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Minimal effort, maximum taste: the best packed lunch recipes

These exciting, delicious dishes are cheaper than chips… and healthier, too!
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Zingy Chorizo Couscous

Zingy Chorizo Couscous

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

A fresh, summer chorizo recipe, perfect for a packed lunch or picnic — and only 61p per portion

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. 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, I guess.

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!

Click here for the full chorizo recipe.

Zingy Chorizo Couscous

Melt-in-the-mouth chorizo & peppers with a Greek-style summer couscous salad – great for a PACKEDlunch or perfect for a picnic! *From The Hungry Hungry Husband and Jamie Oliver*
Course Lunch
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 194kcal
Cost 61p per serving


  • blender/food processor


  • 200 g couscous 1 mugful
  • 150 g chorizo thinly sliced
  • 2 peppers (any colour) deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 spring onions root end cut off and chopped into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 150 g spinach
  • 12 black olives halved
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 lemon juice of
  • large handful fresh mint
  • 50 g feta chopped into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons natural yoghurt plain, Greek, fat-free or full-fat, whatever you fancy
  • just a dash oil for frying
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 heaped teaspoon harissa
  • salt & pepper for seasoning


Make the couscous

  • Add spring onions to a food processor with spinach, ¾ of the mint (save the rest for garnish each day), and salt & pepper and blitz until finely chopped
  • Remove the blade, add the couscous and then twice as much water, i.e. a 1:2 ratio, couscous:water
  • Stir it all round, put the lid back on the food processor, and leave it to absorb

Cook the chorizo mix:

  • Put a dash of oil into a large frying pan or skillet on a medium heat and, when hot, add the chorizo & peppers and cook for 5 minutes until the peppers soften nicely and the chorizo releases its oil
  • Add the honey and stir through for 1 minute before adding the olives & garlic and cooking for a few more minutes, then remove from the heat
  • 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::

  • Fluff the couscous mix with a fork, add the juice of ½ the lemon then transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film, and pop in the fridge until needed
  • Transfer the chopped feta to a tub and leave in the fridge until needed
  • Add yoghurt to a small bowl and then ripple harissa through it; cover with cling film and put in the fridge until needed

In the morning:

  • Decant a portion of the couscous to a tub or lunch box and spoon a portion of the chorizo mix on top
  • Sprinkle some feta pieces and some of the remaining torn up mint leaves on top before drizzling over the yoghurt & harissa mix


*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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