israeli cous cous salad with red pepper, cucumber, feta, red onion, basil and a lemon vinaigrette in a white serving bowl
Sides, Vegetarian

Simple Couscous Salad (Israeli/Pearl)

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The 4th of July is right around the corner and this simple couscous salad is a perfect side to bring with you to wherever you might be watching fireworks on Sunday! It is bright. It is light. It is full of fresh summer vegetables, and it is extremely easy to make. Bring this couscous salad to a gathering of friends and family, bring it on a picnic, make it ahead for work lunches, or enjoy it as a side with dinner. We have been making this sort of salad for years at our family gatherings (original credit goes to my mother-in-law), and I thought it needed a recipe on the blog to share with your family.

Before We Get Started…

Let me tell you about a kitchen tool you really need… I used to dread having to zest fruit before I bought a rasp-style grater. The citrus zester I had before was such a pain to work with, and I often skipped this step in a recipe. Don’t skip the zest! Ever. Just get yourself one of these. It makes zesting fruits, or grating ginger or garlic effortless. These little steps in a recipe can make all the difference. I’m not just trying to sell a product here. I promise. I really want you to have one of these. If you love to cook at home, it will be $15 very well spent!

Where have I been?

Bouncing around here a little bit today guys, but anyway…You may have noticed that my site has been rather dormant lately. Please stick with me! I am in the midst of a very recent personal tragedy, and I am struggling to find motivation. You can read more about that on this page if you are interested. It has been taking absolutely all of my energy to get through the day-to-day, and to be honest, I have hardly cooked at all these last few months. During the times that I used to spend working on the blog, I have been watching a lot of Schitt’s Creek ha. It makes me laugh and gives my mind a break. Right now I am making it my goal to post one recipe per month. I would love for you to stick around 🙂

Back to This Simple Couscous Salad

This recipe really is simple. You cook the couscous according to the package directions, prep all your ingredients, whisk up a quick lemon vinaigrette, and combine everything together for a fresh summer salad. Here are a few things I would keep in mind…

  • Don’t overcook the couscous – it will be mushy! Keep a close eye on it and cook it until it is al dente.
  • Use a block of quality feta cheese. YUM. Bigger chunks and better flavor. 🙂
  • Don’t skip the fresh basil (or mint if you prefer).
  • If you make it ahead, be sure to add the herbs and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice before serving.

I hope you love this couscous salad! Check out my other side dishes here before you go. Mac and cheese is also always good for any get-together. You could try my creamy instant pot mac and cheese or the classic baked macaroni from my nana! If you do make this or any of my other recipes. Please leave me a comment. I would LOVE to hear how it went.

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israeli cous cous salad with red pepper, cucumber, feta, red onion, basil and a lemon vinaigrette in a white serving bowl

Simple Couscous Salad (Israeli/Pearl)


  • Author: Katelyn
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x

Description

Super simple Israeli couscous salad with bright summer vegetables, chopped fresh basil, BIG chunks of feta, and a lemon vinaigrette. Light, fresh, and perfect for summertime!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups Israeli (Pearl) Couscous, cooked according to package directions (start with 2 dry cups)
  • 1 cup cucumber, small diced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, small diced (approximately 1 large pepper)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, small diced 
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, medium diced (best to use a block of feta)
  • 23 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest 
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper

 


Instructions

  1. Prepare your couscous according to package directions
  2. While the couscous cooks, make your vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. 
  3. Prep your vegetables.
  4. Once the couscous finishes, toss it together with HALF your vinaigrette in a large bowl. 
  5. Add the vegetables, feta, and basil to the couscous and toss with the remaining vinaigrette. 
  6. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

  • This couscous salad can be served warm or cold. If you do refrigerate it, it is helpful to add the basil and an additional squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving. 
  • Mint is a wonderful substitute for basil here.
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stove-top
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean-American

Keywords: israeli couscous, pearl couscous, vegetables, vegetarian, feta red pepper, cucumber

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