Crisp butter lettuce tossed together with Israeli couscous, crunchy almonds, grilled chicken, and sweet cranberries. This Butter Lettuce Couscous Salad is quick and easy to make and great served warm, cold, or at room temperature.
If you’re like me and you’re always struggling for ideas for quick, easy breakfasts and lunches, you’re going to love a great new cookbook filled with recipes to help your family eat nutritious, homemade meals during the busiest times of day.
This recipe is from The Weekday Lunches & Breakfast Cookbook, written by my friend and fellow blogger, Mary Younkin, Barefeet In The Kitchen. I had a hard time picking which recipe to make first. I picked this one because it looked delicious, easy, and I had almost everything I needed to make it.
Making Butter Lettuce Couscous Salad
The great thing about salad recipes like this one is that they are versatile and you can change them up to match whatever ingredients you have on hand.
We didn’t have spinach but I had leftover butter lettuce from making Pressure Cooker Chicken Shawarma. So I changed it from a spinach salad to a butter lettuce salad.
Another change I made was to use an Israeli couscous blend. Israeli Couscous is little pasta-like pearls made from semolina or wheat flour. They have a fun, slightly chewy texture that sort of pops in your mouth.
Trader Joe’s sells a Harvest Grains Blend that is mostly Israeli Couscous, but also includes red and green orzo, split baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. So it’s colorful and fun.
I almost always have the Harvest Grains Blend in my pantry, so I decided to substitute the Harvest Grains Blend in this recipe. Instead of following the directions in the cookbook recipe, I used my Pressure Cooker Israeli Couscous recipe.
The original recipe directions for cooking the Israeli couscous are listed below.
The dressing for the salad uses white balsamic or champagne vinegar. I bought a Citrus Champagne California Vinegar made by Olive Oil that I found at Harmon’s grocery store. It had a light citrus flavor and was a perfect addition to this flavorful salad.
The The Weekday Lunches & Breakfast Cookbook is Mary’s second cookbook. Her first cookbook, Weeknight Dinner Cookbook, is filled with family-friendly meals that are easy to make on a busy night. They’re a perfect combo.
Definitely give this salad a try. It’s one I plan to make again often.
Butter Lettuce Couscous Salad With Chicken And Cranberries
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 2/3 cup Israeli couscous
- 1 cup water
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 lb.
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups butter lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic or champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher slat
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, warm 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the couscous and cook stirring frequently until lightly browned and fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- While the couscous is simmering, make the dressing. In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
- Heat a nonstick grill pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make 4 thin fillets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining oil into the pan and swirl to coat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook without touching for 2 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and place on a cutting board. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.
- Place the lettuce in a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked couscous, chicken, cranberries, and almonds. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.
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