This easy kale and couscous salad has only four ingredients! It is the perfect healthy side dish to bring to your next cookout.
Since we’re officially in cookout season, I think it’s time to put some healthy side dishes into rotation!
Honestly, a salad of some sort if always my go-to side for a cookout or get together. They’re easy to whip up, and you can load them full of healthy ingredients.
It seems like meat is usually the focus of a cookout…which is probably for obvious reasons. I’d argue that veggies are the forgotten food, usually presented in a tray with a dip…that only gets eaten once the chips are gone.
The other typical alternative is a regular old salad, but who just wants lettuce with some shredded cheese and ranch dressing? Not me!
I’m all about sides like this easy kale and couscous salad instead.
To make a killer salad, I look to include four main things:
- a carb—a lot of the time I’ll do pasta or quinoa, but here I switched things up and went for couscous
- any of my favorite veggies
- a green—kale is my obvious first choice, but I’ve done Romaine before, too
- flavorful dressing—you can get creative and make your own dressing with an oil, vinegar and seasonings…but there are a lot of healthier dressing options that make prepping for a cookout much less time consuming
Hearty salads like this not only look delicious, but also taste delicious. They’re also loaded with veggies, so you know you’re getting some nutrition in there, too!
I still think it’s funny how kale has become my all-time favorite green. It used to be spinach, and I don’t even buy spinach anymore. Ever. Spinach just gets wilty and kinda sad looking. Kale is always the star ingredient in my salad recipes these days.
The trick to getting a good kale salad, though, is in how you prep it.
First, do NOT (I repeat, DO NOT) purchase pre-cut kale. Not only will it come in a bag you can’t recycle (team environmentalist over here), but it always has chopped stems in it, which…gross. The stems of kale might have nutrition in them (no idea, just guessing here), but they’re hard and they often dry out leaving a woody texture like the end of an asparagus stalk.
So, yea. Make sure you buy a fresh bunch of kale.
Second, when you chop the kale, run your knife along the side of the stem so that you cut off all the leafy pieces. Then, you do the actual chopping. I tend to like it in small pieces because it mixes well with other ingredients.
Plus, have you ever seen someone try to eat a giant piece of lettuce? So awkward. Don’t do that to yourself.
Third, you’ve gotta rinse it off. I actually sometimes rinse each kale stalk before I chop it, but either way, make sure you thoroughly rinse it to remove any dirt or residues you’d normally find on fresh produce!
Easy Kale and Couscous Salad Grocery List
You’ll want to pick up these four items when you head to the grocery!
- bunch of kale
- cherry tomatoes
- pearl couscous—this is usually found in the aisles, either in the natural and organics section or the pasta and rice section
- Annie’s Tuscan Italian dressing
This post is not sponsored by Annie’s, I just found this dressing and fell in love with it! So perfect for a fresh side salad.
Alright, so now that you have your grocery list and your detailed instructions on how to prep your kale, let’s get to work on this super easy kale and couscous salad!
Easy Kale and Couscous Salad
Yield 4 servings
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup uncooked couscous
- Annie's Tuscan Italian salad dressing, approximately 1/4 cup or to taste
- salt to taste
- Cook couscous according to package instructions. Once cooked, set aside to begin cooling while preparing other ingredients.
- Rinse and cut cherry tomatoes in half. Add to a large bowl.
- Rinse several stalks of kale. Trim leaves away from the stem, discarding the stem once trimmed. Chop kale into small pieces, and add to bowl with tomatoes.
- Add couscous to bowl.
- Stir in salad dressing. Begin with 1/4 cup, and add more if desired.
- Taste salad, and add salt as needed.
- Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.