Summer Pesto Couscous Bowls are everything you want in a light summer meal. Pearled couscous, the most flavorful marinated zucchini, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, and a simple basil pesto! It's a perfect picnic meal, packable lunch, or vegetarian dinner!
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the couscous. Cook according to package directions. Drain and then rinse with cold water. Let cool.
Make the marinated zucchini and red onions. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, garlic, herbs, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olive oil until combined. Add the zucchini and red onion and toss to combine. Let them marinate while you prepare everything else. Once they've marinated for a bit, season to taste with additional salt if needed.
For the pesto, add the basil, flat leaf parsley, garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, parmesan, salt, and pepper to your food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil until the pesto comes together. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
To assemble portion the couscous into bowls, and top with a handful of mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and sliced avocado. Top with a generous scoop of the marinated zucchini and red onion, as well as a generous drizzle of pesto. Add freshly cracked black pepper and basil leaves to garnish, if desired. Serve with extra pesto!
*Pearled couscous is often labeled as Israeli couscous if you're having trouble finding it!
*Orzo or another small pasta would be a great sub for the couscous. Quinoa, farro, or brown rice would be great too!
*For a lower carb option, serve over a bed of greens like arugula or massaged kale instead of the couscous. Or, do half and half!
*To make this more of a picnic style salad, mix everything together in a large bowl before serving (In this case, you may not need all of the pesto. Use it to taste!
*To meal prep these bowls for work lunches, portion the couscous into containers, top with a handful of mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and sliced avocado. Top the avocado with a generous scoop of the marinated zucchini and red onion (the oil and vinegar will help to prevent it from browning). Place the pesto in a small dressing-size container and drizzle it on top when ready to eat!