One bowl meals rank among my favorite dishes.
They’re delicious, portable, and usually pretty easy to prepare.
And there’s something that just feels good about efficiently serving a healthy meal in a single bowl.
I don’t know why, but it’s certainly true.
Lentil & Israeli Couscous Salad: A New Favorite
My Lentil and Israeli Couscous Salad is my new favorite one bowl meal. I always love lentils, and it recently occurred to me that this incredibly hearty and healthy legume would pair deliciously with Israeli (or pearled) couscous.
So I gave the combination a try a few weeks ago.
And now I’m hooked.
Healthy and Delicious
There’s not a whole lot going on nutritionally in Israeli couscous. It’s basically pasta. But Israeli couscous has a great texture, and the lentils, cannellini beans, and veggies in this salad more than make up for the nutritional shortcomings of the couscous: the lentils alone contribute 60 grams of protein to this recipe!
Plant-based proteins are pretty impressive.
My homemade creamy red wine vinaigrette is what puts this salad over the top. You know how I feel about homemade dressings. Not a single drop of this one ever goes to waste. If I don’t use it all on this dish, I use the rest on greens throughout the week.
Make This Lentil & Israeli Couscous Salad!
Make this salad once, and I’m sure you’ll make it again. The combination of delicious, healthy, and filling is just too good not to repeat.
And plus it makes awesome leftovers for lunch the next day.
Lentil & Israeli Couscous Veggie Salad
For the lentils:
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 3 cups water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion salt
For the green beans:
- 6 oz fresh or frozen green beans, preferably haricot verts, like Trader Joe’s
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
For the Israeli couscous:
- 8 oz Israeli couscous
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 ¾ water
- ¼ tsp salt
For the dressing:
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsps red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsps vegenaise
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ⅓ cup red onion, minced
- 1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
Cook the lentils
- Place the rinsed lentils, water, garlic powder, and onion salt in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and bring the lentils to a simmer. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through but still have a bite to them.
- Once the lentils finish cooking, drain any excess water and add the salt.
- While the lentils cook, prepare the other recipe components.
Cook the green beans
- Add the green beans, salt, and garlic powder to a skillet. Turn the heat to medium, and cook the green beans until slightly browned, about 8 minutes.
- Take the green beans off the heat. Once they have cooled, cut the green beans to about 1.5 inch pieces, if desired. (Note: if using fresh green beans, you can cut them to 1.5 inch pieces before cooking.)
Cook the Israeli couscous
- Save a dish, and cook the Israeli couscous in the same skillet you cooked the green beans in.
- Add the Israeli couscous and olive oil to the skillet, and toast over medium heat for five minutes, until the couscous is slightly browned.
- Now pour the hot water over the couscous, sprinkle with salt, and stir to combine.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook the couscous until all the water is absorbed, and the couscous is al dente (cooked through, but with a slight bite), about 10 minutes. Stir the couscous with your spatula occasionally during cooking.
Make the dressing
- While the couscous and lentils cook, make the dressing by simply whisking all the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until the oil, Vegenaise, and vinegar emulsify/come together.
- If you haven’t already, now is also a good time to mince the red onion and halve the tomatoes.
Bring it all together
- Once the lentils and couscous finish cooking, add them both to a large mixing bowl, followed by the onion, tomatoes, and cannellini beans.
- Stir everything together, and while the mixture is still warm, add about half of the dressing. Stir to combine. All the ingredients will soak up the dressing.
- Taste, and add more dressing to taste. (I usually end up using about 3/4 of the dressing, and save the remaining dressing for salads throughout the week.)
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve alone—this hearty salad is definitely a one bowl meal—or serve over a bed of lettuce, and enjoy!
This salad is vegan and vegetarian.
This salad can be made gluten-free by subbing the Israeli couscous with 2 cups of cooked gluten-free pasta, or by omitting the couscous and doubling the lentils. (I'm sure there are many other great gluten-free substitutions you could try for this recipe, but these are the two I have done with delicious results.)