Moroccan-Spiced Salmon with Vegetable Couscous


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salmon and couscous on a round wooden plate

A quick Moroccan-spiced marinade adds incredible flavor to salmon filets in this fresh, fast dish. While the salmon marinates and cooks, cook a colorful mix of vegetables to stir into couscous. It’s a colorful meal that is loaded with vegetables and wholesome ingredients (and if that sounds good, be sure to check out my Roasted Halibut with Burst Tomatoes recipe as well). 

Video Recipe

Check out the video below for my tips and a step-by-step take on this Moroccan Salmon recipe.

How to Make Moroccan Salmon with Vegetable Couscous

  • Marinate Salmon – Whisk together a quick marinade with vinegar for tart flavor, honey for sweetness, and a generous portion of Moroccan spice. Add salmon and marinate for 20(ish) minutes.
  • Saute Vegetables – Get a bunch of finely diced vegetables and saute them in butter until very tender and golden brown. (Don’t rush this step – they’ll have the most flavor if cooked for a good long time.)
  • Cook Couscous with Vegetables – Simmer vegetables in stock, stir in couscous, and set it aside. 
  • Bake Salmon – Finally, spread salmon out on a foil-lined sheet pan. Season it with some salt and pepper and bake until tender.
  • Enjoy!

diced vegetables in a clear glass bowl

stirring diced vegetables in a skillet

Tips for Vegetable Couscous

The key to a great vegetable couscous is to dice them very small and make sure that they are nice and tender before adding the stock and couscous. The smaller the vegetables are diced, the more quickly and evenly they will cook, so let those knife skills shine and dice everything small. 

How Long to Marinate Salmon

Salmon can be marinated for up to a day if the marinade doesn’t include citrus. Citrus will start to cook the fish (think ceviche), so marinades with citrus should just be combined with salmon about 20 minutes before cooking. In the case of this salmon recipe, the marinade doesn’t include citrus, so the salmon can marinate for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours.

stirring couscous in a skillet

cooked salmon on a foil lined sheet pan

Ingredient Notes

  • Moroccan Spice – There are many different types of Moroccan-style spice blends and any will work here. I like to use my homemade Ras el Hanout or a Tan-Tan seasoning I purchase from my local spice store. Any type of Moroccan-inspired blend will be delicious here, but you can also mix it up – see below for some ideas.
  • Couscous – Couscous is a quick-cooking grain made from semolina. The recipe below includes slightly more water than what the recipe on the box likely will instruct you to use, but that is because the vegetables will simmer in the cooking liquid, absorbing some as they cook. 

salmon and couscous on a wooden plate with a fork


  • Try a Different Spice – Feel free to use any spice blend you’d like here. If you want something other than Moroccan spice, try it with a BBQ spice rub, garam masala, or a Tex Mex blend. The spices you use will shape the dish, and almost anything will work. 
  • Change the Vegetables – Mix things up by using diced sweet potatoes, squash, leeks, or green beans in place of any of the vegetables listed below. 

More Salmon Recipes


salmon and couscous on a round wooden plate

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Moroccan-Spiced Salmon with Vegetable Couscous

A quick Moroccan-spiced marinade adds incredible flavor to salmon filets in this fresh, fast dish. While the salmon marinates and cooks, cook a colorful mix of vegetables to stir into couscous. It’s a colorful meal that is loaded with vegetables and wholesome ingredients.
To adjust the servings in this recipe, click on the number next to servings.
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Shallow Baking Dish
  • Large Saucepan
  • Half Sheet Pan
  • aluminum foil


Moroccan Salmon:

  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Moroccan Spice Blend (like Ras al Hanout, store-bought or homemade) 
  • 1 teaspoon Honey
  • 4 Center-Cut Salmon Filets (about 6 ounces each)

Vegetable Couscous:

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup finely diced Carrots
  • 2 cups finely diced Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup finely diced Red Onion
  • 2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 small pinch Saffron
  • 1 1/2 cups Couscous, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup Golden Raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 cup Toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds (optional)
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
  • Greek Yogurt, for serving (optional)


  • In a shallow baking dish, whisk together vinegar, 2 Tbsp olive oil, Moroccan spice blend, and honey. Add salmon filets to the dish and turn them to coat.
  • Leave salmon flesh-side down in marinade and refrigerate for 20 minutes while the oven heats.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F / 232°C.
  • While oven is heating, melt butter in a saucepan. Add carrots, zucchini, and red onion with a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat until carrots are very tender, 10 to 14 minutes.
  • Pour stock over vegetables and bring to a boil. Add ground cumin and saffron. When stock is boiling, stir in couscous and salt. Remove from heat. Cover with a lid and let sit until ready to serve (at least 10 minutes).
  • Remove salmon from the refrigerator.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil. Spray it with nonstick cooking spray or brush with some oil.
  • Place salmon flesh-side up on the prepared sheet pan (discard marinade). Season salmon with some salt and pepper.
  • Bake salmon until it flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness).
  • While salmon roasts, fold golden raisins and lemon juice into couscous.
  • Serve salmon over couscous with toasted nuts, parsley, and yogurt.


Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00
Keyword: easy dinner, easy salmon recipe, fish dish, seafood
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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