Light and fresh Mediterranean couscous is quick, easy and delicious. Loaded with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers, it is a healthy side dish perfect for weeknight cooking. Couscous salad also makes a great weekday Mediterranean lunch!
Filled with fresh Mediterranean flavors, like fresh dill and mint, and a bright, tangy lemon dressing, this couscous salad is hearty enough to be the main dish.
It is a vegetarian recipe, but can easily be made vegan by omitting the feta cheese. Want to bulk it up even more? Add in a handful of chickpeas for extra protein or a few slices of grilled chicken.
Couscous is a staple in Middle Eastern and North African cooking. Made from precooked, coarsely ground semolina, it cooks in 5 minutes flat, which begs the question “why aren’t we using it more often?”
Eaten with soups, stews and braised meats, couscous goes with almost everything. In this recipe, I’ve given it a Mediterranean flavor with the addition of fresh vegetables and a bright lemony dressing.
How to make mediterranean couscous
Making this couscous salad couldn’t be easier! The couscous cooks in 5 minutes, then it is cooled and tossed with vegetables and dressing.
• Cook couscous and allow to cool completely.
• Gently fluff cooked couscous with a fork.
• Add chopped vegetables, olives, feta and herbs to couscous.
• Make dressing, pour over couscous, toss to combine and serve.
Easy Mediterranean recipes like this couscous salad are perfect for weekday lunches. They are full of crunchy vegetables, hearty enough to fill you up yet not heavy and so full of flavor!
One of our all time favorites is this Mediterranean Chicken Meal Prep Bowl – it also fits right in with this Mediterranean recipe.
how to cook couscous
- Bring water to a boil and add a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Add couscous.
- Stir to combine, then remove from heat.
- Cover and allow couscous to absorb water for 5 minutes.
Cooking couscous is fast and easy, which makes it ideal for busy weeknights when you need a quick side with dinner. Because it absorbs liquid like a sponge, you can really flavor the liquid (and the couscous) with virtually anything you’d like.
It makes a great bed for hearty stews and meat dishes like braised short ribs.
What to eat with Mediterranean couscous
To make a tasty Mediterranean meal, pair it with any of these dishes to have a delicious dinner.
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Used in this recipe
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For the couscous
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup couscous
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
For the salad
- 3/4 cup seedless cucumber, diced 1/2 inch
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup bell pepper, diced 1/2 inch
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (omit if vegan)
- 1/4 cup scallions (green onions), diced
- 3 tbsp. fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- Bring 1 cup water to a boil, add salt and olive oil.
- Add couscous, stir to combine and remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Fluff cooked couscous with a fork and let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking constantly.
- Set aside until ready to assemble salad.
- In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, feta, scallions, parsley, dill, mint and lemon zest.
- Add cooled couscous and toss to combine.
- Whisk dressing to emulsify again and pour over salad.
- Toss to combine and serve.
This recipes uses instant Moroccan couscous, not pearl couscous. However, you could substitute with that, if desired. Adjust cooking time according to package.
If dressing is too tart for your personal taste, add 1 tbsp honey or sugar.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 681mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.