Summer Israeli Couscous with Tomatoes, Cranberries and Basil

A light, refreshing vegetarian side dish using round pearl shaped Israeli couscous.  This can be served cold or at room temperature making it a great potluck dish to share! israeli couscous cranberries tomatoes

Have you ever had Israeli couscous before?  It is also called Pearl Couscous.  It is a small, round pasta that is simmered in either water or broth for about 10 minutes until al dente.

Israeli couscous cooks much like rice, except that it doesn’t get mushy. The liquid is absorbed and the tiny beads puff up to twice their size.  It has no flavor so it’s very versatile and absorbs whatever you put on it.

israeli couscous cranberries tomatoes

Today I chose to make an Israeli couscous to accompany our Grilled Chicken recipe that I was making for dinner.   I added some dried cranberries, pine nuts, halved grape tomatoes and basil.

The dressing is a bit on the heavier side using balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard.  I felt that was a little too heavy so I lightened it up with the juice of a lime and some basil and that seemed to help balance the flavors better.

For best results, give the couscous some time to soak up the dressing.   It can be kept at room temperature if you are serving it that night, or else it can be refrigerated for a few days until you are ready to serve it.

We found we liked it best at room temp but that’s just our personal preference. But either way it’s a great light summer side dish that takes about 10 minutes to prepare and is so versatile you can add whatever you want to it.

Try cilantro instead of basil or slivered toasted almonds instead of pine nuts, dried apricots instead of cranberries.  Let us know your thoughts and how you liked it.



Summer Israeli Couscous with Tomatoes, Cranberries and Basil

Overhead shot of Israeli couscous, grape tomatoes in white bowl with spoon


  • 1 cup Cooked Israeli Couscous
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
  • 1 Cup Organic Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved


  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Organic Limes, juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons Organic Scallions, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Organic Cane Sugar
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black pepper to taste


  1. Cook the couscous according to the package directions. Fluff with a fork and add it to a large bowl
  2. Add the dried cranberries, pine nuts and scallions
  3. In a small bowl mix the ingredients for the dressing and whisk to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary
  4. Pour over the couscous and stir to combine
  5. This salad can be eaten at room temperature or served cold

Recipe Source:
I used all organic ingredients when possible when making this recipe, and hope you do too!  🙂



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  1. Hi! So I’m shopping in the grocery store and preparing to make your recipe! I noticed that the title mentions basil but there’s no basil in the ingredients list or in the instructions so I’m standing here in the produce section trying to decide how much basil to buy, LOL. I put a handful in my basket but you might want to edit for others in the future! 🙂 I’m looking forward to making it, thanks!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Looks and sound delicious! Is there a recipe that we can refer to?

    • sorry everyone! I finally got around to getting the recipe in there. Thank goodness I keep a master book! Enjoy

  3. Anonymous says:

    This sounds very good. I will probably attempt to make something similar as the recipe still does not show.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t see the recipe posted

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