Veggie Walnut “Couscous” with Lemon-Basil Cream (Gluten-free)

Who knew? Not only do walnuts make great “meat” but they make great “couscous”, too. It’s crazy how the texture and flavor are so close to the real thing. And it’s SO easy. You can have this meal on the table in no time at all.

Vegan Veggie Walnut Couscous with Lemon-Basil Cream Gluten-free
Vegan Veggie Walnut Couscous with Lemon-Basil Cream Gluten-free

For the veggies, I used carrots, asparagus and artichokes, but you can use any combination you like. I also added in chickpeas for some extra protein. What I really wanted to do was skip all that stuff and use these mushrooms instead (which would be so delicious), but I thought you might give me a hard time for recycling a recipe. ;)  If you’re in the mood for ‘shrooms, give it a try—it won’t disappoint. Zucchini would be great in this dish, too.

Vegan Veggie Walnut Couscous with Lemon-Basil Cream Gluten-free


Vegan Veggie Walnut Couscous with Lemon-Basil Cream Gluten-free

This is a great summertime meal because there’s no need to turn on the oven. Besides cooking the veggies, the rest is all done in a food processor. Easy peasy. Not to mention it’s a great way to use up fresh veggies and herbs. I love the combo of lemon and basil, but feel free to change it up and sub your favorite herb(s).

Vegan Veggie Walnut Couscous with Lemon-Basil Cream Gluten-free

If you’re looking for other clever ways to use walnuts in your vegan cooking, check out this Taco Fiesta recipe which uses walnuts for taco meat. It’s one of my favorite raw recipes.

Veggie Walnut “Couscous” with Lemon-Basil Cream

Author: Livvy @ 86 Lemons
Recipe type: Entrée
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free
Serves: 6


Walnut Couscous Ingredients:

  • 3 cups walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Lemon-Basil Cream Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup cashews, soaked overnight, drained
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water (do not use cashew soaking water)
  • ½ cup fresh basil, loosely packed
  • 1 small garlic glove
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Veggie Mix Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch asparagus (ends trimmed), cut into 1″ pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. To make walnut couscous, pulse walnuts, nutritional yeast flakes and olive oil in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to large serving bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper. The couscous will be room temperature. If you like, you can warm it up in the skillet after Step 3.
  2. To make lemon-basil cream, add all ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender and process/blend until mixture is smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary. Scrape mixture into small serving bowl or squeeze bottle; set aside.
  3. To make veggie mixture, heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add garlic, shallot and carrots. Cook until carrots start to become tender, stirring frequently. Add asparagus, cook 3 minutes more. Add artichokes and chickpeas, season mixture with salt and pepper. Continue cooking 3-5 more minutes, until artichokes and chickpeas are heated through.
  4. Add veggie mixture to serving bowl with walnut couscous; toss to combine. Serve with lemon-basil cream and garnish with fresh basil if desired.


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6 thoughts on “Veggie Walnut “Couscous” with Lemon-Basil Cream (Gluten-free)”

  1. I love that you reference walnuts as meat. They are also my favorite replacement for bacon. I roast them in a 350 oven for about 12 minutes and then add quite a bit of salt and that is the best bacon I have found!!!


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