Curried Couscous Salad

Curried Couscous Salad

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted a recipe on this blog. I realized that once the days shortened, I didn’t have much light (or any, for that matter) to take photos as I cooked our meals each evening.

Now that we’re in South America, I no longer have an excuse! The sun rises around 5:30 each morning and the sky finally turn dark around 11. It’s like being in Sweden all over again.

Curried Couscous Salad

My mom has been making a variation of this curried couscous salad for several years. It’s an easy vegan staple for her to make when Dave and I visit my parents and it’s both delicious and filling.

I asked her for the recipe during our tour and made my own amendments, depending on the availability of foods. I’ll add or subtract ingredients as I find them, but I’ve found that this particular version uses items that I’ve been able to find in nearly every European country we visited, and I suspect the same for South America.

Curried Couscous Salad

Other than oats for breakfast, this is, without a doubt, my most frequently made recipe of our tour. You may notice a variety of photos of this salad. The reason for that is due to the fact that I’ve made it so many times and when you find beautiful rainbow carrots at a farmers’ market in Slovenia and the lighting in your room is perfect, you just have to take a photo. 

Curried Couscous Salad

This recipe is so simple and so easy to make that I’ll make it for both lunch and dinner. The couscous cooks in our insulated Klean Kanteen food canister while we ride  and other than grating the carrots, slicing an onion, and cutting a lemon in half, there’s little else to prepare. I don’t even boil the water for the couscous – I simply ask a restaurant to put hot water an inch above the top of the couscous, seal the canister, and go on our way.

Curried Couscous Salad

You can toast the cashews and pepitas if you like – and I do recommend it – but if you don’t feel like getting out your stove for the evening, just toss everything together and it tastes just as delightful.

This curried couscous salad comes together in minutes with very little effort.

Curried Couscous Salad

Curried Couscous Salad

Curried Couscous Salad
Serves 2
This curried couscous salad comes together effortlessly. The couscous cooks itself in an insulated canister and breaking out your camp stove is completely optional.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. Couscous
  2. 1 cup couscous
  3. 1 ½ cups boiling water
  4. ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
  5. Salad
  6. 2 carrots, grated
  7. 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  8. ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  9. ⅓ cup pepitas (toasted, if preferred)
  10. ⅓ cup cashews (toasted, if preferred)
  11. ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
  12. Dressing
  13. ¼ cup lemon juice, from 1-2 lemons, depending on size
  14. ⅓ cup olive oil
  15. 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  16. 1 T curry powder
  17. 1 tsp ground ginger
  18. 1 tsp coriander
  19. 1 tsp salt
  1. In the morning, fill an insulated canister with the couscous and water. Stir with a spoon to distribute the water. Cover and let sit while you ride or hike.
  2. When you’re ready to prepare the salad, empty the couscous into a bowl or your camping pot and add the carrots, onions, cranberries or raisins, pepitas, and cashews.
  3. If toasting the pepitas and cashews, get out your camp stove and set to medium heat. Add the cashews, pepitas and a pinch of salt to a pan and stir constantly for 4-5 minutes, until the cashews start to brown and the pepitas begin to pop.
  4. In the same canister you used to cook the couscous, add the dressing ingredients. Seal the lid and give it a good shake. Pour over the salad and gently toss. Serve and enjoy!
Adapted from from my mom's recipe, which was adapted from the PCC Curried Lentil and Quinoa Salad
Long Haul Trekkers
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  1. You don’t know me but I have been peeking through the window for a while. 🙂 My husband and I want do something similar as you two + dog have been doing. Glad to see the post, as I have been following along for the last 6 months. I am always glad to see you are safe! 🙂

    • Hi Carol! Thanks so much for reaching out. That’s awesome that you and your husband are considering a similar journey. Feel free to reach out any time with questions about anything!

  2. I wish my wife could eat curry. This looks like an amazing dish. I will share this with my friends and add to a cookbook I’m working on, if you are okay with that!

    Continued safe travels!

    • That is very sad that Michelle can’t eat curry! Is it just the spice? Perhaps you could leave out the chili powder and just mix cumin and turmeric. Thanks for sharing with friends, and of course you can add it to a cookbook you’re working on. Curious to know more about that project!

  3. Another tasty looking recipe! I especially like how you use the food canister for so many different things.

    • I LOVE my food canister. I use it at least several times a week if not for cooking grains, then for soaking things like rice and lentils to help them cook a bit more quickly. Thanks so much for following along, Megan!

  4. This looks incredible- I have massive food envy now! Definitely something I’ll be trying soon!

  5. Your salad looks amazing and pretty simple to throw together. I think I’ll pin it for one of those days when I’m really wanting to try something new!

    • Thanks Tamara! It’s a great meal for those days you really don’t feel like cooking, but want something a little different. Let me know if you try it!

  6. Delicious!! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Great recipe and it looks so healthy too! Safe travels!

  8. This salad looks delicious! Richard is allergic to onions, depending on the recipe we often substitute leek or celery. For this salad I’m not sure what the best alternative is, any suggestions?

    • Allergic to onions! That would be so tough for cooking, though I guess you get used to it! I think leeks would be great and celery could work as well, though I don’t like celery myself, so I can’t say for sure. It would add that crunch, though! If he can have shallots or green onions, that would work, too.

  9. Charlotte’s mother posting here…tried the curried couscous salad this evening and “Younger Sister” and I are definite fans! I did use a little less than the recommended amount of curry – our taste buds are hesitant with that spice – but that was it. We thought we’d best try this while Charlotte’s dad is out of town with her on their annual AZ trip. He’d be asking where the meat was! Yes, a burden with which I must live. 🙂 *sigh* Truly enjoy your website and appreciate the the time and effort you put into sharing your travels with us. Many thanks.

    • Hi Jean! I’m so glad that you gave it a try and enjoyed it! This makes me so happy. When I meet your husband some day, I’ll whip up some meals that will make him forget the meat! 😉 Thanks so much for following along and trying out my recipes.

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