fbpx

One-Pan Pearl Couscous Recipe with Smashed Tomatoes & Balsamic Vegetables

Dinner or lunch meal prep, this savory vegetarian couscous and fresh veg recipe is crave-worthy. One-pan means simple cooking and clean-up. Toasted nuts and feta top it off.

This savory vegetarian pearl couscous recipe with stir-fried balsamic vegetables and smashed tomatoes is crave-worthy and perfect for healthy lunch or dinner meal prep. One-pan means simple cooking and clean-up. Toasted nuts and feta top it off.

side view of a bowl of perfectly cooked toasted pearl couscous topped with balsamic vegetables

Weeknight Dinner

close-up of one-pan Pearl Couscous & Smashed Tomato Veg in a white bowl

Lunch Meal Prep

One-Pan Pearl Couscous served with Smashed Tomatoes and Balsamic Vegetables in lunch container

This Pearl Couscous recipe is a One Pan Meal Wonder: Low Fuss, Great Flavor

My family can’t get enough pearl couscous lately. Little balls of pasta, what’s not to love?! Because they cook so quickly (8-10 minutes), they’re an easy choice for weeknight meals and meal prep lunches. Brown rice and chickpeas are another delicious meal prep base. And since I’m a mama with my own “all the dishes” song that I made up, I am always hunting for one-pot-wonders. In this case, a one pan wonder!

How to make this pearl couscous recipe:

Toast nuts in a hot pan. Set nuts aside. Add oil and saute some veggies. Give them a flavor blast with balsamic vinegar. Set veg aside. Toast pearl couscous in the pan. Add broth and tomato paste. Cover and cook. Toss the cooked pearl couscous and stir-fried balsamic vegetables together. Top with toasted nuts and feta (if you eat dairy). Done. One pan to wash!

1 Minute Pearl Couscous Recipe Video

Roasty Toasty Nuts

Nuts bring a depth of flavor to vegetarian and vegan meals, especially when toasted. It brings out the nutty flavor and aroma. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add nuts to the dry, hot pan. Toss until fragrant. Transfer nuts to a bowl when finished.

I used pecans, because they are my family’s favorite. Any nut or combination of nuts would be equally delicious: walnuts, pine nuts, almonds or even pistachios!

chopped pecans being toasted in a pan

How to make Savory Balsamic Vegetables & Smashed Tomatoes

Add oil to the same pan. Toss onion slices in the oil and stir regularly to prevent burning.

white onions being sauteed in a pan

When onions have softened, add zucchini and baby tomatoes. Another easy, one-pan, and veggie packed lunch prep idea is 20-minute vegan stir fry noodles!

Onion, zucchini and baby tomatoes sauteeing in a pan

If you have a little “sous chef”, adding veggies and stirring is a great job!

Little sous chef helping mama cooking a pearl couscous recipe

When the tomatoes are starting to split and zucchini is slightly soft, add asparagus tips.

balsamic vegetables sauteeing in a pan

Using the back of a spoon or spatula, give the tomatoes a smash!

smashed tomatoes and balsamic vegetables in a white pan
Smash those juicy little tomatoes with your spatula!

Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes and stir for another minute or two. Transfer vegetables to a plate.

How to cook pearl couscous perfectly:

Add couscous to the pan and stir as it toasts for a minute or two.

pearl couscous being toasted in a pan

Pour vegetable broth and tomato paste into the pan. Bring to boil and reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

broth being added to toasted pearl couscous
pearl couscous cooking in tomato broth

The pearl couscous is done when it is soft and has absorbed all of the liquid. Cooking pearl couscous and grains in broth allows extra flavor to saturate through. This is one more way to build complex flavor in meatless meals.

Savory pearl couscous in a pan ready to be topped with balsamic vegetables

How to serve this one-pan pearl couscous:

In a serving dish or lunch food storage containers, layer the couscous, sauteed veggies, and nuts. If desired, top with feta for a final pop of flavor and texture contrast. This healthy one-pan dish reheats beautifully and stores well in the refrigerator for several days.

Couscous & Smashed Tomato Veg

Variations on this pearl couscous recipe:

  • You can use instant couscous instead of pearl couscous. Just remember couscous does not require cooking, only “steeping” so adjust the recipe accordingly. You can still toast the instant couscous to give it more flavor. Find out how to cook it perfectly on the stove or in the microwave here.
  • For a vegan version, omit feta and sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese or drizzle with vegan cashew sour cream.
  • Walnuts are great alternatives for pecans in this recipe.
Couscous & Smashed Tomato Veg Meal Prep

If you are not huge on couscous, you can still make the balsamic vegetables and use them as a topping for my brown rice and chickpeas. Or, if you like the pearl couscous recipe, but want a different topping, maybe this vegan sweet and sour chicken is what you’re looking for.

Print
close-up of one-pan Pearl Couscous & Smashed Tomato Veg in a white bowl

One-Pan Couscous & Smashed Tomato Veg


  • Author: Katie Allen

Description

Dinner or lunch meal prep, this savory, vegetarian couscous and fresh vegetable recipe is crave-worthy. One-pan means simple cooking and clean-up. Toasted nuts and feta top it off.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp pecans, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 8oz baby tomatoes
  • 1 cup asparagus, 1″ slices
  • 1 zucchini, sliced and halved
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 cups Israeli couscous (pearl couscous)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • feta (optional topping)
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add nuts to the dry, hot pan. Toss until fragrant. Transfer nuts to a bowl when finished.
  2. Add oil to the same pan. Toss onion slices in the oil and stir regularly to prevent burning.
  3. When onions have softened, add zucchini and baby tomatoes.
  4. When the tomatoes are starting to split and zucchini is slightly soft, add asparagus tips.
  5. Using the back of a spoon or spatula, give the tomatoes a smash!
  6. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes and stir for another minute or two. Transfer vegetables to a plate.
  7. Add couscous to the pan and stir as it toasts for a minute or two.
  8. Pour vegetable broth and tomato paste into the pan. Bring to boil and reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Couscous is done when it is soft and has absorbed all of the liquid.
  10. In a serving dish or lunch food storage containers, layer the couscous, sauteed veggies, and nuts. If desired, top with feta for a final pop of flavor and texture contrast.

Notes

Vegetarian: This recipe is vegetarian.

Vegan: Omit feta.

 This dish reheats beautifully and stores well in the refrigerator for several days, when in an air-tight container.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

shares

free guide

try Meatless Monday for 1 month

Get 4 Days of Kid-Approved Veg Meal Ideas!