Mediterranean Couscous Salad

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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
4.96 from 21 votes
Review Recipe

Couscous Salad

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

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

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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.

Recipe 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.
 

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.)

Keyword couscous salad, easy couscous salad, homemade dressing, how to make couscous salad
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
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating




Comments

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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