This Cous Cous and Cannellini Bean Salad is a perfect side dish or light main course. With hearty beans, roasted peppers, and a tangy and flavorful dressing, it will impress your family or friends and leave them feeling super satisfied.
LOTS OF REASONS TO LOVE THIS COUS COUS AND CANNELLINI BEAN SALAD
This Cous Cous and Cannellini Bean Salad has lots of my favorite things. For example, you may already know about my obsession with pasta…not really a secret! Cous Cous is like chewy little bites of pasta, and is perfect for absorbing delicious dressing or sauce. Get the dressing on when the cous cous is still warm, and it’s a match made in heaven.
Other reasons I love it:
- super simple to put together
- the cous cous cooks while the asparagus roasts in the oven
- no need to turn on the stove other than for the cous cous, aka no stove babysitting
- the chopping required for this meal is so quick – and no need to be perfect
- this dish is perfect to make a day ahead, then refresh with lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil just before serving
- it’s delicious with fresh or dried herbs
- there are SO many yummy substitutions you can do, to really make this your own!
Some of my other favorite light pasta salads are here and here.
PERFECTLY DELICIOUS SUBSTITUTIONS
With this recipe, there are a plethora of items you can sub, and it will still be awesome. Here’s a non-comprehensive list below. Feel free to use what’s in the fridge and pantry, and get creative!
- Italian seasoning: sub with dried oregano, dried basil, dried rosemary, and ground thyme if you have it OR sub fresh herbs
- cannellini beans: sub with any kind of bean
- roasted red peppers: sub with marinated artichokes (or canned artichokes)
- kalamata olives: sub with any kind of olive
- roasted asparagus: sub with broccoli or cauliflower florets, or even carrots; alternatively, use sauteed spinach, kale, or other greens such as fresh arugula
- lemon juice: sub with red wine vinegar, or even balsamic or white wine vinegar; just start small as these vinegars can be more overpowering than the lemon juice
how to spice up your dressing (no pun intended…kind of)
The basic dressing for this Cous Cous and Cannellini Bean Salad is below. However, there’s lots of ways to switch things up for different flavors and ingredients. I love how adaptable this dressing is. I often make extra and will add in different items for the leftovers.
Here’s a list of great add-ins / alterations for this dressing: red chili flakes, cayenne, extra maple syrup or agave, capers, chopped marinated artichokes with some of their oil, minced garlic, minced sun-dried tomatoes, tarragon, cumin, pickled onion, mashed roasted garlic.
Dressing (whisk following):
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 large lemon (approx 1/4 cup) plus more for serving; reserve the zest
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning
2 tbsp minced red onion
1 tsp agave or maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard
Helpful items and tools for this recipe
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet (2 Pack), Silver
Corelle Livingware 1-Quart Serving Bowl, Winter Frost White, Pack of 1
OXO Good Grips Citrus Squeezer
Cous Cous and Cannellini Bean Salad
- 1 1/3 cup cous cous
- 1 cup cannellini beans cooked and patted dry
- 1 cup finely chopped roasted peppers
- 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1.5 cups asparagus cut approx 1 inch
- Oil, salt and pepper for roasting asparagus
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 large lemon approx 1/4 cup plus more for serving; reserve the zest
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp minced red onion
- 1 tsp agave or maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Cook cous cous according to package directions, adding 1 tsp salt to cooking water. Arrange asparagus on lined baking tray, sprinkle with oil, toss, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast until crisp-tender about 12 to 15 min.
- Whisk together the dressing in a bowl.
- When cous cous is cooked, transfer to large mixing bowl with asparagus and dressing, with roasted peppers, olives and cannellini. Mix well.
- Just prior to serving, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and the juice of another 1/2 lemon. Top with lemon zest.