This Shrimp and Vegetable Couscous Salad can serve as a light and healthy meal or a hearty side. It is a great alternative to pasta salad!
I am going to let you in on a little secret. I am almost 6 months pregnant! Aldo and I are super excited about having our first baby, even though neither of us has any idea of how to take care of babies. Aldo's been doing lots of reading - yes, he's the one reading all the pregnancy and baby books! And I've been doing LOTS OF EATING.
I did not think it was possible for someone who does so little physical activity to be SO HUNGRY ALL THE TIME. It's insane how quickly our full fridge turns empty, and how much more expensive our grocery receipts are because I need snacks all day (and sometimes at night!).
Related recipe: Broccoli Ranch Pasta Salad
Because of this whole eating-for-two thing I've been trying to cook recipes that will give me plenty of leftovers, and ones that are healthy, filling, and easy to make.
This Shrimp & Vegetable Couscous Salad has been in rotation a few times because of all those reasons, and because I can pull it out of the fridge and just eat it cold when I need a snack since it doesn't need to be served warm.
This also makes it a great salad to take to work for lunch because it doesn't need to be reheated.
Related recipe: Tuna Pasta Salad
How to make Shrimp and Vegetable Couscous Salad:
Here's the step by step game plan with a few tips. You can also scroll down to the recipe card if you are comfortable in the kitchen.
- Make sure your shrimp is thawed, if it was frozen.
- Start by boiling the water for couscous and cooking the couscous. This recipe uses pearl couscous, which is the "big kind" and it takes a few minutes to cook. Make sure you check the package because it can be different between different brands. Don't overcook the couscous. When it's cooked, rinse it in cold water and place it to a large bowl. (This can be directly into your serving bowl)
- While the couscous is cooking, dice the bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Definitely use fresh herbs for this recipe, dried herbs won't work as well.
- Remove the tails from the shrimp, season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (here I used the dried powdered stuff instead of going fresh, just to save time and evenly season the shrimp).
- The saute the shrimp and bell peppers together until the shrimp is fully cooked. You can also add the bell peppers to the salad raw, but I like to soften them a bit by cooking them for a few minutes.
- Then toss everything together in a large bowl with the couscous and the rest of the ingredients.
- Use fresh parsley, scallions, and fresh lemon juice for this salad! This will give the most flavorful, fresh-tasting salad compared to using bottled or dried ingredients. It's super quick to juice a lemon with a citrus squeezer, such as this one. And you can even dice fresh herbs with herb scissors (these are the ones I have) to save some time.
Looking for other great pasta salads and party recipes?
- Mediterranean couscous bowls with tuna
- Golden couscous tabbouleh
- Cilantro lime shrimp
- Calamari salad
- Coleslaw orzo salad
- No mayo potato salad with feta and olives
- Shrimp stuffed mini bell peppers
Shrimp and Vegetable Couscous Salad
- 1.5 cups whole wheat large pearl couscous , uncooked
- Water + salt for cooking couscous , according to package instructions
- 1 lb raw shrimp , peeled, de-veined, and tails removed (see notes)
- Salt , Pepper, and garlic powder to taste (about 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon each)
- 1 red bell pepper , seeds removed, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes , diced into quarters
- 1 14 oz can whole corn kernels , drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves , chopped
- 2 scallions , chopped
- Juice of 1/2 - 1 lemon (about 1-2 tablespoons, to taste)
- Prepare the couscous according to the package instructions. For extra flavor, substitute chicken or vegetable broth instead of the water + salt! When the couscous is cooked, rinse under cold water and place in a large bowl.
- White the couscous is cooking: In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoons olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Saute the seasoned shrimp and diced bell pepper over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is fully cooked. Add to the large bowl of couscous.
- To prepare the salad, add the grape tomatoes, corn, chopped parsley, and scallion to the couscous. Season with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix well and give it a taste. Season with additional lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.