Mexican Couscous Salad

This healthy mexican couscous salad is perfect for lunch or a light dinner! Filled with veggies, black beans, whole wheat couscous and a smoky honey chipotle dressing. On the table in 30 minutes or less!

Two bowls filled with Mexican Couscous Salad and a glass of water.

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.

A white bowl filled with Mexican Couscous with a fork to the side.

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.

A white bowl filled with Southwest Couscous Salad with a fork to the side.

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Mexican Couscous Salad

Mexican Couscous Salad

Yield: about 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This healthy mexican couscous salad is perfect for lunch or a light dinner! Filled with veggies, black beans, whole wheat couscous and a smoky honey chipotle dressing. On the table in 30 minutes or less!


For the salad:

  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups whole wheat pearl couscous
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta*

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


To make the salad:

  1. 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).
  2. Immediately drain the couscous and rinse well with cold water (to stop the cooking). Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, 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.
  4. Add the black beans, tomatoes, cilantro and feta to the bowl with the couscous. Toss to combine.

To make the dressing:

  1. 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.


*To keep this dairy free / vegan - omit the feta cheese and add additional salt to taste.

**To keep this vegan - use maple syrup instead of the honey.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248 Total Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 350mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 5g Protein: 8g
Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.