Couscous Salad with Chicken, Dates, and Walnuts

Couscous Salad with Chicken, Dates, and Walnuts Recipe
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr
This dish is a cinch to prepare, and you can make it your own using fresh mint instead of cilantro, or almonds or hazelnuts instead of walnuts. Also try it with chicken breast or pork tenderloin in place of chicken thighs. Dates add a delicious Mediterranean touch, yielding a lovely sweet-savory flavor balance; for more tang, substitute dried apricots.


Serves 6
Total time: 20 Minutes

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 20 Minutes
Total: 20 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 323
Fat 12.5 g
Satfat 1.7 g
Monofat 2.9 g
Polyfat 6.9 g
Protein 17.7 g
Carbohydrate 36.4 g
Fiber 3.6 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Iron 1.5 mg
Sodium 224 mg
Calcium 65 mg


1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
12 pitted Medjool dates, diced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
3 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces)
2 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste


1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous; cover pan. Remove from heat; let couscous mixture stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover pan; fluff couscous with a fork. Combine buttermilk, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add couscous, walnuts, cilantro, dates, and green onion; stir mixture gently to combine.

3. Drizzle olive oil evenly over chicken thighs; sprinkle both sides of chicken with remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and garlic. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a large ovenproof skillet. Broil chicken for 5 minutes; turn chicken over. Broil an additional 3 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Pour pan juices into couscous mixture; toss gently to combine. Spoon about 1 cup couscous mixture onto each of 6 plates. Slice chicken crosswise; divide chicken evenly over couscous.


MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Rozanne Gold,

Cooking Light

September 2013
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