Easy Mediterranean Couscous Salad Recipe

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how to make mediterranean couscous salad?

You are going to love this Mediterranean Couscous Salad Recipe loaded with vegetables, chickpeas, mix of herbs and homemade salad dressing. This Pearl Couscous Salad is perfect as a side dish, light lunch or a delicious dinner.

Since this salad can easily be a makeahead dish, it isperfect for get togethers, potlucks and grill-outs. This summer salad needs minimum cooking and is done under 30 minutes! YAY!

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Easy Mediterranean Couscous Salad Recipe

Easy Mediterranean Couscous Salad Recipe

Further this Vegetarian Couscous Salad is another great addition to the other salads on the blog – Cold Pasta Salad, Spinach Strawberry SaladShaved Brussels Sprouts SaladCold Asian Noodle Salad RecipeChickpeas Greek SaladMediterranean Quinoa SaladAsian Quinoa Salad, and more.

This grain based salad with plenty of fresh veggies, beans, cheese and olives is perfect for the days when you want a salad but somehting more filling.

Top 5 Reasons I like this Israeli Pearl Couscous Salad

  • This Salad comes together in under 30 minutes.
  • Couscous Salad is perfefct as a meal for hot sprinng or summer days!
  • Since it is so simple to make, you can make it ahead of time and serve it cold or at room temperature.
  • This dish is perfect to take for picnics, potlucks, and grill outs.
  • It is great to pack for work lunches and kids’ lunch boxes.
  • Perfect as a refreshing vegetarian side to any meal.

What is Couscous?

Couscous are steamed pearls/granules of semolina. Now the size of the grain may vary from region to region. Moroccan couscous is the smallest and Israeli couscous is the largest also called Pearl Couscous. It is a popular ingredient in the countries around the mediterranean sea. Although the origin is from Algeria, it is popular in many mediterranean countries.

what are the ingredients of israeli couscous salad?

What are the ingredients of summer couscous salad?

Although this salad recipe uses easily available basic ingredients, you can adapt it to your liking and use fewer or more ingredients.

Couscous – I love using PEARL COUSCOUS for my salad. Since this large grain couscous is chewy in texture, it holds the dressing and vegetables really well. Moreover this couscous has such a great nutty flavor. You can cook it on the gas top or in instant pot. Instructions are included for both.

Chickpeas also known as Garbanzo BeansChickpeas add the needed protein to the salad. Try to choose small size canned chickpeas if possible.

Although chickpeas is my first preference for this mediterranean salad, but you can use other beans like navy beans, kidney beans, etc.

Fresh Vegetables & Herbs – Crispy cucumbers, juicy cherry tomatoes, red onions, along with fresh basil, mint & parsley add tons of flavors to this salad. Further the addition of sliced black olives add the desired tang.

Cheese – I am a huge fan of FETA CHEESE in my salads. And it goes very well with mediterranean recipes. The salty creamy feta adds so much more flavor and texture to the salad.

Walnuts – My favorite nuts to add to any salad are walnuts, almonds and pistachios. However, creamy walnuts go very well in this salad.

Salad Dressing – Although I am a huge fan of homemade salad dressing, but you may choose store bought dressing too. My favorite dressing for this salad is homemade BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE. Balsamic adds tons of flavor to this mediterranean salad giving it a deep intense flavor of the region. You can use lemon vinaigrette too.

Here are the ingredients of homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, Salt & Black Pepper, thyme, garlic cloves,  Dijon mustard,  Honey.

Recipe Kitchen Gadgets

Kitchen Colander

Chopping board and Knife

Measuring Cups & Spoon

Mixing Bowls

Salad Tongs

Instant Pot

High Speed Blender like Magic Bullet to make home made salad dressing.

How to make Mediterranean Couscous Salad at home?

It is a very simple recipe that includes 4 steps.

Cook Pearl Couscous

how to cook couscous in instant pot?

How to cook Pearl Couscous in Instant Pot?

Most of the PEARL COUSCOUS come with the instructions of 8-10 minutes cooking. My packet read 8 minutes. So I pressure cooked 1 cup of pearl couscous with 1&1/4 cup water & 1/2 tbsp olive oil for 4 minutes in INSTANT POT. Then I did QPR (quick pressure release). Let it stand for 10 minutes. Then fork gently to separate the grains. Meanwhile prep the other ingredients.

Stove Top Instructions – For stove top cooking, follow the instructions as is as mentioned at the back of the packet.

The best part is that you can cook couscous ahead of time and refrigerate till you need it.

Make Salad Dressing

balsamic vinaigrette recipe

If you decide to make the salad dressing at home, then take the high speed blender like Magic Bullet and add Extra Virgin Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, Salt & Black Pepper, thyme, garlic cloves,  Dijon mustard,  Honey to it. Now blend it on high speed till smooth.

Prep the Vegetables & other Ingredients

Vegetables – Wash cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion in a Kitchen Colander and pat these dry. Further chop all the vegetables fine to match the size of the couscous.

Herbs – Although I used basil, mint & parsley in this salad, but you can use whatever you have. You can use all 3 kinds of only 1 kind. Now wash the fresh herbs and chop these fine.

