? It’s awesome and full of protein, which is a plus for me!
    Totally unrelated, but I’m looking at purchasing and ipad. I think I’ve read in a couple of posts that you now have one? Could you plleeeaaassse provide feedback? I’m a HUGE Apple fan, but just want to make sure that this is a purchase that is useful and not just impulse. :)

  26. melissa says:

    oops, *an* iPad.

  27. I’m thinking slice fresh avocado on there and squeeze a little fresh lime.. oh yeah! Yum.

    dee :)

  28. Robyn says:

    I was introduced to couscous when I lived with a Lebanese family in France. It’s been a staple in my pantry ever since and have introduced it loads of other people who like you, now cannot live without it.

    We have it with hot meals (fish, pie, roasts, chicken, stews) served with gravy in the winter in place of rice or potatoes, and also make salads in the summer. I made a Greek style couscous salad last week using small bits of feta, chopped sliced black olives and finely chopped spinach leaves.

    I think I need to start blogging these meals as well!?

  29. I’ve never made couscous; I didn’t realize it was so easy! Thanks for recipe and for opening the door for me to a new dish to prepare. Love Yvonne’s tip for a quick and easy work lunch!

  30. Amanda says:

    Oh Sarah I am addicted to Cous Cous!

    I just add water and put a plate on top, then finely chop red onion, fire roasted red pepper strips from a jar, finely chopped roasted eggplant, a can of rinsed chickpeas, salmon in chilli oil and lots of coriander leaves.

    This is always on my lunch at work list, in fact the girls are often saying, ‘Cous Cous Again!’ Oh well, can I help it if its so Easy, Healthy and Yummy?

    Happy Australia Day to all in the Beach Cottage

    Cheers Amanda x

    • sarah says:

      oooh sounds lovely Amanda! I have learnt that lots of BC readers do lovely things with couscous..I use the plate method too xo HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY

  31. That looks amazing, would like to eat it right now!

    Great photography too..