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Grain-free Moroccan cauliflower couscous is gluten-free, healthy and vibrantly flavorful! Cauliflower stands in for couscous here with dried apricots, toasted almonds and Moroccan spices, tossed with fresh parsley, mint and a lemon honey drizzle.
The earth is full of thresholds where beauty awaits the wonder of our gaze. ~
Gluten-free, Moroccan Cauliflower Couscous is a pretty amazing twist on the traditional. Not too complicated and entirely plant-based! A deliciously flavorful and healthy gluten-free alternative to couscous whether or not grain is a part of your diet.
The finely riced cauliflower has a similar grainy texture to couscous (couscous is made from coarsely ground durum wheat, also known as semolina). The cauliflower is briefly cooked with shallots then tossed with diced red bell peppers, and dried apricots giving just the right amount of chewiness and fresh crunch, taking on the Moroccan spices beautifully. Fresh parsley, mint, and toasted almonds round it all out.
Cauliflower is the star here! So versatile and full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Cut it up into chunks. You may want to process in two batches.
Pulse until a coarse snowy texture forms. Set aside.
Prep all your ingredients. Chop, mince, dice. I like to keep things cut in similar sizes for texture and it looks pretty!
Moroccan Cauliflower Couscous Ingredients
- red bell pepper
- dried apricots (or use dates or raisins)
- fresh parsley and mint
- honey (or go vegan with maple syrup, rice syrup, yakon root syrup)
- spices: cinnamon, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika
- almonds (or pinenuts)
- optional additions: chickpeas, feta cheese, pinch of cayenne, preserved lemon
Start by sautéing shallots and cumin seeds in olive oil.
Add cauliflower and continue to cook over medium heat until softened and heated through.
Add red bell pepper and dried apricots. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Whisk together remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest, apple cider vinegar, honey, cinnamon, coriander and smoked paprika.
Pour over the cauliflower along with fresh chopped parsley and mint. Toss altogether thoroughly.
Top with toasted almonds.
Moroccan Cauliflower is so delicious with pan-seared salmon. Here it is shown with this recipe for Simple Moroccan Salmon.
More recipes you may like:
- How to Make Cauliflower Rice!
- Roasted Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Tofu and Veggies
- Purple Cauliflower Salad (Sicilian Style!)
- Indian Cauliflower, Chickpea & Tofu Bowls
- Portuguese Prawns and Cauliflower Grits
Moroccan Cauliflower Couscous
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 5 cups 1x
- Category: side, vegetable
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Moroccan
- Diet: Vegan
Grain-free Moroccan cauliflower couscous is gluten-free, healthy and vibrantly flavorful! Cauliflower stands in for couscous here with dried apricots, toasted almonds and Moroccan spices, tossed with fresh parsley, mint and a lemon honey drizzle. Vegan-adaptable.
- 1 head cauliflower, about 1 1/4 pounds or 5 cups riced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
- juice and zest of a lemon
- 2–3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey (or brown rice syrup, maple syrup, yacon root syrup)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup almonds, toasted (slivered, sliced or whole chopped)
- Cut cauliflower roughly into one-inch chunks. Put half into the processor and pulse until a snowy texture forms. About 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
- In a large pan put a tablespoon of olive oil, cumin seeds and shallots, sautéing 5 minutes or so over medium heat to toast the seeds and soften the shallots.
- Add cauliflower and salt, stirring over medium-low heat for about 7 minutes. Stir to fully heat all of the cauliflower. You aren’t browning the cauliflower but just heating it thoroughly and allowing it to soften.
- Add red bell pepper and dried apricots. Remove from heat. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
- Whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and zest, apple cider vinegar (start with 2 tablespoons adding more if needed), honey, cinnamon, coriander and smoked paprika. Pour over cauliflower along with parsley and mint. Toss all together. Top with toasted nuts.
Optional additions: chickpeas, feta, a pinch of cayenne
Add more veggies! Diced carrots, zucchini, green bell pepper.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 229
- Sugar: 18.1 g
- Sodium: 524.3 mg
- Fat: 12.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 27.6 g
- Fiber: 6.7 g
- Protein: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: cauliflower rice, moroccan cauliflower rice, cauliflower couscous, moroccan cauliflower couscous, gluten-free couscous
Hi! I have a question about the olive oil. You say to use 1 tablespoon for cooking the shallot and cumin. You don’t ever say where the other 2 tbs. of the oil are used. I’m anxious to make this dish, awaiting your reply. Have a lovely day.
Hi Lynne, Oh! Thanks for catching this. Recipe is fixed now- goes in with the dressing. 🙂
Thank you Tonia for getting back to me lightning fast! 🤗 I made the dish with some Moroccan chicken skewers, and a Moroccan zucchini salad. The family loved everything but the most comments were about the cauliflower. Normally we don’t like cauliflower rice (although we love cauliflower, go figure) but this dish was lovely! I even used a bag of frozen already riced, which I was sure was going to be watery, but turned out perfect. I made 2 small changes; adding 1/2 cup 1/4” diced carrot and 1 tsp of Sambal for some extra heat. The dressing was delicious, I have some left over that I plan to pour over some roasted carrots. Yum.
Love it! So happy you all enjoyed!
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! We celebrate a family member with a bbq and I made this as a side dish. My husband and My in laws absolutely loved it! My husband have now asked me to make more tomorrow
So happy you enjoyed this Rebecca!
I like the base, but the smoked smoked paprika was far too overpowering. I would have also add less than two table spoons of apple cider vinegar if I made this again.
Thanks for the feed back Dustin.
This couscous is fantastic. I’ll make it again and again
So glad you liked it!
Excellent! Will be making this again. Thank you!
Great! So happy you enjoyed!
I really enjoyed this switch-up from grain! Instead of the recommended sauce, I opted to spritz fresh lemon juice on it once plated. It was tasty with a side of sauteed shrimp.
Great to hear Maria!
This was good! We had it as part of the baked falafel bowls. It made a ton 🙂
Made this yesterday and it’s fast and delicious! Even my husband who is not a big fan of cauliflower enjoyed it. I added chickpeas for protein and it will be a perfect lunch for the next few days. Thanks for another interesting and delicious recipe!
Yay! So glad you liked it.
This dish is yummy and easy. My husband thought it was rice, bless his soul. The spices came together well as did the fresh herbs. Because I didn’t have bell peppers subbed with very fine diced carrots which added a nice crunch. Used 1tsp roasted and bruised cumin. Great for lunch next day. Enjoying it now
Thats cute, sounds about like my husband 🙂 Love the adaption of carrots. Glad you enjoyed!
I’ve made many of your vegetarian recipes and they have all been great. This salad looks amazing. Since I am single and usually when I make a salad it lasts me the week for work.
Please let me know if this salad will hold up for a couple of days if I left the dressing until I go to eat it. I’m concerned the cauliflower will go saugy.
Hi Wendy, I can tell you that it will last at least 4 days in the fridge. I don’t think you need to worry about dressing on the side. It is a moist dish to begin with. You could also serve over some salad greens to soak up the goodness! Hope you enjoy!
Thanks, I’ll let you know after I’ve made it.
For speed and ease I alway use bags of rices cauliflower. Is there a big difference in taste when processing from a large head? Thoughts?
I don’t know but it should be fine!