Skip to content

Couscous Clash

Claire Wright


Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 40 mins


1 tbsp oil

1 red onion, diced

100g chicken (skinless, boneless thigh or breast), chopped into bite size pieces (or veggie alternative)

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

1 red pepper, diced

1 courgette, diced

100g butternut squash (optional - frozen pre-chopped is fine)

1 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

50g peas (frozen is fine)

50g sweetcorn (frozen is fine)

For the couscous:

1 mug of couscous

1 1/2 mugs boiling water

30g butter or plant-based alternative, diced

Handful of chives or fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Veg Portions / Serving: 2.5


Kitchen Ninja

The vegetables are taking over the deserts of North Africa and Arabia.

They have been spotted emerging from the great sand dunes of the desert and have now stormed the couscous.

Your mission is to find them, eat them to defeat them and raise loud the victory cry…


Find out more about the Eat Them to Defeat Them campaign at 


Here’s our recommended recipe, or you can simply adapt your own recipe – just keep the veg chunky and serve with a reminder to the children to Eat Them to Defeat Them and get them to say “Bring it on veggies!”


Heat the oil in a large frying pan set over low-medium heat. Add the red onion and cook gently, stirring often until it starts to soften (usually about 5 mins).

Add the chicken and cook until it starts to colour and is cooked through, about 5 mins. (If using veggie alternative, check how long it will take to cook – most can be added with the veg later on as they cook in just a few mins).

Add the red pepper, courgette, butternut squash if using, and chickpeas. Continue to cook about 10 mins, until the vegetables begin to colour and soften, add the spices and cook for another minute, then finally add the chopped tomatoes, peas and sweetcorn (and veggie alternative, if using) and cook through for another 5-10 mins until everything is cooked and softened.

In a separate bowl, add the couscous and boiling water, then quickly cover with a lid, cling film or upturned plate. Allow to sit and steam for 5-10 mins, until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is fluffy. Add the diced butter to the top of the couscous and stir through with a fork, fluffing the couscous as you go, then taste and add a little salt and pepper if you feel it needs it. Stir the couscous through the veg, or serve alongside the veg-packed tagine. Add the chopped herbs, if using, and serve immediately.

Kids in the Kitchen:

Older or more confident kids can help you with the chopping, but let younger ones help with weighing and measuring ingredients and adding them to the pan carefully with your supervision. Show them how to stir safely over heat, and let them chop the butter with a child’s (not sharp) knife, and let them fluff the couscous. For more tips on cooking with kids check out Kids in the Kitchen on Simply Veg.

Claire Wright

Communications Manager: After leaving Exeter University with a degree in English Literature, Claire worked in various fields ranging from youth work and charities to publishing, before starting up a food-focused website when her first child was born. After being asked to project manage the publication of Veg Power's Crowdfunder book, Claire came on board as a fully-fledged team member in 2018 to take on the role of Communications Manager, looking after Veg Power's website and social media platforms.

Similar recipes

Pizza Hunt | Eat Them To Defeat Them recipe

Pizza Hunt

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 2

Claire Wright

Chilli Quest

Effort: 3
Complexity: 2
Cost: 2

Claire Wright

Matthew’s “Old School” Kebabs with Coconut Rice and Tomato Sauce

Effort: 3
Complexity: 2
Cost: 2

Matthew Knight

Jason’s Rainbow Veg Kebabs

Effort: 1
Complexity: 2
Cost: 2

Jason Leonard OBE