Mediterranean Couscous, Swiss Chard, and Peppers

5 from 3 votes

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The beautiful colors of chard and peppers make an arresting couscous side dish.

Mediterranean Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers on white plate.

This couscous recipe is a fantastic and beautiful side dish, colorful and filled with texture. If you offer to bring something to a party, and your host says, “A side dish would be great,” then this recipe is perfect.

I love rainbow chard, sometimes called Bright Lights, which really lives up to its name with its variety of brightly colored stems. Using more than one color of bell pepper keeps the whole rainbow thing going. You could add some halved grape or cherry tomatoes — again, red, yellow, and orange — crazy, right?

Mediterranean Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers on white serving platter.

This Mediterranean Couscous, Swiss Chard and Peppers is a fantastic and beautiful side dish. I love the rainbow chard, but you can use other varieties. 

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Recipe Tips & Variations

Some olives would be fabulous in this as well. And slivered basil, or other fresh herbs. Or check out another take on a couscous salad: Artichoke, Feta and Roasted Pepper Couscous Salad.

I make Israeli couscous salads all summer long. An Israeli or Mediterranean couscous salad is a perfect thought when you are trying to turn almost any assortment of vegetables from the market into a side dish or even a meal. To make Israeli couscous, either follow package directions, or see the directions in the Note below.

Mediterranean Couscous, Swiss Chard, and Peppers in serving dish on table with blue plate.

Serving and Storage

You could serve this salad at room temperature, slightly chilled, or warm. If you want to serve it warm, make the couscous right before serving, and then add the vegetables and dressing. You could also heat it in the microwave.

This salad can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Give it an extra drizzle of olive oil, and toss again before serving (taste and see if it needs a bit of extra salt and pepper as well).

More Delicious Couscous Salads

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5 from 3 votes

Mediterranean Couscous, Swiss Chard, and Peppers

The beautiful colors of chard and peppers make an arresting couscous side dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 People
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  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 red onion (halved and sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 cups cooked Israeli couscous (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  • Seed, core, and cut the peppers into 1-inch pieces. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the peppers in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper, spread them out, and roast the peppers for 10 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, chop the chard by slicing off the stems and roughly chopping the greens. Rinse well in a colander, then shake the colander to get rid of excess moisture.
  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the onions and saute for 4 minutes. Then add the garlic, and stir for another minute. Add the chard, season with salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes, until the chard is tender.
  • Place the couscous in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice and toss to combine. Add the cooked peppers and chard, toss to combine everything well, and check for seasonings.


To make the Israeli couscous, use 2 1/3 cups vegetable broth or water to 1½ cups Israeli couscous. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the couscous, and stir in it the oil occasionally for about 3 minutes, until it starts to color. Add the broth or water, cover the pot, and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and continue to simmer for about 12 minutes, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, and then turn off the heat and let sit covered for another 2 minutes.


Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 17mg, Potassium: 139mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 862IU, Vitamin C: 50mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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1 Comment

  1. Mira says:

    All the swiss chard we planted grew and grew…so I am always looking for more recipes. I added a zucchini (also from garden) that I roasted with the peppers, and stirred a rounded teaspoon of Trader Joe’s zhug into the dressing.