Chickpeas – Open the can of chickpeas and wash in running water.

Black Olives – Slice the black olives and set aside.

Toss the Couscous Salad ingredients together

Israeli Pearl Couscous

This is the easiest part. Take a large Mixing Bowl and add cooked PEARL COUSCOUS, canned Chickpeas, chopped vegetables & herbs, sliced black olives, feta cheese, & walnuts to the bowl. Further add about 1/3 cup of Balsamic Vinaigrette to it. Use the Salad Tongs and mix all the ingredients well.

For the best results, let it sit for 10 minutes either on the kitchen counter or refrigerate till ready to eat.

Cold Summer Salad for the potlucks and cookouts.

Couscous Salad Recipe Tips

  • Cook the Pearl Couscous with some olive oil so that it does not stick to each other and easy to seprate the grains.
  • Choice of Vegetables – It is a very versatile salad. You can add any vegetables of your choice in this salad. Finely chopped broccoli, bell peppers, carrots are some othe vegetables that will go very well in this salad.
  • Nuts & Dry Fruits – Since I had walnuts handy, I used these in my salald. But you can use sliced almonds or pistachios too. You can add raisins or dried cranberries to this salad. The sweet and tart dried fruit will add a good contrast to the salad.
  • Herbs – Although I have used a mix of herbs, you can choose either one or all of the herbs for this salad. Dill is another amazing herb that you can use in this salad.
  • Cheese – Since Feta is creamy and salty in taste, it is my favorite cheese for salalds. But gorgonzola or goat cheese will be great in this salad.
  • Other Additions – Canned artichokes and banana peppers will be great addition in this salad along with black olives.
  • Protein – Although beans are great addition, but you can choose grilled tofu or paneer in this salad.
  • Make Ahead Tip – This Salad is great when you make ahead and refrigerate over night. It deepens the flavors. When you plan to make this salad ahead then toss the couscous in dressing and herbs. Refrigerate in an air tight container. When ready to serve, add chopped vegetables, nuts and feta. Mix and serve.
  • Storage – This salad can sit in the refrigerator for 3-4 days easily without loosing the flavors.

What can I serve with this salad?

This salad will go very well with Grilled Corn, Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Baked Potatoes, Roasted Mushrooms, Grilled Asparagus and much more.

 

My fav Instant Vortex Airfryer on Sale

Another of my fav are these Glasses with glass straw and lids for summer drinks – 

Hassle Free vegetable chopper 

How to make Pearl Mediterranean Couscous Salad at home?

how to make mediterranean couscous salad?
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4.88 from 8 votes

Easy Mediterranean Couscous Salad Recipe

This Pearl Couscous Salad is so delicuos and easy to put together in under 30 minutes. Loaded with vegetables, cheese, nuts and home made balsamic vinaigrette, it is one of the best sides to any meal or a perfect salad to take for potlucks or cookouts.
Course Appetizer / Light Meal, Salad
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword Couscous Salad, Israeli Couscous Salad, Mediterranean Couscous Salad, Pearl Couscous Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 421kcal
Author simplyvegetarian777

Equipment

  • Measuring Spoons, Measuring Cups, Stirring Spoon,
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Kitchen Colander
  • mixing bowl
  • Instant Pot 6 quart or Mealthy Multipot
  • Salad Tongs
  • Blender

Ingredients

Couscous Ingredients for Instant Pot cooking

  • 1 cup PEARL COUSCOUS also called Israeli Couscous
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1&1/4 cup Water

Vegetables, Herbs & Other Ingredients

  • 1 medium Cucumber chopped fine
  • 16 or 1 cup Cherry tomatoes every tomato cut into 8s
  • 1/2 cup or 1/2 medium Red Onion chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp Basil chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp Mint chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp Parsley chopped fine
  • 1 cup Chickpeas cooked at home or canned
  • 10 Black Olives Sliced
  • 1/4 cup Walnuts chopped roughly
  • 1/3 cup Feta Cheese crumbled
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette for home made recipe, check notes

Instructions

ALWAYS READ THE FULL RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST. THEN GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS. PREP AND GET GOING. DO NOT FORGET TO CHECK THE NOTES FOR ADDITIONAL INFO & TIPS.

    Cook Pearl Couscous in Instant Pot

    • Most of the PEARL COUSCOUS come with the instructions of 8-10 minutes cooking. My packet read 8 minutes. So I pressure cooked 1 cup of pearl couscous with 1&1/4 cup water & 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil for 4 minutes in INSTANT POT. Then I did QPR (quick pressure release). Let it stand for 10 minutes. Then fork gently to separate the grains. Meanwhile prep the other ingredients.
      NOTE – Pearl Couscous to Water Ratio for Instant Pot is 1:1&1/4
      how to cook couscous in instant pot?
    • Stove Top Instructions – For stove top cooking, follow the instructions as is as mentioned at the back of the packet. Once cooked, Set aside and fork gently after 10 minutes to separate the grains.
    • The best part is that you can cook couscous ahead of time and refrigerate till you need it. It is a great meal prep.

