Black Bean and Couscous Salad

Black Bean and Couscous Salad Recipe

You know what food I really love?


It’s so yummy and easy to prepare that I have found myself eating it a LOT lately.

It also provides a slight cleanse from the semi-indulgent Super Bowl Nachos I recently shared on – not in real life, mind you. I can’t share those nachos in real life because they are soooo good!

Today’s black bean and couscous salad recipe is great because it only contains five ingredients, you can prepare it in under 8 minutes, and it is super-healthy!

This dish actually inspired a whole new category on Healthy 8 Minute Meals with Fewer Than 8 Ingredients.

This post contains affiliate links. That means I will earn a commission if you purchase a product (at no additional cost to you) through certain links on this page. These commissions help keep my kitchen lights on.

What Exactly is Couscous?

Couscous is a type of pasta, believe it or not. Even though it looks like tiny, hard, round balls prior to cooking.

Are there Different Types of Couscous?

Yes, there are three main types of couscous:

1 – Moroccan (the smallest and fastest cooking) This is the type I am using in today’s recipe.

2 – Israeli (also called Pearl Couscous) which is slightly larger and rounder. This type seems to be all the rage right now among the more popular food bloggers. Check out this awesome Israeli Couscous Salad from Nagi at – her site is incredible, by the way!

3 – Lebanese. This is the largest of the three different type of couscous and its size also means that this type takes the longest to cook.

Is Couscous Gluten Free?

Couscous is traditionally made from semolina, which is a wheat-based pasta and, therefore it is NOT gluten-free.

If you would like to know even more about couscous, check out this link for everything you would ever want to know about couscous.

Let’s finally get started on talking about how to make our Black Bean and Couscous Salad with Red Bell Pepper and Cilantro.

What You Need

1 Box of Moroccan Couscous – this is the one I used for this recipe
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Can Black Beans (in water)
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Bag of Cilantro (or freshly picked if you love herbs as much as I do!)

What You Do

To make this healthy couscous salad in under 8 minutes, we will do a few things simultaneously as we prepare this dish.

Start by boiling water in a large pot like this one – The amount of water will be indicated on the back of your package of couscous (my recipe called for 1 1/4 cups of water).

There may also be a flavor pack or ‘seasoning’ along with your your couscous – you can add this to your water now (before boiling).

Add 2 tablespoons of my favorite olive oil to water and start on high heat.

As you wait for the water to boil, slice bell pepper and remove seeds.

Chop cilantro into desired-size pieces (I like large pieces of cilantro and stems, but not everybody does)

Once water begins to boil, stir in couscous – slowly.

After couscous is thoroughly stirred in with boiling water mixture, remove from heat.

Let couscous sit for about 5 minutes in order to absorb the water.

While I am waiting for the couscous to absorb the water, I will open my can of black beans and drain the water from the can.

Check on couscous after 5 minutes, make sure it is moist and soft (this means it has absorbed all the water) and that there is no more liquid in the pot.

At this point you can add your couscous, black beans, and sliced red bell pepper to your dish. Add cilantro to top it off and enjoy!

Black Bean and Couscous Salad Recipe

Recipe by Bill
5.0 from 3 votes
Course: MainCuisine: MoroccanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





This Black Bean and Couscous Salad with Red Bell Pepper and Cilantro is an absolutely delicious, low calorie, healthy couscous recipe that anyone can make. It is such an incredible source of protein, that I refer to it as my couscous power bowl!

Using a simple box of Near East Moroccan couscous and just a few fresh ingredients, this recipe makes up to 4 servings (at least) of a healthy meal that can be enjoyed hot or cold.

This is also a great dish to make if you are pressed for time because it is so easy and quick. I mentioned above that this Black Bean and Couscous Salad recipe actually inspired a whole new section on my site called: Healthy 8 Minute Meals Using Fewer Than 8 Ingredients.

If you are pressed for time and want even more fast and fresh meals you can make in almost no time, check out Daily Harvest- Get Off On Daily Harvest When You Use This Link


  • 1 box Moroccan Couscous

  • 2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 can Cooked Black Beans (in water)

  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper

  • 1 bag of fresh Cilantro


  • Start by boiling water in a large pot – The amount of water will be indicated on the back of your package of couscous (my recipe called for 1 1/4 cups of water).
  • Add flavor packet (if available) from box of couscous (I like the Parmesan flavored couscous from Near East)
  • Add 2 tablespoons of my favorite olive oil to water
  • Set water/seasoning/olive oil mixture over high heat until boiling
  • Once water is boiling, stir in couscous (slowly)
  • Once couscous is sufficiently stirred, remove from heat and place aside
  • Cut bell pepper into slices and remove seeds
  • Check couscous in pot after about 5-6 minutes.
  • Make sure couscous has absorbed all the water in the pot.
  • Spoon couscous into a small bowl or dish, add black beans, bell pepper slices and top with fresh cilantro.


  • In order to accomplish our goal of a quick, healthy couscous salad, make sure you use Moroccan couscous, which is the smallest (and fastest cooking) of the three different types of couscous
  • I will eat this dish while the couscous is still warm, but if you prefer to eat your couscous salads cold, you can refrigerate for 15 minutes after adding in your black beans and bell pepper slices (this will also increase your cook time beyond our 8 minute goal!)
  • Try substituting a chili pepper in place of the red bell pepper. It adds a nice warmth and spice to this couscous salad, especially if you are serving this dish cold. I prefer a chili, myself, since red bell peppers can be so bland – but that’s all I had available when I decided to make this salad!
  • If you are gluten intolerant, just remember that couscous is a type of pasta and, therefore, NOT gluten free. Check out our 250 recommended easy meals here (many are keto and/or gluten free!)
  • No time to shop for ingredients? Don’t let that stop you from preparing delicious healthy recipes like this Black Bean and Couscous salad, just have all these fresh ingredients shipped directly to your door by EveryPlate and get 20 percent off by using this link!
  • And please don’t forget to subscribe to my Email List to be notified whenever I post a new recipe or article.

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