Spicy Shrimp, Vegetable & Couscous Bowls

We like the chewy bite and large size of pearl couscous (sometimes labeled Israeli couscous) for the base of these bowls.

Spicy Shrimp, Vegetable & Couscous Bowls
Photo: Jacob Fox
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat pearl couscous

  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped

  • ½ cup snow peas, trimmed and sliced

  • 3 tablespoons sliced fresh basil, divided

  • 3 tablespoons sliced fresh mint, divided

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 ½ teaspoons sambal oelek (see Tip)

  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger

  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed and peeled

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

  • teaspoon salt

  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided

  • 1 pound large raw shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined


  1. Cook couscous according to package directions. Drain, rinse and place in a large bowl. Add bell pepper, snow peas and 2 tablespoons each basil and mint.

  2. Meanwhile, combine cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, water, sambal oelek, ginger, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in 4 tablespoons oil. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Toss the remaining dressing with the couscous and vegetables to coat.

  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat. Pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add to the pan and cook, flipping once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Serve the shrimp and couscous mixture with the reserved 2 tablespoons dressing and the remaining 1 tablespoon each basil and mint.


Sambal oelek is a thick Indonesian condiment made with chiles, vinegar and salt that adds a spicy kick to the dressing here. Find it in well-stocked grocery stores or specialty Asian grocery stores. Use the rest of that jar in stir-fries, noodle dishes or in place of your favorite hot sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

478 Calories
18g Fat
52g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 478
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 52g 19%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 28g 56%
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 159mg 53%
Vitamin A 1145IU 23%
Sodium 236mg 10%
Potassium 365mg 8%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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