Couscous Salad is made with pearl couscous, chickpeas, tomatoes, olives. All is wonderfully covered in a great vinaigrette which makes it the best salad recipe, because it is satisfying in no time. A 20 minute meal that is so easy to make, full of flavor and comes together with really low effort.
You and me, we all know that these salad recipes have 2 components that make them a winner: Beautiful ingredients that taste good and a homemade salad dressing which delivers flavor.
This Couscous Salad recipe is really no exception. Along with tasty ingredients, we make a dressing that taste good and you are ready to eat in no time.
Pearl Couscous vs Couscous
Let’s talk about the ingredient giving the name to this salad. I use pearl couscous, which is also known as Israeli couscous. It has more flavor than regular couscous because one toasts it and it has small balls of semolina flour.
Pearl couscous is generally rougher (small balls) than couscous so that leads to more texture in each and every bite.
If you prefer using couscous, the result will be absolutely fine, but I really like the taste and texture from pearl couscous so much.
Pearl couscous or couscous isn’t important, because it will any way delicious. You can see I cooked my pearl couscous before and I use 1 cup which leads to 3 cups cooked. Keep in mind if you use couscous you will need 1.5 cups uncooked to make 3 cups.
You will need the following ingredients for the Couscous Salad
Roasted red pepper: I’m lazy and use them from the jar, but if you have the time you can absolutely roast them. To do that: On a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper, lay your pepper and roost them for around 45 minutes at 420F.
Roasted peppers are amazing any ways, because these provide so much flavor for the salad. In my gusto this tastes even better than just adding bell peppers. You get a smoky and a little sweet flavor that is the profile which bell peppers release while roasting, yum.
Chickpeas are filling, cheap and have an amazing texture. These are also great for curries like in this Sweet Potato Curry.
Red onions, cucumbers and tomatoes are great ingredients: red onions have a great texture, but are milder than white onions. Crispy cucumbers and juicy tomatoes make everything fresh and delicious.
Dairy free feta and olives both have a lot of flavor and give our Couscous Salad a touch of saltiness. The feta adds creaminess and richness, while olives are here for deep flavor.
To make a homemade salad dressing I mix some olive oil with red vinegar, garlic, mustard, sugar for a bit of sweetness, and finally chili flakes for a nice spicy flavor.
Parsley and dill for great flavors, freshness and a wonderful flavor profile.
The extra: pine nuts, roasted in a pan over medium heat for 1 minute until golden and delicious.
How to make Couscous Salad
According to your package, cook the couscous which will be different using pearl couscous or couscous. Pearl couscous needs to be actually cooked, regular couscous will just be soaked.
Prepare dressing for the Couscous Salad
In a small bowl or jar, combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, garlic, chili flakes and for sure a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together until everything is well combined and pourable.
Roast pine nuts
Add pine nut to a small pan over medium heat and roast them for around 1 minute until golden and amazing.
In a large bowl combine: couscous, cucumbers, parsley, dill, roasted red peppers, chickpeas, feta, tomatoes, red onions, olives. Add dressing and pine nuts, combine, and enjoy.
You can use leftovers of the Couscous Salad for around 5 days.
Other salad dressing recipes to try
See you around, Florian.
- 3 cups cooked pearl couscous (see tips in notes).
- 1 cup roasted red pepper
- 7 oz dairy free feta
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup olives, halved
- 15 oz chickpeas, drained
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 small bunch dill, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tsp mustard
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1/4 cup red vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- salt, pepper to taste
- According to manufacturer's directions prepare and make the couscous.
Make dressing and roast pine nuts
- In a small jar or bowl combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, garlic, chili flakes, and for sure a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Mix together until everything is combined.
- Roast pine nuts in small pan for about one minute until golden.
- Into a large bowl add couscous, cucumbers, parsley, dill roasted red peppers, chickpeas, feta, tomatoes, red onions, olives.
- Mix with dressing and pine nuts.
- Leftovers are great for 5 days in the fridge.
- Note that pearl couscous is different from regular couscous. For preparation, I use 1 cup uncooked to get 3 cups cooked pearl couscous. For instant couscous you will need 1.5 cups uncooked to get 3 cups cooked.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 470Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 585mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 9gSugar: 3gProtein: 17g