Have you ever noticed how so many of us struggle with having a really good lunch? Maybe you have a bit of a 2pm slump after you’ve eaten that meal deal you picked up when you were in a hurry. We all do it. I do it (although I am trying to do it less). As a nation, we spend hundreds of millions of pounds every lunchtime and quite often what we get for it isn’t all that great. But if the idea of making sandwiches every morning doesn’t work for you, then maybe this ham and avocado couscous can help. It’s part of the packed lunches series here on The Usual Saucepans and hopefully will help make your lunch (and mine) a little bit more exciting.

This ham and avocado salad is also a great way to indulge our new national obsessions with the avocado. It is something that could be eaten relatively mess-free, grabbing forkfuls between meetings, answering emails and rounds of office gossip. But also something that is more exciting than just some ham and cheese between a couple of slices of bread that got squished in your bag.

Avocado Salad

The best part about it is that you’ll likely have the ingredients in your kitchen anyway, so it’s a case of just throwing it together when dinner is in the oven the previous night, popping it in the fridge and grabbing it as you leave in the morning. All you need to do is Tear up some cooked ham, slice up an avocado, throw in a handful of couscous and slice the peppers.

And even better, it’s a great way of using some of the leftovers we all have in our fridge into something a bit more exciting; even the oil was leftovers, coming as it did from the tub of sun dried tomatoes in my fridge.

Avocado Salad

Ham and Avocado Couscous

Ham and avocado couscous

  • Author: Craig
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x


This lunch was created using the leftovers from my fridge, although you can of course buy them intentionally for this recipe. It makes enough to have lunch for one and for that one not to be getting the munchies again about half three. 



  • 1 small avocado
  • 2 tbsp couscous
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2/3 of a pepper
  • 40g ham
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 squeeze of lime juice


Start by preparing your toppings. Peel and deseed your avocado, then slice it into chunks. Chop the pepper (or peppers, if you’re using bits of different colours) into something that’s roughly ‘two bites’ in size. Using your fingers, take your ham and tear it up, using the natural grain of the meat to determine where it rips, into small chunks.

Put the couscous into the base of the box you’re going to be using and pour some water in on top. You don’t want to cover the couscous, like you would if making normally, more just enough to fill up the gaps between the grains. Put the ham, avocado and peppers in on top, season generously  and pour the oil in on the top. Put the lid on your box and leave in the fridge over night.

Ten minutes before you want to eat your lunch, take it out of your work fridge and add two more tablespoons of water in to make sure the couscous it fully hydrated. When you’re ready to chow down, take a fork and mix it all up together. Munch away to your heart’s content.

  • Category: Lunch