Spiced-Couscous Cucumber Bites

Cool cucumber rounds make a refreshing base for a spicy salad made with chunky Israeli couscous. This delicious canapé gets its bold flavor from the North African spice blend ras el hanout, a tantalizing mixture of ginger, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and other mouthwatering seasonings. Creamy tahini binds the couscous and spices together, while dried apricots add bursts of tart fruitiness to each bite—not to mention the tangy onion and aromatic mint that take everything to the next level of yum. Impress guests with these tiny-but-mighty appetizers that pack a flavorful punch!

For more couscous recipes, check out these tasty ideas:

By Darshana Thacker Wendel,


  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup dry whole grain pearl couscous
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • ¾ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh or dried apricots or whole raisins
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons ras el hanout
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 3 Persian cucumbers


  • In a small saucepan bring broth to boiling. Add couscous and stir well. Simmer 10 minutes; remove from heat, cover pan, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover pan; drain off any remaining liquid. Stir in tahini. Let the couscous cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer cooled couscous to a bowl. Stir in the next five ingredients (through ras el hanout). Season with salt.
  • Slice the cucumbers into ⅓-inch- thick rounds. Use a small melon baller to scoop out a shallow well in the center of each cucumber round. Fill each cucumber cup with about 2 teaspoons of couscous mixture. Garnish with additional mint. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Comments (6)

(5 from 2 votes)

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Nancy Hiatt

Can the couscous be made a day ahead without being mushy?


Why do you add ingredients that we will only use one time? Some of us cannot buy the ingredients that is needed or will ever need. Also, where is the protein?


The couscous has plenty of protein. There's some in the tahini too.


My Persian cucumbers were too small to successfully scoop out so I just diced the cucumbers, added them to the filling, and served as a salad. Absolutely delicious!


That is a great idea! I will try that! Thank you for sharing!


Why do all the recipes lack nutrient breakdowns--Carb, Protein , Fat, fiber, sodium, etc. Many people need this information to eat properly. In particular, people with diabetes need to know how many grams of total carb a serving contains.

About the Author

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About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com and follow her on Instagram for more.
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