This Mediterranean couscous salad makes a tasty lunch or dinner side dish. Couscous is a versatile Middle Eastern pasta and comes in several varieties with different textures and flavors.
Packed with vegetables, this is the perfect dish if you’re looking for something light and healthy.
Why This Recipe Works
Couscous can often be, can we say – bland, when it comes to knowing how to spruce it up. So we’ve paired the boring couscous with all the vegetables that gives a dish that ‘Mediterranean’ flair – the combination of tomatoes, cucumber, purple onion, bell pepper … and that Feta cheese!
Then it gets tossed with a light Greek inspired vinaigrette to pull it all together. It’s such a versatile side dish and super easy to make. I’ll show you.
- Couscous: the main ingredient that also gives heartiness to the overall dish.
- Vegetables: cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, red bell pepper, and kalamata olives add the perfect freshness and texture.
- Seasonings: salt, black pepper, shallots, and parsley combine to flavor the couscous and vegetables.
- Liquids: olive oil and chicken broth (or water) are used to help with cooking the couscous.
- Homemade Dressing: oregano, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil are all you need to create a delicious dressing.
How to Make Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Step One: Make the couscous.
Cooking couscous in a saucepan is very similar to cooking rice or quinoa. You should use an equal amount of liquid and grains. Chicken or vegetable broth will impart the most flavor. However, water with a bit of salt is fine also.
Simply stir in the couscous, cover, and let it cook until the water is all absorbed. Then, ‘fluff’ it with a fork.
Step Two: Add vegetables and herbs on top of couscous.
Once the couscous has cooled, add the diced vegetables and chopped fresh herbs on top in a large bowl. Fresh herbs give this dish (and any dish for that matter) an elevated brightness that you just can’t get from dried herbs.
Whisk the ingredients for the dressing in a medium bowl vigorously until emulsified.
Step Four: Pour dressing on salad and mix.
After you have poured the dressing on the salad, toss the salad until everything has combined well. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. It can also be served immediately.
1. How do I store the couscous salad?
You can store the couscous salad in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Store it in an airtight container for maximum freshness. Do not freeze as the vegetables will change their texture and get soggy.
However, couscous on its own can be frozen for up to 3 months.
2. What are the substitutions I can make?
- No cherry tomatoes? You can use plum tomatoes
- No shallots? You can substitute 1 small red onion or 2 green onions
- No white wine vinegar? Try using red wine vinegar or rice vinegar
3. What other additions can I add?
Try adding chickpeas, roasted red peppers, and roasted eggplant. Pine nuts and feta cheese are great additions to this salad as well. You could also squeeze fresh lemon juice over the finished salad.
4. What can I serve with this salad?Print
- 2 Cups Chicken Broth (or water)
- 2 Cups Couscous
- 3 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 Cup Cherry Tomatos, cut in half
- 1 Cup English Cucumber, diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 2 Shallots, diced
- ½ Cup Kalamata Olives, cut in half
- ½ Cup Feta Cheese
- ¼ Cup Chopped Parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
- 1 teaspoon each Oregano, Thyme and Basil
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons White wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ Cup Extra-virgin olive oil
- Add the chicken broth (or water + ½ teaspoon salt) to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and add the couscous. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff the couscous with a fork. Place the couscous in a bowl and allow it to cool by placing it in the refrigerator.
- In a large salad bowl, add all the diced and chopped ingredients for the salad. Add the cooled couscous. Set aside.
- Whisk the ingredients for the dressing in a medium bowl vigorously until emulsified.
- Pour the dressing on top of the couscous salad, and mix well to combine all the ingredients.