Mediterranean Jeweled Couscous and Chickpea Bowl

jeweled couscous and chickpea bowl

Molly Cleary

Total Time: 35 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Servings: 4

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

500 calories
21g fat
67g carbs
19g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving  
Calories 500
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 521mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 24%
Dietary Fiber 16g 57%
Total Sugars 10g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 19g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 188mg 14%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 961mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Although it looks more like rice, couscous is actually a crushed wheat product more similar in nutrition to whole wheat pasta. Because of its small size, it cooks very quickly, making it a great whole grain option for busy evenings. It's also extremely versatile and goes well with the flavors of many foods.

This particular dish combines couscous with pomegranates, sun-dried tomatoes, and pistachios, each of which adds their own unique health benefit. Additional fiber from spinach, protein from chickpeas, and creaminess from the kefir-tahini sauce tie the whole dish together.


  • 1 can (1 3/4 cups) chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous, dry
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 cup plain low-fat kefir
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.

  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Toss them with olive oil, cumin, salt, paprika, and cinnamon. Roast for 25 minutes at 400F, flipping halfway through.

  3. Cook couscous according to package directions, adding butter and salt to the pot before boiling the water.

  4. Blend sauce ingredients in a small blender. Add water one tablespoon at a time to thin to desired consistency (2 to 4 tablespoons). Set aside.

  5. When the couscous is done cooking, mix in sun-dried tomatoes, pomegranates, and pistachios.

  6. Assemble bowls with a bed of baby spinach, then couscous and chickpeas. Drizzle with kefir-tahini sauce.

    Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

    Plain Greek yogurt can also be used if you cannot find kefir, however, then you might need to add a little more water to thin it out.

    Top with goat cheese and fresh parsley if desired.

    Cooking and Serving Tips

    Leftover couscous works well as a side dish to fish or chicken.

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By Molly Cleary, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC
Molly Cleary is a registered dietitian and recipe developer. She is also a certified nutrition support clinician.