Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Couscous

20130305-DSC_7754-5Today I would like to take you to Morocco +  share one of my favourite dishes to make during the week. I love it not only because it’s full of flavour and has wonderful texture. I also love it because it’s so very easy and takes no time to make! There is very little hands-on time with this dish, which I really appreciate after a long day of work. You just pop the seasoned veggies in the oven to roast, make a quick batch of couscous (ie. as quick as boiling a pot of water) and top with golden raisins, pine nuts (or almonds) and caramelized onions. If I’m really running low on time, I skip the caramelized onions and this dish is still amazing. They key to making this dish a real show-stopper is seasoning the vegetables with Ras el Hanout spice blend. Ras el Hanout is a blend of spices often including cumin, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne pepper, saffron, cloves and nutmeg. The combination of spices are perfect.

Friday Favourites will resume next week. I just could not wait to share this dish with all of you! Wishing all of my wonderful readers a happy International Women’s Day. May there be peace, respect and equal opportunity for all. May each and every woman across the world have access to education, proper health care, security and the freedom to exercise her own human rights.

Cheers to strong, influential women around the world! Which woman inspires you?


  • 4 cups of sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Ras el Hanout
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of organic vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of uncooked couscous (regular or whole wheat)
  • 1-15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup of golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (or agave syrup)


1. Preheat oven to 400’F.

2. In a small bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips with canola oil or olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle ras el hanout, salt and pepper over the vegetables. Mix to distrubute seasoning. Place vegetables on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for until vegetables are slightly browned and tender (about 25 minutes).

3. While vegetables are roasting, bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add couscous. Remove saucepan from heat, cover and allow couscous to rest for at least 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork then slowly mix in the chickpeas. Re-cover.

4. While couscous and vegetables are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil or canola oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until browned (about 10 minutes). Add pine nuts or almonds and raisins. Cook another 2 minutes then sprinkle mixture with ground cinnamon.

5. Mound couscous in the middle of a neutral coloured serving platter. Place vegetables over the couscous. Spoon topping over the vegetables. Drizzle honey or agave over the dish and serve.

Yield: 6 servings (about 1 and 1/2 cups each serving)

Source: adapted from Cooking Light – January 2009


  1. says

    Spicy roasted root veg over couscous sounds like a deceptively simple yet delicious meal! Somehow I have never had ras el hanout…must fix that. :)

  2. says

    I love Moroccan inspired dishes, and I like how you changed this up from the usual recipes by adding carrots and parsnips to the vegetable mix. I’ve never cooked with ras el hanout, but it contains pretty much all of my favourite spices combined, so it sounds amazing! A spoonful of chutney on top of this bowl would be the perfect touch of sweetness for me :)

  3. Suzanne says

    Hi! I love your blog!
    This sounds absolutely delicious!
    Quick question: I always have a feverish need to add fresh herbs to anything I cook, and I was wondering if adding some chopped flat leaf parsley and/or mint to the couscous just before serving would be good idea? And/or maybe some grated lemon zest (or a bit of lemon juice perhaps) to counter the sweetness of the roasted veggies? I’m asking this here so that I know whether to add these ingredients to my list next time I go shopping for groceries :)

    • thefigtree says

      Thank you for the kind comment :) I think both parsley and mint would be wonderful mixed in with the couscous. Some lemon zest would be really nice – or even some finely diced preserved lemons if you can find them. You may want to add a savoury element such as green olives too.

      • Suzanne says

        Hi! Thanks for the reply!
        I tried this recipe yesterday, and I must say: I’M IN LOVE! It’s super easy (it basically does the work for you) but tastes oh so wonderful. I did end up adding a little chopped mint and grated lemon zest to the couscous, even before reading your comment, and it really added another layer to the already complex flavours of this dish. I haven’t been cooking for very long, so I’m still a bit wary about adding things that are not in the recipe, hence my question. I guess the lesson here is I should learn to trust my intuition a bit more!
        Oh, and thanks for the tips on the preserved lemons and the olives! I’ll try those next time (read; very very soon!).
        PS: I did really mean it when I said that I love your blog ;) I’ve been a vegetarian for over half of my life and I constantly find myself confronted with the view that food without meat is somehow lacking the star ingredient. But in dishes like these, no one really misses it! Veggies absolutely can be stars in their own right, and I think a lot of your recipes really make them shine. Furthermore, even though I’ve just started cooking, I feel like I’d actually able to make most of the recipes on this blog. For me, the fact that the they seem accessible and doable is a big motivation to try new things I otherwise wouldn’t have. And lastly, I really love that so many dishes are inspired by different cultures. Making this recipe was my first time using Ras el Hanout, and it feels a bit like I’ve made a culinary journey of some sort. So once again, seeing as third time’s the charm: thank you!

    • thefigtree says

      Me too! I cannot believe I used to hate veggies as a kid and teenager. They are may favourite thing ever now! :)

  4. says

    I love roasted root vegetables mixed with a grain (most recently, it’s been farro or millet). I need to try this recipe to give one of my favorite dishes a moroccan twist! :-)

    • thefigtree says

      Yum! I’ve made this dish with both couscous and quinoa, but never thought to use farro. Awesome idea. I love the chewiness of farro. It sticks to your ribs! *haha*

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