Make your own couscous salad bar

Make your own couscous salad bar

Tabbouleh for healthy kids from More Than Just CArrots

This couscous salad bar is one of my kids’ favourite dinners.  It looks like a feast when the table is set and it leaves a lot of freedom for everybody to put together their very own meal.

Couscous or Tabbouleh?

We usually call our couscous salad bar ‘tabbouleh’, but it isn’t exactly the same.  Real tabbouleh stems from the Middle-East and originally is made with bulgur and has quite a bit of onion in it. It comes with a lemon based dressing. Onion isn’t my favourite ingredient usually and definitely not raw, so I tend to think my kids won’t like it either and forget to include it!


Tabbouleh from More Than Just Carrots

Make your own

Leaving the freedom for the kids to pick their own ingredients is not something I do too often. The picky eaters will only pick their all time favourite ingredients and not learn the taste of something new.

On the other hand I also think dinner time should be happy and fun and this one definitely fits that criterium whilst being totally healthy as well! I only offer healthy options with it so the very worst it can become, is a plate of pure couscous anyway, that is unlikely and not a disaster either!

Quick dinner

On top of being a happy meal, this is super quick to do. Putting this dinner together takes about as long as opening the fridge, taking out some bowls, open some jars and boiling the water for the couscous. So it is again perfect for a weekday dinner. Another benefit is that it helps clearing quite a bit of leftovers, half a jar of olives, a few cherry tomatoes, that half cucumber that was left,…

What goes in?

This is what we usually have in our couscous salad:

  • cucumber
  • cherry tomatoes
  • raisins
  • cashew nuts
  • olives
  • spinach
  • peas
  • sundried tomatoes
  • pinenuts
  • some sort of chicken meat

All of this is then topped with a fresh dressing based on orange juice and olive oil.

This is kind of how it looks in our house when everything is out. Although it changes depending on what the fridge and the larder have got to offer.

Tabbouleh from More Than Just Carrots

I hope you will enjoy this ‘Make your own’ kind of dinner as much as we do! I would love to hear how you make your couscous salad bar, please let me know in the comments!

Couscous salad bar

From at

Prep: Yield: 2 adults, 3 young kids

Easy and quick

You'll Need...

  • 250 gram of couscous
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 of a cucumber
  • half a jar of black olives
  • half a jar of sun dried tomatoes
  • 100 grams of raw spinach
  • 100 grams of cashew nuts
  • 50 grams of pinenuts
  • about 2 chicken breasts, or leftover chicken meat from a roast
  • 100 grams of peas
  • 100 grams of raisins
  • for the dressing:
  • juice of half an orange
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  1. Put the kettle on with about half a litre of water.
  2. Microwave the peas for 3 minutes.
  3. Cut up the chicken breasts, season and fry in a pan (if not using leftover from a roasted chicken)
  4. Bring the dry couscous in a heatproof bowl.
  5. If desired, you can crumble half a cube of vegetable stock over the couscous before you pour over the boiled water. Add water until the couscous is fully submerged, let it go a few millimeters over the top of the couscous.
  6. Cover the bowl of couscous and let it soaks up the water.
  7. Put all the other ingredients ready in little bowls.
  8. Make the dressing by simply mixing all its ingredients.
  9. Now take the cover of the couscous and use a fork to break it loose. If you haven't used a stock cube, you may want to add a little bit of butter or olive oil at this point.
  10. Put everything on the table and enjoy your meal.

Additional Notes

from More Than Just Carrots

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