This Mediterranean Couscous Salad recipe is filled with pearl couscous, veggies, tangy olives, creamy feta, and plenty of fresh herbs. Dressed with a vibrant vinaigrette, it’s loaded with flavor for a salad that’s perfect for a light lunch or delicious side dish.

The Best Couscous Salad Recipe

This pearl couscous salad recipe is one of my favorite salads to make all year round. It’s full of vibrant flavors, perfectly refreshing in the spring and summer, yet hearty and filling enough for the colder months.  

If you’ve never had or cooked couscous, this is a great place to start! Pearled couscous is incredibly easy to make and when combined with fresh and marinated vegetables and other delicious ingredients like creamy feta cheese it’s the perfect combination.

This recipe is naturally nut-free and vegetarian and can easily be made vegan-friendly if you choose to leave out the feta cheese. Even better, it makes enough for a crowd and can easily be stored to enjoy as meal prep throughout the week! 

More Reader Favorite Mediterranean Recipes

Different Types of Couscous

There are several different types of couscous, but the three most common are golden couscous, pearl couscous, and Lebanese couscous. 

  • Golden couscous is a type of par-cooked durum wheat that is golden in color. 
  • Pearl couscous is slightly larger than golden couscous and easily absorbs the flavors of other foods, making it great for recipes like this couscous salad. 
  • Lebanese couscous is the largest variety and takes the longest to cook. As a result, it has a richer, nuttier flavor and slightly chewier texture. 

couscous salad ingredients

Couscous Salad Ingredients

Couscous: you’ll need four cups of cooked and cooled pearl couscous for this recipe. 

Tomatoes: cherry or grape tomatoes work best in this recipe. 

Grilled Marinated Artichoke Hearts: if you’ve never added grilled artichokes to your salad, you’ve been missing out. They have so much flavor!

Red Onion: adds just the right amount of flavor. Slice them thinly so you don’t end up with a huge bite of red onion.

Greek Olives: we’re using a combination of different olives in this salad. I like to use a Greek olive medley of a variety of olives like kalamata, black, green, or red.

Fresh Herbs: you’ll need chopped mint and parsley to add a nice freshness to this salad.  

Lemon Zest: this adds a delicious brightness, balancing out the savory, salty flavors. 

Feta Cheese: there’s nothing quite like creamy feta! You can crumble or dice the cheese depending on your preference. 

Olive Oil: be sure to use an olive oil that you really enjoy the taste of when making this dressing. 

Red Wine Vinegar: slightly sweet and punchy, this is my go-to for salad dressings. 

Lemon Juice: adds a bit of brightness to the dressing and complements the lemon zest in the salad. 

Garlic: fresh garlic really just takes the dressing to the next level. To save time, you can use pre-minced frozen garlic cubes if you like!

dressing in cup with spoon

Ingredient Variations

  • Couscous – Not a fan of couscous? Need to keep this recipe gluten-free? Swap it out for rice, quinoa, or your favorite small pasta like orzo.
  • Veggies – Feel free to get creative, and add more veggies to this salad! This recipe is so easy to customize to fit your needs.
  • Feta – Replace the feta with goat cheese or mozzarella. If you need a vegan option, replace it with your favorite plant-based cheese, avocado, or leave it out altogether.
  • Protein – Make this couscous salad recipe a complete meal by including a protein source like chickpeas, grilled chicken, shrimp, or salmon! 

How to Cook Couscous

Be sure to double-check the recipe instructions on your couscous package before you begin! In general, you can easily prepare couscous with the steps below: 

  • Boil water in a medium-sized saucepan. 
  • As soon as the water boils, remove the pan from the heat
  • Immediately stir in your couscous, a pinch of salt, oil, and butter as desired. 
  • Then, cover the pot, and let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes. 
  • Fluff the couscous with a fork, and set it aside to cool. 

dressing being poured over salad

How to Make a Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Step One: Add the cooked couscous, tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, red onion, Greek olives, fresh herbs, lemon zest, and feta cheese to a large mixing bowl. 

Step Two: Next, add the dressing ingredients to a high-powered blender or food processor, and blend until well combined.

Step Three: Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, and stir until everything is well combined and coated. 

Step Four: Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, garnish with extra fresh herbs, and enjoy! 

salad in serving bowl with spoon

My Favorite Tips and Tricks

  • Cook your couscous in advance so it is fully chilled before making the salad. If you’re running short on time, you can cook the couscous and chill it in the fridge to cool it down faster. 
  • When making the dressing, finely mince the garlic before adding it to your blender or food processor. This will ensure there are no huge chunks of garlic in the dressing. 
  • This salad tastes even better as it sits! Feel free to make it in the morning, and serve it later that night. 

salad on plates

How to Serve

This salad is great on its own, or you can pair it with your favorite protein to make it more of a complete meal. Some of my favorite items to serve it with include: 

How to Store

Store leftover Mediterranean couscous salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Just give it a good stir before serving to redistribute all the ingredients! 

salad in serving bowl with spoon

More Delicious Salad Recipes

I hope you give this Couscous Salad a try! It’s so easy to make and delicious! If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.

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couscous salad in serving bowl with spoon

Couscous Salad

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegetarian
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked and cooled pearl couscous
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup grilled marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup greek olive medley (green, kalamata, etc.), halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Method

  1. Make the Salad: Add the cooked couscous, tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, red onion, greek olives, fresh herbs, lemon zest, and feta cheese to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Make the Dressing: Add the dressing ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until well combined.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and then stir the salad together until everything is well combined.
  4. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, garnish with extra fresh herbs, serve and enjoy!

Keywords:

couscous salad recipe, pearl couscous salad, mediterranean couscous salad

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Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: THE MINDFUL HAPA

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