Spiced Wholewheat Couscous with Sweet Potato and Pistachios

Meat Free Monday

Spiced Wholewheat Couscous with sweet potato pistachios

Recipe by Stella McCartney

Wholewheat couscous is nuttier and that little bit more nutritious than the white, bran-free variety. It complements sweet potato perfectly and vice versa. This is a typical North African dish; za’tar is a spice mix used extensively in the region’s cookery.

Recipe taken from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook.  Foreword by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney.  Published by Kyle Books.  Photography by Tara Fisher.

Find more great-tasting recipes on the Meat Free Monday website.*

*Please note that this website also produces vegetarian recipes.


  1. 3 small sweet potatoes
  2. 4 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  4. 150g giant wholewheat couscous
  5. 500ml light vegetable stock or water
  6. 1 handful of raisins, preferably organic
  7. 1 rounded teaspoon za’tar
  8. 50g unshelled, unsalted pistachios, chopped
  9. TO SERVE:
  10. 1 lemon
  11. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  12. 2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander
  13. 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flatleaf parsley
  14. 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  15. salt and freshly ground black pepper


Serves 4


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
  • Scrub the sweet potatoes under cold water and cut each into 6 wedges.
  • Tip into a roasting tin, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roast in the oven for about 20–25 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and starting to caramelize at the edges.
  • Add the pumpkin seeds to the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  • While the sweet potato is cooking prepare the couscous.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the couscous and cook gently for 2–3 minutes until starting to brown.
  • Add half of the stock or water to the pan and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the couscous is tender and has absorbed the liquid.
  • Add the remaining stock or water to the pan as and when needed.
  • Add the raisins, za’tar and chopped pistachios to the pan, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cool slightly.
  • Mix together the juice from half the lemon and the extra virgin olive oil and pour over the warm sweet potato when it comes out of the oven.
  • Gently stir the freshly chopped herbs and roasted sweet potato wedges into the couscous and serve with extra lemon wedges for squeezing over.


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