Mediterranean Couscous Salad is a zesty dish filled with colorful veggies and feta cheese, tossed with a light and herby dressing. The result is a crunchy, satisfying salad perfect as a side dish for grilled meats or light lunch for the summer.

If you love this salad recipe, you’re also going to love Mediterranean Chickpea Pasta Salad, Simple Chickpea Salad, Quinoa Chickpea Salad, or Black-Eyed Pea Quinoa and Kale Salad.

Mediterranean couscous salad in a bowl.

What is Mediterranean Couscous Salad?

If you’re looking for a healthy and flavorful side dish, Mediterranean Couscous Salad is an amazing option! This dish is a combination of pearl couscous, juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. It’s then dressed with a fresh lemon herb dressing that packs a bold punch. 

Couscous is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and is made from durum wheat semolina pasta. It’s often used in salads, stews, and side dishes. This recipe uses pearl couscous, which is also known as Israeli couscous. Pearl couscous is larger than regular couscous and has a chewier texture.

Mediterranean Couscous is a delicious and healthy dish that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a side dish for a summer barbecue or a light lunch, this salad is sure to satisfy your cravings for Mediterranean flavors.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Here are a few reasons why you’re going to LOVE this dish: 

1. Loaded with Flavor

This salad is packed with flavor in every bite. The pearl couscous has a chewy texture, while the fresh veggies, herbs, and lemon vinaigrette are zesty and refreshing. The feta cheese provides a creamy flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly.

2. Healthy and Filling

Med Salad is an excellent healthy choice to add to your day and will keep you full and energized for hours.

3. Versatile and Easy to Make

This Mediterranean pearl Couscous Salad is a versatile dish that can be served as a main course or a side dish. You can add or substitute ingredients based on your preferences or what you have on hand. The salad can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a few days, making it a great option for meal prep or picnics, and cookouts.

Fresh ingredients to make a mediterranean salad.

Key Ingredients

Here are a few key ingredients you’ll need to include: 

  • Couscous is a staple ingredient in this salad. This recipe uses pearl couscous which is a healthy and filling ingredient that provides a great base for the salad.
  • Fresh veggies are a must in any Mediterranean Couscous Salad recipe. You can use a variety of veggies, such as cucumbers, cherry or grape tomatoes, red onions, and olives. They add a great crunch and burst of flavor to the salad.
  • Feta cheese is a classic ingredient in Mediterranean dishes, and it works particularly well here. The saltiness of the cheese pairs perfectly with the other ingredients in the salad.

Dressing

This homemade dressing is easy to whisk together and uses only a few ingredients. 

The key to a great Greek salad with couscous is to use fresh ingredients and a simple dressing that lets the flavors of the veggies and couscous shine through.

Ingredients for a israeli couscous salad all cut up and measured.

Preparation and Cooking Instructions

Making a Mediterranean Israeli couscous salad is quick and easy. Here is a quick overview to help you make the perfect Mediterranean couscous salad.

Ingredients

Salad: 

  1. Couscous
  2. Cherry tomatoes
  3. Cucumbers 
  4. Olives 
  5. Feta 
  6. Red onion 
  7. Fresh parsley or cilantro  

Dressing Ingredients: 

  1. Extra virgin olive oil 
  2. Lemon juice 
  3. Dijon mustard 
  4. Oregano 
  5. Salt and pepper 

Instructions

  • Cook the couscous.
  • Prepare the vegetables.
  • Whisk together the dressing.
  • Combine the couscous with the veggies in a large bowl and pour in the dressing. 
  • Mix it together and then sprinkle the cheese on top. 

That’s it! Your Mediterranean couscous salad is ready to serve.

Mediterranean couscous salad served in a bowl with a spoon.

Serving Suggestions and Variations

Mediterranean salad with couscous is a versatile dish that can be served as a side or a main dish. Here are some serving suggestions and variations to make your couscous salad even more delicious.

