This vegetable couscous with borlotti beans  is a nutritious and energy-packed meal that provides your body with a good balance of complex carbohydrates and protein :: proteine.  The borlotti beans, also called cranberry beans, are widely used in Italian cooking and are a rich source of cholesterol-lowering fiber that prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making them a good choice for diabetics.

Vegetable Couscous with Borlotti Beans Each Wednesday :: mercoledì I head to the local outdoor market to buy my fruit and vegetables for the week.  Like a kid in a candy store, my greediness sometimes lands me with a refrigerator overflowing with fruits and vegetables and not enough time to cook them all. If I see that days have passed and my vegetables are starting to lose their freshness, I usually make this vegetable couscous with borlotti beans recipe as it is an excellent way to use up all my veggies in one dish. The recipe was created with the vegetables I had in my refrigerator, but you can substitute with whatever you have in yours. If you don’t have borlotti beans, just substitute with another variety.

Vegetable Couscous with Borlotti Beans I added coconut milk :: latte di cocco and thai red curry paste because I had it on hand, although I often make this recipe without these two ingredients and it is just as good. This couscous dish can be eaten as a main, a side dish or you can use it to fill roasted eggplants, zucchinis or tomatoes.  Awhile ago I made tomatoes stuffed with millet but you could easily fill the tomatoes with this couscous instead.

Vegetable Couscous with Borlotti Beans For those of you who bring your lunch :: pranzo to work, this is a great option as you can adjust the quantities so you have lunch ready for a few days. Mr. Italicano and I are also very fond of picnics, and this is usually my go-to recipe as I can make it the night before and it easily stores in a plastic container. Enjoy!

Vegetable Couscous with Borlotti Beans 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This vegetable couscous with borlotti beans is a nutritious and energy-packed meal that provides your body with a good balance of complex carbohydrates and protein.
Serves: 6
For the vegetables: 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 2 small zucchinis
  • 1 cup dry white wine 
  • 1 organic vegetable bouillon cube
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 6 asparagus stocks
  • 1½ cups (240g) canned borlotti beans (or any other kind of bean)
  • 1 cup (240ml) coconut milk (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (18g) Thai red curry paste (optional)
For the couscous:
  • 1½ cups (300g) couscous 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1½ cups (360 ml) boiling water
  1. Add the extra virgin olive oil to a medium-sized skillet then add the finely diced onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent. 
  2. In the meantime, finely dice the zucchini and add them to the pan along with ½ cup of white wine and the bouillon cube. Cover. Finely dice the carrots and asparagus and add to the pan along with the other ½ cup of white wine. Add the canned borlotti beans, coconut milk and Thai red curry paste, cover and cook for roughly 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft then remove the lid and continue cooking until the liquid has absorbed.  Be sure to stir every 5-10 minutes, adding some water if the vegetables begin to stick to the bottom or adjusting the heat as necessary to keep them cooking at a steady pace, but not burning. 
  3. During the last 5 minutes, put the extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan, add the couscous and stir until golden. Remove from heat, add the water, stir well and cover for a few minutes.  Once ready, stir the couscous into the vegetable and bean mixture and serve either warm or cold. 
  4. Note If you are using dried borlotti beans, you will need to soak them and then boil them before tossing them with the vegetables. If you are using fresh, you just need to boil them before use.

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