Roasted vegetable couscous on a plate.

June 6, 2022

Lemon Tahini Roasted Vegetable Couscous

There are so many things you can do with a baking sheet of roasted zucchini, squash and peppers including making this vegetable couscous with lemon, tahini and herbs.

There are so many things you can do with a baking sheet of roasted zucchini, squash and peppers including making this vegetable couscous with lemon, tahini and herbs.

Roasted vegetable couscous on a plate.

My sheet pans never get a break. That’s because no matter the time of year, I am always roasting vegetables. It is such a simple way to make a vegetarian or vegan meal.

Sometimes I just take them right off the sheet pan and spoon them into a bowl for a side dish. Other times I cook grains or pasta and fold them in. The lingering olive oil on the pan from the vegetables lightly dresses everything.

With this lemon tahini vegetable couscous, I roast a colorful trio of zucchini, yellow squash and bell peppers. And while they are in the oven, I make the most of that time to multi-task. That includes whisking together the citrus dressing and simmering the couscous.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients including zucchini, peppers, squash, scallions, parsley, lemon and tahini.

This is what you need:

  • Zucchini should be smooth, medium to dark green in color and feel firm with no soft spots.
  • Yellow squash: Part of the same family of vegetables as zucchini, yellow squash is its cousin just with a slightly different shape. Again, the freshest ones will be smooth and firm.
  • Peppers: You can use any color bell peppers. My preferences are yellow, orange or red bell peppers for their sweet flavor and crisp bite.
  • Couscous: With all these veggies, I like using pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous. It has plump round grains unlike Moroccan couscous with its teeny tiny grains that you have to fluff with a fork. If you can’t find pearl couscous, you can use orzo, barley or rice instead. Just follow the instructions on the package to cook it.
  • Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds, oil and salt. This seed butter is vegan.
  • Lemon juice adds a nice acidity to the flavor of the roasted vegetables.
  • Garlic: There is a minced garlic clove in the lemon tahini dressing, but overall it is subtle in the taste of the final dish.
  • Scallions add light green onion flavor.
  • Parsley: For chopped fresh herbs, you can also use cilantro, chives or a combination.
  • Olive oil makes an appearance in every component of the recipe including the roasted veggies, the dressing and the couscous. Use good quality extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Salt & pepper: Both the vegetables and the dressing are seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper.

Optional Additions

Probably my favorite things to add to this couscous no matter what veggies I am roasting are chickpeas, one of my pantry mainstays, and crumbled feta cheese with its salty bite—goat cheese is wonderful too.

How To Make Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the zucchini, squash and peppers with olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Make sure to spread them out in a single layer.

Roast the vegetables until they are lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes.

Vegetables on a sheet pan before and after they are roasted.

Make the dressing while the veggies are in the oven. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic, salt and pepper.

Make the couscous. Toast the grains with a little olive oil in a saucepan on the stove. Add the water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the couscous is cooked and tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the couscous to a large bowl. Stir the dressing into the couscous.

Whisk together the lemon tahini dressing in a small bowl. Stir the dressing into the couscous in a large bowl.

Add the roasted veggies, scallions and parsley to the couscous. Stir to combine everything.

Add the roasted vegetables, scallions and parsley to the couscous in a bowl. Then stir everything together.

Serving The Couscous

As mentioned, this can count as a side dish or main dish. You can increase or decrease the serving size as it makes sense with whatever else you have on the table.

Variations

The formula of this recipe is pretty basic. And the lemon tahini dressing can go with way more than just zucchini, summer squash and peppers. I encourage you to switch up the veggies depending on the season. Other summer vegetables to roast include tomatoes. For fall and winter, try butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli or cauliflower.

The only trick is to consider the cook times for the vegetables. Since they are all on the same sheet pan, you may need to start one in the oven earlier and then add to the baking sheet if one has a longer cook time than another.

Roasted vegetable couscous in a bowl.

More Couscous Recipes

Snap Pea Couscous
Roasted Delicata Squash Couscous
Grilled Corn Couscous
Harissa Roasted Cauliflower Couscous
Roasted Tomato Olive Couscous

Let me know if you make this veggie couscous. Please leave a comment and rating. Thanks!

Print
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Roasted vegetable couscous on a plate.

Roasted Vegetable Lemon Tahini Couscous

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

There are lots of things you can do with a sheet pan of peppers, zucchini and squash including using them in roasted vegetable lemon tahini couscous.


Ingredients

Scale
  • For vegetables
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced 1/2-inch
  • 2 medium yellow squash, diced 1/2-inch
  • 2 bell peppers, diced 1/2-inch
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • For dressing
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • For couscous
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a baking sheet, toss the zucchini, yellow squash and peppers with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Spread the vegetables into a single layer across the pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes until they are browned at the edges.
  2. For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, tahini, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  3. For the couscous, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toast the couscous stirring until it golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the couscous is tender and most of the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Drain any remaining water and transfer the couscous to a large bowl.
  4. Stir the lemon tahini dressing into the couscous.
  5. Then add the roasted vegetables, scallions and parsley to the couscous, stirring to combine.

Notes

The dressing and couscous can be made while the vegetables are roasting.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Optional additions include chickpeas, feta or goat cheese.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 248
  • Sugar: 5.2 g
  • Sodium: 319.8 mg
  • Fat: 23.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 2.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegetable couscous

WHAT DID YOU THINK?

Rate + Review

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Recipe rating

  1. This looks like it would make great lunch to take to work. Do you know how long this can last in a fridge?

  2. I made it for dinner tonight. It was easy and good. I probably would have put a little more tahini in my dressing because the lemon was very juicy and I couldn’t really taste the tahini. It was a healthful, flavorful and quick recipe. I will make it again.

  3. Perfect veggie meal. Added extra garlic and tahini sauce and it came out amazing. Wanted to post a picture of it but I have no idea how.

    T.

  4. This was wonderful! Full of flavor, healthy and delicious. I only used half the dressing, but it was a hit! Thanks

  5. Looks amazing, can’t wait to try it! Seems like it would be delicious warm, have you served it cold? Wondering if I could refrigerate and serve the next day.