    Prep the Vegetables & other Ingredients

    • Vegetables – Wash cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion in a Kitchen Colander and pat these dry. Further chop all the vegetables fine to match the size of the couscous.
    • Herbs – Although I used basil, mint & parsley in this salad, but you can use whatever you have. You can use all 3 kinds of only 1 kind. Now wash the fresh herbs and chop these fine.
    • Chickpeas – Open the can of chickpeas and wash in running water.
    • Black Olives – Slice the black olives and set aside.

    Toss the Couscous Salad ingredients together

    • This is the easiest part. Take a large Mixing Bowl and add cooked PEARL COUSCOUS, canned Chickpeas, chopped vegetables & herbs, sliced black olives, feta cheese, & walnuts to the bowl. Further add about 1/3 cup of Balsamic Vinaigrette to it. Use the Salad Tongs and mix all the ingredients well.
      Israeli Pearl Couscous
    • For the best results, let it sit for 10 minutes either on the kitchen counter or refrigerate till ready to eat.

    Homemade Salad Dressing (measurements given in the notes)

    • If you decide to make the salad dressing at home, then take the high speed blender like Magic Bullet and add Extra Virgin Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, Salt & Black Pepper, thyme, garlic cloves,  Dijon mustard,  Honey to it. Now blend it on high speed till smooth.
      balsamic vinaigrette recipe

    Notes

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    SOME GREAT DEALS for you guys-
    My fav Instant Vortex Airfryer on Sale
    Another of my fav are these Glasses with glass straw and lids for summer drinks – 
    Hassle Free vegetable chopper 

    How to make Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette at home?

    Ingredients (yields 1 cup)
    1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
    1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    3 tbsp Honey
    2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    2 cloves Garlic, chopped
    1 tsp thyme, dry
    1 tsp Salt
    1/2 tsp Black Pepper powder
    Method
    Take a small blender jar and all the ingredients to it. Then blend it till it is all smooth. Now that is one way of making it at home. And I love it since it gives a smooth vinaigrette.
    But if you want, then you can also put all the ingredients in a mason jar. Close the lid and give it a good shake till all the ingredients are mixed well.

    What can I serve with this salad?

    This salad will go very well with Grilled Corn, Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Baked Potatoes, Roasted Mushrooms, Grilled Asparagus and much more.

    Couscous Salad Recipe Tips

      • Cook the Pearl Couscous with some olive oil so that it does not stick to each other and easy to seprate the grains.
      • Choice of Vegetables – It is a very versatile salad. You can add any vegetables of your choice in this salad. Finely chopped broccoli, bell peppers, carrots are some othe vegetables that will go very well in this salad.
      • Nuts & Dry Fruits – Since I had walnuts handy, I used these in my salald. But you can use sliced almonds or pistachios too. You can add raisins or dried cranberries to this salad. The sweet and tart dried fruit will add a good contrast to the salad.
      • Herbs – Although I have used a mix of herbs, you can choose either one or all of the herbs for this salad. Dill is another amazing herb that you can use in this salad.
      • Cheese – Since Feta is creamy and salty in taste, it is my favorite cheese for salalds. But gorgonzola or goat cheese will be great in this salad.
      • Other Additions – Canned artichokes and banana peppers will be great addition in this salad along with black olives.
      • Protein – Although beans are great addition, but you can choose grilled tofu or paneer in this salad.
      • Make Ahead Tip – This Salad is great when you make ahead and refrigerate over night. It deepens the flavors. When you plan to make this salad ahead then toss the couscous in dressing and herbs. Refrigerate in an air tight container. When ready to serve, add chopped vegetables, nuts and feta. Mix and serve.
      • Storage – This salad can sit in the refrigerator for 3-4 days easily without loosing the flavors.

    Top 5 Reasons I like this Israeli Pearl Couscous Salad

    • This Salad comes together in under 30 minutes.
    • Couscous Salad is perfefct as a meal for hot sprinng or summer days!
    • Since it is so simple to make, you can make it ahead of time and serve it cold or at room temperature.
    • This dish is perfect to take for picnics, potlucks, and grill outs.
    • It is great to pack for work lunches and kids’ lunch boxes.
    • Perfect as a refreshing vegetarian side to any meal.

    Recipe Kitchen Gadgets

    Kitchen Colander
    Chopping board and Knife
    Measuring Cups & Spoon
    Mixing Bowls
    Salad Tongs
    Instant Pot
    High Speed Blender like Magic Bullet to make home made salad dressing.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 4people | Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 494mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 488IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 2mg

    I am sure you are going to try this recipe soon. Please rate the recipe and leave your feedback in comments.

    Sonal

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    5 Comments

    1. This is a great recipe. Even my husband, who isn’t a couscous fan, enjoyed this salad! I made a shared with a friend who had just knee surgery and she also enjoyed it very much.

    2. Love the flavors of this salad. So refreshing and it’s perfect for the warmer months. Thanks for the great recipe!

    3. Ths is so good! I love couscous because it’s so versatile, and it works so well in this recipe. All the flavors are just perfect.

    4. I am always looking for new ways to use couscous and this was amazing. Such a nice flavour.