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Giant Couscous Salad with Harissa and Orange

Giant couscous salad with rose harissa paste, orange & red onion is a wonderfully versatile and quick side dish that will brighten any plate.

Preparation for this dish takes a relatively leisurely 15 minutes and cooking takes less than 10 minutes, it is great with everything from roasted meats to vegetables and fish!

Giant couscous salad with rose harissa paste and oranges.

Spicy Pearl Couscous Salad with Oranges

I love couscous, you will see my simple buttered couscous or roasted vegetable couscous recipes on the side of lots of my North African and Middle Eastern influenced recipes.

My latest couscous offering uses something a little different, giant or pearl couscous and spices it up a little.

This giant couscous salad leans on another of my favourite ingredients for flavour, harissa paste.

It’s a wonderfully fragrant paste made from a host of spices and different types of peppers. It appears here in everything from my harissa salmon fillets to carrot and lentil soup to my harissa lamb chops, sweet potato tagine and lamb stuffed peppers.

The spice of the harissa paste is cut with oranges which add both sharpness and sweetness and some sweet red onions for both flavour and texture.

And you get all of this loveliness in well under 30 minutes!

Roasted cauliflower steak served with giant couscous salad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is giant couscous known by any other names?

Yes, it is also called pearl couscous, pearled couscous and Israeli couscous.

Can I use regular couscous?

Whilst the flavours will work the harissa pasta will not coat regular couscous in the same way, as a result, I would personally avoid doing this.

Can’t I just soak giant couscous as I do with small couscous?

You can, but the absorption method is not as reliable as regular couscous. It can also leave crunch bits, which really are not very nice.

Do I have to use rose harissa?

No, you can use any harissa that you wish. I love the flavour of rose harissa, and for those interested I use the Belazu branded stuff.

Is segmenting the oranges easy?

Everything is easy with a bit of practice… that aside, yes so long as you take your time and use a sharp knife it is easy.

Begin by cutting the top and bottom off the orange, and then place it cut-side down on a chopping board.

Working with a sharp knife cut the pith from the orange working the knife in an almost barrel shape.

Finally cut the segments from the orange by holding it in your hand and sliding the knife along side the white membrane to free each segment.

Overhead giant couscous salad with rose harissa paste and oranges.

Serving Suggestions

This giant couscous side salad is wonderfully versatile and complements everything from fish to vegetables and grilled meats.

It is pictured further up the page with my roasted cauliflower steak and below with some pan-fried grey mullet with a preserved lemon “sauce”.

But I have served also served it with my harissa pork chops, minced lamb arayes and Harissa meatballs.

It works great with stuff on sticks too! Whether they be meaty like my beef kofta kebabs or these vegetarian black bean and lentil kebabs, it is a great side.

You could also turn this into a lunch box filler by adding feta cheese and some peppery rocket!

Pan fried grey mullet fillet served with preserved lemons and parsley and giant couscous.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 15cm or 6″ saucepan.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Citrus zester.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Giant or pearl couscous side salad with rose harissa paste and oranges.
Yield: 2 Servings

Giant Couscous Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This wonderfully versatile and easy giant or pearl couscous side salad gets a big whack of flavour from rose harissa paste which is lightened with oranges and red onions... and it all comes together in under 30 minutes.


  • 200g (1 Cup) Giant Couscous
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 150g (1 Cup) Red Onion
  • 2 Oranges
  • 1 Medium Hot Red Chilli Pepper
  • 10g (½ Cup) Parsley
  • 50g (3 Tbsp) Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Rose Harissa Paste


  1. Bring a 15cm or 6" saucepan of water to a boil, add the salt and the couscous and boil as per the instructions on the packet, this will be between 6 and 8 minutes, then drain and place in a bowl.
  2. Whilst the cous cous is still hot add the rose harissa and olive oil and stir to coat, then allow it to cool whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients. Now is a good time to have a taste and add more salt if you think it is required.
  3. Zest the oranges and then trim the top and bottom and peel off the pith. Do this by taking off strips with a sharp kitchen knife. Then cut out the individual segments of orange and set them aside. Squeeze the "carcass" of the orange into the couscous to make the most of the juice.
  4. Cut the red onion in half and peel it, then cut it into half-moon shapes as thinly as you can.
  5. Remove the stem and the seeds from the chilli pepper and dice it as finely as you can.
  6. When the couscous has cooled (it does not need to be cold, just not hot) add the sliced red onion, orange segments and any juice and the sliced onion and carefully mix taking care not to break up the orange segments.
  7. Just before you are ready to serve chop the parsley as finely as you can and fold it through the salad.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 526Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 706mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 7gSugar: 18gProtein: 9g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

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