This Mediterranean Couscous Salad is full of diced cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, garbanzo beans, and tossed in a healthy olive oil and lemon juice dressing. You can easily meal prep this cold summer salad recipe ahead of time to bring to your summer picnics or as a vegetarian July 4th side dish.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad Recipe
If you have never had pearl couscous before, you are in for a real treat!
They’re small, chewy, pasta-like balls that soak up ALL of the delicious flavor of whatever dressing you are using.
And in this Mediterranean couscous salad recipe you see here, that “Greek dressing” is actually a simple combination of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
What?! How could something so simple taste so incredible?
Well, we’re also filling up this cold summer salad with a boat-load of fresh and crisp vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, and red onion…
AND finishing it off with a bit of feta cheese.
Yup. We’ve got all of the flavors you know and love in the Mediterranean cuisine in ONE quick and easy salad recipe.
As I’ve already alluded to earlier, there are quite a bit of fresh and healthy vegetables that go into this recipe.
Let’s take a closer look at those as well as some substitution ideas:
- Couscous – Pearl, or Israeli, couscous is used in this recipe. Instant couscous may also be substituted if that’s what you have on hand.
- Learn how to cook couscous.
- Olive oil – Since this makes up the majority of the “dressing,” you’ll want to make sure and use a higher-quality oil for the best flavor. I would not recommend using a different type of oil.
- Lemon – Fresh lemon juice gives this salad a bit of an acidic bite and balances out the olive oil. Try to avoid using the bottled lemon juice if you can.
- Feta Cheese – A quintessential Greek cheese that adds a beautiful saltiness to this dish. If you’re vegan, feel free to leave this out or substitute it with a dairy-free alternative.
- Garbanzo Beans – Also known as chickpeas, are bought in a can and then rinsed and drained for a bit of added fiber. You can also cook chickpeas at home, too.
- Cucumber – An English seedless cucumber is my personal preference, but other cucumber varieties may also be used. Just make sure you cut out the seeds before dicing. Also, you can choose to peel the cucumber or leave the skin on.
- Tomatoes – Cherry or grape tomatoes are the best type to use in salads since they do not release a lot of liquid. However, you can also try vine-ripened tomatoes or another flavorful variety instead.
- Onion – Red onion is the most traditional type of onion to use, but a white or sweet onion may also be substituted.
- Parsley – It may seem like an optional ingredient, but this herbs gives the salad a wonderful freshness you don’t want to miss.
Please make sure to note that this recipe calls for 3 cups of COOKED couscous, which is roughly 1 cup of dried.
It also calls for Israeli, or pearl, couscous. This is very different from the instant couscous type and will take a little bit longer to fully cook. (About 20 minutes.)
Visit this post to learn how to cook pearl couscous.
How to Make
This Mediterranean couscous salad recipe is so quick, easy, and simple to throw together.
It’s also a great lunch to meal prep for a busy week or make ahead for a family picnic or potluck dinner.
Cook pearl couscous on the stovetop.
Let cool completely.
Combine cooked couscous, oil, juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss to completely coat the couscous.
Mix in cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, beans, red onion, and parsley. Refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Add additional chopped parsley just before serving and enjoy!
If you’d like to meal prep this recipe for the week, you totally can!
This is the basic process to follow for meal prepping:
- Cook your couscous.
- Mix the dressing ingredients and couscous together.
- Add in the cucumber, feta, beans, and red onion.
- Reserve the tomatoes and parsley to add in when serving.
This Greek couscous salad stores wonderfully in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
You can also freeze this it without the tomatoes and parsley for up to 2-3 months.
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- 3 cups pearl couscous cooked
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice fresh
- ½ - ¾ tsp. salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 ½ cups seedless cucumber diced
- 16 oz. cherry tomatoes quartered
- ⅓ cup feta cheese
- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup red onion finely diced
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley finely chopped
- Cook pearl couscous on the stovetop.
- Once cooled, combine cooked couscous, oil, juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss to completely coat the couscous.
- Mix in cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese, beans, red onion, and parsley. Refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- Add additional chopped parsley just before serving and enjoy!
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.