Couscous Salad

11 review, 4.5 star(s). 82% would make again

Ready in 20 minutes

Tender Couscous, Crunchy Vegetables and Vinaigrette.

I always keep couscous on hand to make a quick side dish or salad. Traditional couscous is made in a steamer and takes both time and technique to perfect. But instant couscous is a perfect alternative -- plus it cooks in five minutes. You can purchase couscous by the box -- Near East is an excellent brand. But for a better value you can buy organic couscous from many bulk grocers, especially organic and natural food markets.

When using couscous in a salad and you'll be adding and olive oil-based vinaigrette, it's preferable to cook couscous only with boiling water (instead of chicken or vegetable stock). Adding a teaspoon of olive oil will help the grains from clumping together. This salad can be made with any favorite vegetables you may have on hand but it is best with ones that have texture and crunch. Others additions could include raw red or green peppers, diced red onion, raw fennel, blanched haricots verts and similar.

This salad is also wonderful with chunks of cold roasted lamb, chicken or poached shrimp.


1 10 oz. box of instant couscous (1 1/4 cups)
2 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup diced seedless cucumbers or kirbies; peeled if the skins are thick
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/2 cup canned chick peas; drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup red wine vinegar vinaigrette
Red Wine Vinegar Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Original recipe makes 4 Servings



In a large mixing bowl combine the couscous, boiling water and olive oil. Quickly stir with a fork and cover the bowl with a pot cover or large plate so that the steam stays in the bowl.

Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork to break up the grains.

Let cool to room temperature or place in the refrigerator to chill.

While the couscous is chilling, prepare the vegetables.

Just before you're ready to serve, combine the couscous with all the chopped ingredients. Toss gently to combine.

Add the vinaigrette and toss again. Serve immediately.

In a small bowl combine the vinegar with the mustard, salt and pepper. Using a fork, stir until the salt is dissolved and the mustard completely mixed.

Add the olive oil and whisk with the fork until it has combined with the vinegar.

Add immediately to the salad. If it sits for a while, re-mix it before adding to the salad because if it has separated back into oil and vinegar the couscous grains may absorb it unevenly.


BigOven Tip: Easily make this ahead of time! Wait to dress the couscous with the vinaigrette until right before serving.

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Calories Per Serving: 219 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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I made this for lunch today and it is so good!!! I made the couscous (East End brand, Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil flavor) this morning and let it chill in the refrigerator until lunch time. I added chopped cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and canned chickpeas (drained & rinsed) to the couscous then drizzled it with some of the dressing and topped it with a few goat cheese crumbles. My daughter is a vegetarian and so in turn I have learned to embrace the chickpea :), it adds a nice texture to this salad. I will definitely make again.
gbenton0720 11m ago

Yummy! Instead of couscous I used quinoa, a gluten-free option. I didn't have any red wine vinegar on hand so I just used a quarter cup red wine vinegar and a quarter cup olive oil.
Jeanwgriffin 2y ago

Syrian dish very good for health
raees 2y ago

Overall...more veggies, less couscous, different dressing. Celery would've been a good addition. It was quite "involved" for a salad that notes to serve immediately.
LavenderWand 2y ago

I doubled this recipe using boxed pine nut couscous, did not have cucumbers but added other crisp vegetables and shaved parmesan. Only added 1/2 cup viniagrette dressing and took it to a potluck. It was well received.
Dwasserba 2y ago

Good salad for a pot luck or with an Italian main dish
karenb.debord 3y ago

This recipe worked brilliantly. I'm pretty rubbish in the kitchen, but managed to pull this off easily. I doubled the servings and served it in a large bowl for a buffet. Everyone loved it!
lozarcher 3y ago

iamcync 3y ago

I made this with a Couscous package, wild mushroom, which added a really nice flavor. I also added shredded carrot and yellow bell peppers. This was sooo delicious even my husband liked and ate it, he does not like good for you things that much. I literally could eat this every day. So easy to make as well. As for the typo about the red wine vinegar, I used just 1/2 cup and turned out great!
Hannah73 4y ago

I made this today and the flavor was great. I was dissapointed that the couscous came out mushy but I'm definately going to make it again with a different brand of couscous. Thank you for the recipe (^__^)
Alexx37 5y ago

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