Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad Recipe

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 recipes to enjoy pearl couscous (or Israeli couscous): a Mediterranean salad!

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Israeli pearl couscous is a gourmet or giant couscous that is a super versatile ingredient that adds a unique texture and flavor to dishes. This type of couscous can be toasted before cooking to enhance its nutty flavor, making it a perfect base for salads.

One of the reasons I adore grain salads is their simplicity. They’re a breeze to make, yet they’re packed with nutrients and flavor. Pearl couscous, in particular, is a hearty grain with a fluffy texture and large pearls. It’s a gem that often goes unnoticed, overshadowed by the more common traditional couscous (the 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 an effortless, refreshing, tangy dressing made with red wine vinegar, lemon, oil, and dried herbs. 

Israeli pearl couscous stays firm, making it ideal for soaking up flavors from dressings and other salads or pilaf ingredients. 

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

If you’d like to increase your protein intake, add your desired protein, such as chicken or balsamic roasted tofu. This Israeli 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 office lunch break. (Remember to tell your coworkers where you got the recipe!).

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

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Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad

4.85 from 13 votes
Servings 4 people


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


  • 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. 

with love, Ali

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Recipe Rating


  • 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
    • We LOVE hearing that, Allyson!!! Thank you for trying & rating this recipe.
  • 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...
    • Thank you for your honest feedback!
    • 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!
    • but couscous has a lot of protein compared to rice or pasta so I think the readers know what they are getting from couscous whole grain or not :S
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
    • This looks perfect! Love the use of the spinach!! Thank you for sharing this great photo.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Awesome job! That all sounds great!
  • 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!
    • This makes us so happy to see and read!! Thank you for giving it a try and sharing with us!! You did amazing!
  • 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.
    • Oh my goodness! That's incredible. You're so sweet. We're beyond happy you're loving this one!
  • This was absolutely delicious! So flavorful yet still light.
    • We're so glad you enjoyed this!! It's a great summer dish!
  • Nutrition and calorie information, please! And thank you.
    • We are no longer providing that info but you can always input the ingredients into a tracker and get that information easily!
  • 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!
    • Yay!! That's so great. Thank you for rating it!
  • By the time I finished prepping this, I died of starvation, 12 hours to prep! But my corpse thought it tasted good.
    • Thank you for your honest review!
  • Amazing & perfect for my vegetarian son. I started making this 2 years ago & my family still asks for it! Super easy & leftovers are even better.
    • That's so amazing! We love that!