Sweet Potato Couscous

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Sweet Potato Couscous are bowls topped with caramelized roasted sweet potatoes, white beans, almonds, pesto and avocado. This delicious meal is simple to make and packed with nutritious ingredients!

 

Overhead image of Sweet Potato Couscous on a plate, ready to be eaten.

Sweet Potato Couscous

Last month I asked my Instagram readers what they wanted to see more of on my site, and was amazed at how many asked for more veggie-filled meals. I was excited to get that feedback because I love cooking with veggies as the bulk of a meal. Today I’m unveiling Sweet Potato Couscous that I can honestly say is one of my all-time favorite recipes.

And for you meat lovers out there, don’t despair! This meal pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or pan-seared salmon.

There are three main components to this dish: roasted sweet potatoes with white beans, lemon pesto couscous, and the toppings. I’ll discuss each in more detail below.

Process shots-- images of the sweet potatoes being cut and put on a tray to be roasted with seasonings, then the white beans being added on the freshly roasted sweet potatoes to warm through

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • Use an extra-large sheet pan. The more space the potato cubes have, the better (and quicker) they roast. When vegetables are overlapping on a sheet pan, they end up steaming instead of roasting, which affects the end taste and texture. Good roasted sweet potatoes should have a crispy caramelized exterior and a soft irresistible interior. I recommend using a 15×21 inch sheet pan when roasting the potatoes.
  • Toss the sweet potato cubes every 10-15 minutes. This helps to ensure an even bake and caramelization, so pay attention to the color and tenderness of the sweet potatoes when tossing them. You know the sweet potatoes are done roasting when they are easily pierced with a fork.
  • Season to taste. Instead of an elaborate seasoning blend, we rely on just a few staples — paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper. Don’t be afraid to add a touch more salt and/or pepper as needed; you’ll be amazed how these two simple seasonings truly transform sweet potatoes!
  • Add white beans to the tray with the sweet potatoes. To keep this sweet potato couscous simple, we warm the white beans through on the tray with the sweet potatoes after they’re finished roasting. The beans will quickly warm on the still-hot pan with the sweet potatoes — no need to warm them in a separate pot!

QUICK TIP

How To Cut A Sweet Potato For Roasting:

  1. Peel the sweet potato.
  2. Cut off the ends and a lengthwise strip. Removing a thin lengthwise strip on the bottom of the potato allows you to set the sweet potato sturdily on your cutting board. That way, when you make the other cuts, you don’t have to worry about the potato rolling or sliding around– that increases the chances of cutting yourself.
  3. Cut into rounds. Cut the sweet potato into equal 1/2-inch rounds.
  4. Chop into pieces. Cut each sweet potato “round” into 1/2-inch equal-sized pieces.

Images of the seasonings being added to the cooked couscous.

Couscous

One of my favorite things about couscous is how quick it is to whip together. From start to finish it can be ready in 10 minutes or less.

There are several different types of couscous, so you want to make sure to get the small couscous so it cooks up in this short amount of time.

And once the couscous is fully cooked, you’ll stir in some pesto, lemon juice, and season it with salt and pepper. So simple! Layer this lemon pesto couscous as the base and load it up with the roasted sweet potatoes and white bean mixture.

Then it’s all about the toppings…

Up-close image of the basil pesto used in this recipe.

Sweet Potato Couscous Toppings

Just a few toppings tie everything together and pack the final punch of flavor. Here’s what you’ll want to top this sweet potato couscous with:

  • sliced and candied or roasted almonds (I use a bag of store-bought honey roasted almonds)
  • ripe avocado (chopped or sliced)
  • a wedge of fresh lemon
  • a few more spoonfuls of pesto

QUICK TIP

Since the pesto is a big part of this dish, make sure you get a really delicious one. You can of course make your own, but if you’re looking to save some time I’d recommend getting a refrigerated, freshly-made pesto, which you can typically find near refrigerated fresh pastas and gourmet cheeses. Rana’s® Basil Pesto is my personal favorite store-bought pesto sauce (not sponsored).

Up-close image of Sweet Potato Couscous, ready to be eaten.

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Sweet Potato Couscous

5 from 1 vote
Sweet Potato Couscous bowls are topped with roasted sweet potatoes, white beans, almonds, pesto, and avocado.
Print Recipe

Sweet Potato Couscous

5 from 1 vote
Sweet Potato Couscous bowls are topped with roasted sweet potatoes, white beans, almonds, pesto, and avocado.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword sweet potato couscous
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 679kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $5.68

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (438g) sweet potatoes cut into small chunks (~2 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, paprika
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 can (15.5 oz; 439g) white kidney (cannellini) beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (184g) uncooked Moroccan couscous (See Note 1)
  • 1 cup (236g) vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
  • 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (110g) good quality basil pesto sauce divided (we like Rana's)
  • 2 large lemons
  • 1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1/3 cup (39g) honey-roasted almonds (See Note 2)

Instructions

  • SWEET POTATOES: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces (1/2-inch cubes). Place on a very large sheet pan and toss with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, and salt + pepper (to taste; I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper) See Note 3. Toss everything together, spread out the potatoes, and place in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, remove and stir around, and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until crisp-tender (timing will depend on the size of the potatoes and how spaced out they are on the tray).
  • WHITE BEANS: Remove the sweet potato tray from the oven and add the drained and rinsed white beans directly on to the tray. Add 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and a bit more salt and pepper (I add about 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, but add to personal preference) and toss to warm the beans. Set aside.
  • COUSCOUS: Meanwhile, pour the broth or water into a small pot. Add in 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from heat. Stir in the uncooked couscous and cover the pot with a lid. After about 2-4 minutes the liquid should be absorbed; fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in 1/4 cup (55g) pesto, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and about 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (again, to personal preference).
  • ASSEMBLY: Fill 4 bowls with even amounts of the pesto couscous. Add the roasted sweet potato and bean mixture. Add fresh chopped or sliced avocado to each bowl and top with even amounts of the almonds. If desired, add a wedge of lemon to each bowl. Spoon the remaining 1/4 cup pesto evenly over the bowls (using more or less to taste preference). Enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Here's the couscous I use for this recipe
Note 2: I use a bag of store-bought honey roasted almonds
Note 3: Depending on the ingredients used (particularly the pesto), you may not need as much salt/pepper. Season every element of the dish (couscous, potatoes, beans), but add very slowly and to taste. If the dish feels at all flat it likely just needs an extra pinch of salt/pepper or a squeeze of lemon.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 123g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 358mg | Potassium: 1304mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 25331IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 6mg

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

 

The BEST roasted sweet potato couscous bowls with pesto, avocado, honey roasted almonds, and white beans. Healthy vegetarian meal!! via chelseasmessyapron.com
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7 Comments

  1. This is a fantastic and versatile recipe! It tastes great and what a yummy way to use pesto. I didn’t have couscous so I used tri-quinoa and used dark red kidney beans in place of white beans. Added some sun dried tomatoes, and it was delicious!!!

  2. 5 stars
    How long does this last in the refrigerator? I just made it and it’s absolutely delicious! I would like to try to meal prep with it.

  3. What nice recipes on the site. I accidentally bought a second giant Costco sized bag of sweet potatoes and was looking around for recipes and these ones look really great. Just my kind of recipes. I’m heading to the store! I haven’t actually made anything yet but I will. Thanks so much this website is a great find.

    1. Hey Britta! Sweet potatoes are one of my favorites so I have TONS of sweet potato recipes 🙂 Hope you love whatever you try; we’re obsessed with these pesto bowls!

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