Mediterranean Couscous Salad is full of bright fresh flavors with a crazy easy homemade dressing! 

This dish is extra quick to make and filled with juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh crisp cucumber, and crunchy bell peppers. A 2-minute dressing and a sprinkle of herbs and cheese make this easy salad the perfect side or meatless main dish!

A prepared couscous salad with tomatoes and cucumbers

Why We Love this Recipe

This dish is easy to prepare, filled with fresh veggies, and topped with a homemade tangy dressing…what’s not to love?!

It’s so fast! Couscous takes just about 5 minutes to make! While the couscous cooks and cools, get all of the veggies washed and chopped and the entire dish is ready in about 20 minutes.

This pasta salad is also so versatile. You can add chickpeas for a meatless main dish, or toss in some leftover chicken, seafood, or any meat for a hearty entree!

Ingredients for CousCous Salad in a glass bowl

Ingredients & Variations

As a salad, it’s often served with feta cheese, diced cucumber and sometimes with chickpeas.

Couscous is a very small, ball-shaped (or rice-shaped) pasta.  Also called pearl couscous, it’s a popular staple in many Greek recipes.

Substitute couscous for cooked quinoa or rice if you’d prefer.

Fresh Vegetables are the star of this recipe! Diced cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and bell peppers give this salad the perfect crunch. Add in your favorites while trying to keep a variety of colors and textures.

Don’t forget the feta cheese! It’s the perfect addition to this salad with just the right amount of saltiness.

For the homemade dressing, combine all ingredients and shake to combine before pouring over the salad. Try adding a little lemon zest for an extra bit of flavor!

Ensure you use a light tasting olive oil as some extra virgin olive oils can have a bitter taste. Use any oil you have on hand, try vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil.

How To Make Couscous Salad

This easy summer salad is ready in just 3 simple steps!

  1. Prep: Cook couscous (per recipe below) and prep vegetables.
  2. Dressing: Make salad dressing and shake in a jar, set aside.
  3. Combine: Toss all ingredients together and serve immediately!

How Long Does Couscous Salad Last?

Like any pasta salad, couscous salad will last about 5 days in the refrigerator. Refresh the flavors by adding some extra dressing or a dash of salt or pepper.

It’s not recommended to freeze couscous because freezing pasta will result in a mushy texture once it is thawed out. But this salad is so easy to make, why not make a fresh batch?

Favorite Pasta Salads

Did you enjoy this Couscous Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

A prepared couscous salad with tomatoes and cucumbers
4.99 from 57 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Mediterranean Couscous Salad

This side salad is full of fresh and crunchy vegetables!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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Ingredients  

  • ¾ cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1 cup cucumber sliced
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
  • cup feta cheese crumbled
  • cup flat leaf parsley chopped

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Bring water, butter and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add couscous, stir and cover. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.
  • Place couscous in a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool completely.
  • Add remaining salad ingredients and dressing. Toss to combine and serve.

Notes

Substitute cooked quinoa or rice for couscous if you'd prefer.
Add any fresh (or even roasted) vegetable to this recipe. Chopped spinach or kale are delicious additions.
Try adding a little lemon zest for an extra bit of flavor!
Ensure you use a light tasting olive oil as some extra virgin olive oils can have a bitter taste. Use any oil you have on hand, try vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil.
 
4.99 from 57 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 340 | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1827IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Greek
Couscous Salad with a silver serving spoon in a bowl with writing
Couscous salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
A prepared couscous salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, shown with a title.
Couscous Salad in a bowl and ingredients for Couscous Salad with a title

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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.99 from 57 votes (47 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Wowwwwww, this salad is delicious!!! I have prepared some of your recipes and they are all super tasty. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. Tonight, we are going to eat Spanish tapas with your salad. I am from Spain. We love to eat tapas and salads.

  2. I added chick peas and marinated artichoke hearts with block feta, delicious salad!! Perfect for our California heat waves.5 stars

  3. This was really delicious! I used crumbled goat cheese instead of feta because I love the creaminess. And apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar because I cannot have it. No honey needed. Super good to go with my Turkish burgers!5 stars

  4. Hi Holly

    Love your site…I check it out every send!! Do you use Israeli couscous? If so would you sub it for the same measurements (water/couscous) as regular couscous?

    Thank you
    Nancy
    Belwood, Ont, Canada

    1. Hi Nancy, for this recipe we use a Pearl Couscous but both should take about the same water and cooking instructions. Hope that helps!

  5. i have made this recipe several times and it is SO good. I would like to offer it to my LO but shes to young for honey. What would you recommend using in the placement of the honey?5 stars

  6. This was absolutely amazing! I grilled some shrimp for added protein. Definitely added to my go to list for food prep!5 stars

  7. Are you able to give the measurements in grams please? Looking forward to trying this recipe! A few cous cous salad recipes I have looked up use vegetable stock, is that something you would recommend?

    1. Vegetable stock would be delicious! I don’t have these available in grams Nicola. I would suggest using an online converter. Enjoy the recipe.

  8. I love Mediterranean inspired food so was excited to try this! I made the mistake of using pearl couscous when this recipe was for couscous, which I did not realize was so different. I had to throw away my first batch of couscous as a result and start over but that was my fault. The dressing was a little off for me which is why I’m giving it 4 and not 5 stars, but that’s probably a matter of taste. I’ve been cooking a lot of plant-based meals lately and using apple cider vinegar in my homemade dressing, so that may explain why I didn’t love this dressing. I love spendwithpennies – please keep doing what you are doing!4 stars

    1. Pearl Couscous should work perfect for this recipe. I make this kind of salad often with open outdoor grilled meat and nearly always use Pearl Couscous. Bottled Italian vinaigrette is perfect as a dressing too.

  9. Hi! Have you tried this with a different herb? Parsley is OK but it is not my favorite herb. Have you tried basil, cilantro or mint? I know the flavor would be completely different, but just wondering if the any of these would work.

    1. I’ve only tried the recipe as written, but I think any of those herbs would be delicious. I’d love to try basil or cilantro especially!

  10. While this looks great and I will try this version, the recipe I use has no green peppers or red onion. It instead has Kalamata olives, green onion and dill weed in the salad. No honey or vinegar in the dressing. Increase to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, no garlic.

    1. Sure you can, it will need to cook longer (and needs more liquid) but should work just fine.

  11. I love this salad. I have just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, so I substituted quinoa for the couscous. I also added a shredded chicken breast for extra protein. With the fresh vegetables and tasty dressing I don’t miss (almost) the couscous. This is a healthy lunch alternative to fast foods. Kudos on the recipe.5 stars

  12. This salad was a 10. Even my kids loved it and they hate everything. This will be on the regular rotation.5 stars