  • Serve as a side: This simple salad is a perfect side dish for grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak. 
  • Make it a main dish: Add some protein to your couscous salad to make it a satisfying main dish. Grilled chicken or shrimp are great options. You can also add some spinach or arugula for extra greens.
  • Garnish with herbs: Fresh herbs like dill, tarragon, or fresh mint add a burst of flavor and color to your couscous salad. Sprinkle some chopped herbs on top of your salad before serving.
  • Add some crunch: Add some toasted nuts, seeds, or beans like sliced almonds, pistachios, or garbanzo beans for a satisfying crunch to your couscous salad. 
  • Extra vegetables: Grilled fresh vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or bell peppers add a depth of flavor to your couscous summer salad. You can also throw in some artichoke hearts, black olives, fresh red bell pepper, or sun-dried tomatoes.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad is a simple and easy dish that can be customized to fit your tastes and preferences. Experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own unique version of this classic dish.

Storage and Leftovers

Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This makes it a convenient lunch option that you can prepare in advance and take to work.

If you’re planning on serving the salad as a side dish, it’s best to make it fresh on the day you’re serving it. This will ensure that the vegetables are crisp and the flavors are at their best.

If you’re making the salad in advance, you can also prepare the ingredients separately and combine them just before serving. This will help to keep the vegetables fresh and crisp.

mediterranean Israeli couscous salad in a bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some dressing options for couscous salad?

There are many salad dressing options for couscous salad, depending on your personal taste. A simple vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, or balsamic vinegar is a great choice.

You can also try a yogurt-based dressing with herbs like mint and cilantro for a refreshing twist. Some people prefer a spicy harissa dressing, while others like a sweet and tangy honey mustard dressing. Experiment with different ones to find your favorite.

What can I serve with couscous salad?

Couscous salad is a versatile dish that pairs well with many other Mediterranean-inspired dishes. You can serve it alongside falafel, a mezze platter with hummus, baba ganoush, and pita bread. For a light lunch, try serving couscous salad with a side of fresh fruit.

What spices can be added to couscous salad for flavor?

Couscous salad is a great canvas for adding different spices and herbs. Some popular options include cumin, coriander, paprika, and za’atar. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spice blends to find the perfect combination for your taste buds!

mediterranean couscous salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

by Silvia Dunnirvine
Mediterranean Couscous Salad is a zesty dish filled with colorful veggies and feta cheese, tossed with a light dressing. The result is a crunchy, satisfying salad that's perfect lunch for the summer.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup pearl couscous (uncooked)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 cup cucumber cubed
  • 1/2 cup olives
  • 5 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • fresh parsley or cilantro

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • Cook pearl couscous according to package instructions (about 8 minutes). Set aside, allow it to cool down.
  • Meanwhile chop the veggies and add them to a big bowl.
  • Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Once the couscous has cooled down add to the bowl of veggies. Toss in salad dressing and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 291IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: Mediterranean Couscous Salad, Pearl Couscous Salad
Course: Dinner, Salads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Israeli couscous salad in a bowl

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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2 Comments

  1. Wanted to say thank you! I’ve recently been diagnosed with a heart condition and placed on the terminal list. While I plan to beat this & am currently 2.5 years past their life expectancy date that they gave me, still along with my hearts struggles to effectively pump blood to my body has left me with many other ailments to fight. The worst of which is severe gout & gouty tophi in my hands, elbows, knees & feet. After researching I found a book that implemented a diet to follow. Now I grew up in southern Louisiana where people travel from everywhere in the world to enjoy our food. Everything is exploding with ooh yi yi flavor! So, when I read this menu that was given I was lost. I had no idea what some of these things were. Fortunately, I found your page & I gotta say after trying just the first salad recipe, I was relieved that there was actually some flavorful, healthy, & delicious foods I could enjoy. So thank you for taking the time.
    SINCERELY,
    TROY OLIVIER
    aka SUPERMAN

    1. Dear Troy, first of all I am so happy that you are staying strong as best as you can, looking after yourself and doing the dieting change, that’s hard!
      I am so so glad you found my mediterranean salad recipe to have good flavor so you can still enjoy eating delicious foods. Please reach out if you have any questions about my recipes. Your message made my day! Thank you and sending love xoxo