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!
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 & 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!
- Prep: Cook couscous (per recipe below) and prep vegetables.
- Dressing: Make salad dressing and shake in a jar, set aside.
- 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
- Italian Pasta Salad – go-to potluck dish
- Caprese Pasta Salad – bright and tangy summer salad
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad – perfect make-ahead dish!
- Pesto Pasta Salad – full of flavor
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad – colorful side salad!
Did you enjoy this Couscous Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- 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
- ⅓ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ⅓ cup flat leaf parsley chopped
- 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
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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excellent recipe !!!
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?
Belwood, Ont, Canada
Hi Nancy, for this recipe we use a Pearl Couscous but both should take about the same water and cooking instructions. Hope that helps!
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?
Hi Jenna, you could swap it for some maple syrup instead. Hope that helps!
OMG!!!! This a definite redo for any dinner! This is delicious!
This was absolutely amazing! I grilled some shrimp for added protein. Definitely added to my go to list for food prep!
Yum, that sounds delicious Jen!
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?
Vegetable stock would be delicious! I don’t have these available in grams Nicola. I would suggest using an online converter. Enjoy the recipe.
A must try recipe!!!!!!!!!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
can you substitute isreali couscous?
Sure you can, it will need to cook longer (and needs more liquid) but should work just fine.
Love this so much! Wondering what a serving size is? 1 cup?
Hi Barbara, it would be a generous 1 cup to almost cup and a half serving :)
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.
So glad you were able to enjoy this salad with a few easy substitutions, Macil!
This salad was a 10. Even my kids loved it and they hate everything. This will be on the regular rotation.
So easy and delicious!! I added chick peas, and served it as a light meal with warm pita.
Great idea Susan, glad you enjoyed it!