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Minimal effort, maximum taste: the best packed lunch recipes

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Zingy Chorizo Couscous

Zingy Chorizo Couscous

Greek-style couscous salad with melt-in-the-mouth chorizo & peppers.

A fresh, summery dish with some serious flavours behind it — at only 61p per portion, it’s great for a packed lunch or perfect for a picnic!


Perhaps you can tell by the name, but Jamie Oliver’s original recipe that this dish stems from, ‘Chorizo & Squid with Greek-style Couscous Salad‘, contains one pertinent ingredient that I’m lacking… I’ve only grown to like seafood in the last few years, after I was served a beautiful plate of salmon at a dinner party and was too polite to turn it down! But, this time, squid just seemed a little too much for me while I’m still getting used to those fishy textures & flavours, so I missed it out completely. Maybe next time when I’m feeling a bit braver, although I’ll have to experiment with how well it would keep over the week for lunch…

Even without the squid, this recipe really packs a punch! The couscous salad is wonderfully light, fresh, and summery (I immediately pictured it being a hit at a picnic on a swelteringly hot day), but then the earthy, salty, sweet & spicy burst of flavours from the chorizo, peppers, olives, & feta combo kicks in to lift the plate above & beyond… And then the harissa comes in, rounding it all off with its smoky undertones. Glorious!


Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 10 mins | Servings: 6
Essential kit: blender/food processor
Cost? I paid £0.61 per serving

Ingredients
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Full Instructions

Make the couscous

3 spring onions (root end cut off & chopped into 3 or 4 pieces); 150g spinach; ¾ of a large handful mint leaves (save the rest for garnish each day); salt & pepper; 1 mugful/200g couscous; 2 mugfuls of boiling water

  1. Boil a kettle with about 500ml water in
  2. Add spring onions to a food processor with the spinach, mint leaves, and salt & pepper and blitz until finely chopped
  3. Remove the blade and add couscous & water
    *tip* whatever you measure the couscous in, you want twice as much water, so just a 1:2 ratio
  4. Stir it all round, put the lid back on the food processor, and leave it to absorb

Cook the chorizo mix:

oil; 150g chorizo (thinly sliced); 2 peppers (deseeded and thinly sliced); 1 tbsp honey; 12–15 olives (halved); 2 garlic cloves (crushed or finely chop)

  1. Put a dash of oil into a large frying pan or skillet (like mine — see pictures) on a medium heat
  2. When hot, add the chorizo and peppers and cook for 5 minutes until the peppers soften nicely and the chorizo releases its oil
  3. Add honey to the pan and stir through for 1 minute
  4. Add the olives & garlic and cook for a few more minutes before removing from the heat
  5. Transfer the mix to a tub, including all the chorizo oil, and, when cool, put in the fridge until needed

Finish the couscous & prep the final ingredients:

juice of ½ a lemon; 50g feta (choped into small pieces); 4 tbsp yoghurt; 1 tsp harissa

  1. Fluff the couscous mix with a fork and add the lemon juice
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film, and pop in the fridge until needed
  3. Transfer the chopped feta to a tub and leave in the fridge until needed
  4. Add the yoghurt to a small bowl and ripple the harissa through it before covering with cling film and putting in the fridge until needed

In the morning:

remaining mint leaves (roughly torn up)

  1. Decant a portion of the couscous to a tub or lunch box and spoon a portion of the chorizo mix on top
  2. Sprinkle some feta pieces and mint leaves over the top
  3. Drizzle over the yoghurt & harissa mix
  4. Take to work and enjoy!

*hot option* leave the yoghurt & harissa separate when you take it to work; put the couscous and chorizo mix in the microwave for about 2 minutes; once hot, finish with a drizzle of the yoghurt & harissa

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