Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad

vegetarian
Mediterranean Couscous Salad

This simple couscous salad is packed with protein, veggies, and flavor and the perfect salad to bring to work, a potluck, or a picnic lunch! This couscous salad saves well and comes together in less than 20 minutes! 

Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad

I love grain salads! I could seriously eat a grain salad for every meal (well, maybe not breakfast!) There are so many exciting, delicious, and nutritious grains, that I never get bored of a grain salad. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite ways to enjoy pearl couscous (also known as Israeli couscous): a Mediterranean salad!

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Perhaps I love grain salads, just because they’re so easy to make and pack a lot of nutrients and flavor. Pearl couscous is heartier than a lot of grains (the pearl couscous is fluffy and the pearls are big!) I feel like pearl couscous gets overlooked and most people cook traditional couscous (the really thin, drier variety.)

This couscous salad is Mediterranean flavored, using classic flavors like salty feta cheese and olives, along with crunchy, raw veggies like cucumbers and arugula. Chickpeas are added for protein and more heartiness, and everything is tossed with a very simple, refreshing, tangy dressing made with red wine vinegar, lemon, oil, and dried herbs.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

If you’d like to up the protein levels here, you can add your desired protein, like a chicken or balsamic roasted tofu. This couscous salad is meal prep friendly and can be easily customized to fit your preferences.

Grab your picnic blanket and pack this salad for your next outdoor gathering or bring it to your office (and don’t forget to tell them where you got the recipe!!)

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

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Recipe

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4.91 from 11 votes

Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1/2 English seedless cucumber ½cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives halved
  • cups baby arugula
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups cooked pearl couscous (or 1 ½ cups dry, then cook to yield 3 cups cooked)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise. Repeat, halving each halve crosswise. Slice the cucumber pieces thinly crosswise until you have ½ cup sliced cucumber.
  • In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, olives, arugula, chickpeas, couscous, half of the feta cheese, and toss well to combine. Top with remaining feta cheese and serve. 

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27 comments

Allyson says:
Made this last night. Super easy to make ahead of time. It was filling and had such great taste. Cant wait to have leftovers for lunch

5 stars

Meaghan says:
We LOVE hearing that, Allyson!!! Thank you for trying & rating this recipe.
Robin says:
Ali, This sounds delicious, but it's only grain-based if you consider pasta a grain. Israeli couscous is pasta. Although, technically, since flour is made with wheat, it qualifies as originating with grain. But I don't think it's the "whole grain" your readers are expecting. It lacks the nutrition and fiber of other "grains," like spelt, bulgur, etc. That said, I'd eat it in a heartbeat...

4 stars

Meaghan says:
Thank you for your honest feedback!
Ali Maffucci says:
It's a whole grain couscous variety, is what I meant! You can buy whole wheat couscous varieties, which I recommend! Glad you like the recipe!
Morgan says:
I made this with orzo and it was delicious! Super easy. My fiance had it as is, and I had is and I had it as a salad topping over a bed of arugula.

5 stars

Pam says:
Just made this recipe for lunch, subbing in farro for the couscous (my grocery store didn't have couscous) and adding shredded chicken as suggested. It was so delicious and fresh! I can't take anymore work from home sandwiches, and this salad really hit the spot. It's perfect because I have my lunch made for the next few days. Thanks Ali for a great recipe!
Kimberly says:
Made the recipe this morning and put it in the fridge to chill until lunch. It was very good. Our store didn't have arugula, so I used baby spinach instead. Since I was using the last of the jar of my olives, I also added a splash of the olive juice to the salad.

5 stars

Meaghan says:
This looks perfect! Love the use of the spinach!! Thank you for sharing this great photo.
Azza says:
Super delicious. Really loved it. Thank you Ali. I love all ur recipes. I did it without chickpeas as I didn’t have it. But it is super fullfilling.

5 stars

Meaghan says:
So happy you loved this one!
Anonymous says:
I made this in no time flat using quinoa/bulgur instead of couscous. By my calculations, it's about 310 Kcals per one cup serving. I got 6 one-cup servings (excluding arugula) with this recipe. Simple, delicious, nutritious.

5 stars

Meaghan says:
Awesome job! That all sounds great!
Amanda Howard says:
This recipe deserves a rating of 10 out of 5! It is beyond easy and enjoyable to make. I love that it uses Pearl cous cous,something different and I'd never even heard of it. Now its my new favourite thing to eat. Do yourself a favour and make this incredibly tasty and fulfilling salad. An alround satisfying meal!

5 stars

Meaghan says:
This makes us so happy to see and read!! Thank you for giving it a try and sharing with us!! You did amazing!
Kimberly says:
I had to come back and say that I have made this 5 times in 2 weeks. I love having it in the fridge as a quick lunch or an easy side for dinner.

5 stars

Meaghan says:
Oh my goodness! That's incredible. You're so sweet. We're beyond happy you're loving this one!
Anonymous says:
This was absolutely delicious! So flavorful yet still light.

5 stars

Meaghan says:
We're so glad you enjoyed this!! It's a great summer dish!
Anonymous says:
Nutrition and calorie information, please! And thank you.
Meaghan says:
We are no longer providing that info but you can always input the ingredients into a tracker and get that information easily!
Katie says:
This couscous salad has been my go-to lunch lately. I love that I can make a big batch of it on Monday, and eat it practically all week. I think it tastes even better as the week goes on. Thanks for a great recipe!

5 stars

Meaghan says:
Yay!! That's so great. Thank you for rating it!
Nova says:
I've made this half a dozen times now and it is such a crowd pleaser! Eveyerone I've made it for loves it! It's fresh, light, simple. It will continue to be in my cooking rotation for a long time.

5 stars

Meaghan says:
this makes us SO happy to hear! Thank you for giving it a try and loving it so much. And thank you for rating it as well!!
Megan says:
Does the arugula stay crisp when made ahead? I was going to make it to give to a friend
Meaghan says:
Since there's not a heavy dressing, it does stay pretty crisp, but if you want it super crisp, we recommend adding it when serving.

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