Mexican Couscous Salad

Mexican Couscous Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

It’s that time of the year.  You know, when you realize you’ve eaten a few too many cookies during the holidays and didn’t go for a run as often as you would have liked.  Combine that with stress from travel and general life craziness … and then add in some more cookies for good measure.

As cliché as it may be, it really is a great time of the year to do a sort of reset, if you will.  We eat really healthy about 80 to 90 percent of the time, but after the holiday nuttiness my body is always craving good-for-me food.  And whispering that I should probably take a step back from the sugar and butter.

At least for a little bit.

Mexican Couscous Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

So let’s talk an easy weeknight dinner or even a great lunch option.  Mexican couscous salad.  I’m down with pretty much anything that has mexican flavors … and especially something that is light, filling and is good for you in a sneaky sort of way.

And by sneaky I mean it is packed with veggies, whole grains, some protein and a smoky chipotle honey dressing.  And it tastes delicious and you won’t even be thinking about sugar.  Or chocolate.  Well, at least when you’re eating this salad.

Mexican Couscous Salad | Cookie Monster Cooking

I’m definitely down with that.  2014 you’re off to a good start.

Yield: about 4 to 6 servings

Mexican Couscous Salad

Recipe for healthy mexican couscous salad. Filled with veggies, black beans, whole wheat couscous and a smoky honey chipotle dressing. 30 minutes or less.

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For the salad:

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups whole wheat pearl couscous
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn (fresh would also work)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup feta crumbles

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. To make the salad – add the water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in the couscous. Give it a good stir then cover and turn down the heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed (it should be cooked but al dente). Immediately drain the couscous and rinse well with cold water (to stop the cooking). Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Set a medium skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the red onion. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add in the corn, cumin, chili powder, paprika and salt. Continue to cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to the bowl with the couscous.
  3. Add the black beans, tomatoes, cilantro and feta to the bowl with the couscous. Toss to combine.
  4. To make the dressing – in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, minced chipotle pepper and salt until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well combined. Season with additional salt and/or pepper if needed.

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