Mediterranean Couscous Tuna Bowls - a quick 15 minute no-cook meal packed with flavor! A perfect lunch or dinner for busy people who want to eat well.
These little flavor packed bowls are my go-to lunch in the summer when it's too hot to cook and I don't feel like prepping anything in the kitchen. These bowls also make a great lunch to pack for work because they don't need to be reheated.
These couscous bowls are topped with tuna, artichoke hearts, olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, fresh herbs, and the best part: sun-dried tomato pesto (this is the one I use, it is yum). I stir the pesto into the couscous as I am eating and it tastes amazing together.
Related recipe: Couscous Tabbouleh Salad
Other topping ideas for this recipe are: thinly sliced red onion, canned or pan-seared salmon, smoked salmon (such as my lox recipe), rotisserie chicken, regular pesto, chickpeas, slivered almonds, capers, fresh tomatoes, or chopped cucumber would all be great additions to these couscous bowls. Probably not all at once though. 🙂
How to make tasty couscous
The couscous base for this recipe is not boring either: I add fresh parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a drizzle of high quality olive oil. The parsley and lemon zest release all their yummy flavor because they're mixed in right when the couscous is still hot.
Another herb-filled light salad to try: Quinoa Tuna Salad
How to make fluffy couscous
To make fluffy couscous, mix it in a one-to-one ratio with boiling water and let it stand for 5 minutes undisturbed. Then fluff with a fork. That's it. I boil the water in a kettle, so I don't even have to watch a boiling pot on the stove. Couscous is my absolute favorite for summer meals because of how quick and easy it is to cook.
Is couscous healthy?
Couscous is made from the wheat just like pasta, so regular couscous itself is not actually all that healthy. However, couscous recipes typically include lots of light fresh ingredients from the Mediterranean diet (such as this recipe!), instead of heavier creamy sauces that a lot of pasta recipes call for. So overall, people who eat couscous regularly probably have a healthier diet than people who eat pasta regularly.
That said, you can absolutely use whole wheat couscous (such as this one) for this recipe to give yourself a bit more nutrition, fiber, and protein thanks to the whole wheat flour. Just make sure you use the tiny couscous that doesn't require any cooking time (can be made by just mixing with boiling water, just like I show in the video above), instead of the larger pearl couscous which requires about 7-10 minutes of cooking time, just like pasta does.
And of course, couscous is not gluten free because it is made from wheat.
Ingredients for these couscous bowls:
Start with the couscous: either regular or whole wheat couscous. I used regular couscous for this recipe just because it was on sale, but I typically buy whole wheat. If you are not a fan of whole wheat pasta, couscous is actually a good whole wheat option to try. It's so tiny that you really can't feel the different in texture and it gets nice and fluffy just like white couscous (which is actually pretty yellow). Give it a try. This whole wheat couscous is a favorite of mine. This is the couscous I used in this recipe.
I always get the highest quality ingredients for these type of recipes to give my food the most flavor. This means high quality tuna packed in olive oil, marinated artichoke hearts that taste amazing (these from Trader Joe's are available on Amazon), my favorite olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and a very flavorful sun-dried tomato pesto that goes so well with the rest of the ingredients.
I also do add a bit of fresh ingredients to these bowls: fresh parsley and fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. I use a microplane grater to get the lemon zest off the lemon before I squeeze the lemon for juice. And these herb cutting scissors make it fun and easy to chop up a bunch of herbs without having to get a cutting board dirty. See? I told ya this recipe was the EASIEST.
Of course, if you want to add a bit more veggies to your meal, add some chopped cucumber, bell pepper, or cherry tomatoes. But if not, that's OK too. While my blog is all about eating as many veggies as you can, sometimes you just need a break.
Related recipe: Mediterranean Nachos
If you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy these other colorful, fresh, easy dishes:
- Tuna pasta salad
- Orzo coleslaw salad
- Kamut tabbouleh salad - a whole wheat Middle Eastern salad made with a ton of fresh veggies, herbs and a lemony dressing. Perfect for lunch that doesn't need to be reheated!
- Lentil tabbouleh salad - similar to the wheat salad above, but gluten free because it's made with healthy, protein-rich green lentils. Another great lunch option.
- Shrimp and vegetable couscous salad - this one is made with pearl couscous (the large couscous) and is a GREAT alternative to pasta salad for parties, picnics, and barbecues.
- Buckwheat bowls with roasted vegetables - buckwheat is SUPER healthy and is actually not wheat or a grain, meaning it's gluten free. It cooks quickly, is super versatile and can be topped with roasted veggies and a delicious tahini sauce, just like in my recipe.
Did you enjoy this recipe? If yes, let me know with a star rating and a comment below! I love to hear from you. And please share it on Facebook and save it for later on Pinterest!
Mediterranean Couscous Tuna Bowls
- 3/4 cup couscous - (uncooked)
- 3/4 cup boiling water - (or boiling vegetable broth)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt - (or vegeta seasoning)
- 1 tablespoon parsley leaves - , finely diced
- drizzle of olive oil
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice - (from 1/2 lemon)
- 5 oz tuna - , drained
- 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts
- 1/4 cup olives
- 5-6 sun dried tomatoes - whole or diced
- 2 tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese - , crumbled
- Optional ingredients: thinly sliced red onions, chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes
- In a heat proof bowl, combine the couscous and the boiling water (or boiling vegetable stock). Add the salt, diced parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil. Let stand 5 minutes, or until the couscous absorbs all the water. Fluff with a fork. Add lemon zest and lemon juice and mix.
- Divide the couscous between two bowls. Top each bowl with your preferred toppings: half a can of tuna, artichoke hearts, olives, sun dried tomatoes, sun dried tomato pesto (or regular pesto), feta cheese.
The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.