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Sausage & spinach pearl couscous with roasted root vegetables

Hi, I'm Gina. I like food. A lot. That's what you'll find on Running to the Kitchen with the occasional smattering of fitness, sarcasm & weimaraners. 

Race fuel

Fall is the perfect time for running a road race. While everyone focuses on getting those training miles under their belts, we've got you covered with some prerace day meals to keep you fueled to the finish line.

We're not talking about the typical pasta overload for this prerace meal. Carbs are important to keep you going strong as the miles add up on race day but all the heavy sauces and cheese that normally come with a big bowl of pasta aren't necessarily the smartest way to fuel. We've gone with a pearl couscous (which is actually pasta!) flavored with some sweet Italian sausage and spinach and a hearty, starchy side of roasted root vegetables; a healthy and smart prerace meal.


Sausage & spinach pearl couscous recipe

Race fuel

Serves 4


  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine couscous and chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. While couscous cooks, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the sausage and break into little pieces using a spatula or wooden spoon.
  5. When sausage is almost finished cooking (no longer pink) add the sun-dried tomatoes and stir.
  6. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink, drain excess fat from the pan.
  7. Once the couscous is finished, add it to a large bowl.
  8. Add the sausage and sun-dried tomato mixture.
  9. Add the baby spinach and toss to combine so the spinach wilts.
  10. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Roasted root vegetables recipe

Race fuel

Serves 4


  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 3 beets, washed well and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of your choice (I used rosemary)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss the chopped vegetables with the olive oil, salt and pepper and herbs in a large bowl.
  3. Spread the vegetables out onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Roast for 40 minutes, tossing once halfway through.


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