This Mediterranean couscous salad is the perfect addition to any summer meal. Serve this veggie-packed salad as a delicious side dish or a colorful main dish. Enjoy!
Veggie-Packed Couscous Salad
Hellloooooo, salad lovers! This Mediterranean couscous salad is as healthy as it is delicious. And did we mention it’s veggie-packed?! You’ll find a rainbow of vegetables in this salad tossed together with chickpeas, feta, couscous (of course!), and a delicious dressing.
Couscous Salad Ingredients
Israeli couscous: we used an Israeli couscous variety for this salad because we love the look and texture it brings.
Crumbled feta cheese: crumbed feta or crumbled goat cheese will work for this couscous salad recipe. Or, omit the feta completely if you can’t tolerate dairy.
Red onion: if you prefer white or yellow onion, they will taste great in this salad as well.
Cherry tomatoes: feel free to use any kind of tomato. Just cut them up into bite-sized pieces.
English cucumbers: adding some more crunch to this couscous salad with english cucumbers.
Chickpeas: canned chickpeas bring great flavor and protein to this salad.
Fresh mint: we love the flavor that fresh mint brings to this salad. Chop finely to spread that yummy mint flavor throughout your couscous salad.
Simple dressing: this dressing comes together partially when coated on the chickpeas and partially tossed over the remainder of the salad ingredients when adding it all together at the end. It primarily uses balsamic, olive oil, and lemon juice and zest for its delicious flavor.
All Things Couscous
No need to be intimidated to make the couscous in this salad recipe! It’s quick and easy to whip up. Looking to learn a bit more about this delicious ingredient?
What is couscous? Couscous is a small round pasta typically made from barley or wheat (semolina).
What is Israeli couscous? Israeli couscous (sometimes referred to as pearl couscous) is a much larger ball shape than couscous, which is made from smaller and much more irregularly shaped balls of semolina flour and water. You can typically find Israeli couscous in white, wheat and tri-color varieties.
Is couscous a pasta? Yes! It may look like a grain, but is technically a pasta often made from semolina flour.
What’s a good substitute for couscous? A good alternative for the couscous in this salad is orzo pasta. Quinoa or non-pearl couscous would also work well.
Substitutions for Israeli Couscous
Don’t have Israeli couscous on hand, or can’t find it at your go-to grocery store? Simply sub any of the following:
How to Make Couscous Salad
This Mediterranean couscous salad comes together in three straightforward parts. We’ll walk you through it:
Prepare the Chickpeas
Place all of the ingredients for the chickpeas in a microwave-safe bowl, and toss the ingredients together until the chickpeas are coated. Then, microwave the chickpeas on high for 90 seconds. Mix together well, and set the chickpeas aside for later. You’ll love the flavor of these!
Prepare the couscous
Heat a saucepan over medium/high heat, and then add olive oil and lemon juice. When the olive oil is fragrant, add the couscous and salt to the saucepan and toast for 1 minute. Toasting the couscous will amp up the flavor — don’t skip this 😀
Then, add the water to the pot with the couscous and stir before bringing to a boil.
Next, turn heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the water. The couscous should have a bit of a bite to it — it should NOT be soggy.
Remove from heat and fluff the couscous with a fork. Then, pour the couscous in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to cool.
Prepare the Salad
Meanwhile, place the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, feta, and mint to a large salad bowl and toss.
When the couscous is cooled (about 15-20 minutes), pour the couscous and chickpeas (with oil) into the salad bowl.
Toss all the ingredients together until all are combined.
Salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately or place in the refrigerator to chill.
How to Serve Couscous Salad
Serve this Mediterranean couscous salad chilled as a side (this is perfect for any summer meal!) or a healthy main dish for a lunch on the go.
How to Store Couscous Salad
Transfer your couscous salad into an air-tight container, and store in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- 15 oz. can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon ground oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Israeli couscous uncooked
- 1.25 cups water
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 10 oz. Cherry tomatoes halved
- ½ medium red onion diced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Zest of one medium lemon
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
- ¾ cup chopped fresh mint
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place all of the ingredients for the chickpeas in a microwave safe bowl. Toss the ingredients together until the chickpeas are coated.
- Microwave the chickpeas on high for 90 seconds. Mix and set aside for later.
- Prepare the couscous. Heat a saucepan over medium/high heat. Add olive oil and lemon juice.
- When the olive oil is fragrant add the couscous and salt to the saucepan and toast for 1 minute.
- Add the water to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil.
- Turn heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the water. The couscous should have a bite.
- Remove from heat and fluff the couscous with a fork. Pour the couscous in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator to cool.
- Meanwhile, place the cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, feta, and mint to a large salad bowl and toss.
- When the couscous is cooled (about 15-20 minutes), pour the couscous and garbanzo beans (with oil) into the salad bowl.
- Toss all the ingredients together until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately or place in the refrigerator to chill.