A delicious couscous salad is loaded with robust Greek flavors that comes together in 15 minutes. Eat this as a hearty vegetarian meal or top it with some juicy grilled chicken and pack it in your lunchbox! Quick, easy, healthy, and delicious!
What is couscous?
Couscous is a tiny pasta that is made of semolina and shaped into little balls. It is very common in Middle Eastern and African cuisine. It is traditionally added to soups and stews and has a very mild flavor which pairs well with everything.
The traditional tiny couscous cooks in 5 minutes which makes it the perfect “fast-food”.
How to cook Couscous
- Couscous can be cooked in plain salted boiling water. But, using stock instead of water adds maximum flavor. For every cup of couscous use 1 to 1 and 1/4 cups of liquid. Bring the stock or water to a boil and pour over the couscous (or you can just add the couscous to the same pot that the stock was boiled in) and season with some salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Butter can be used instead of oil.
- Mix it all together and cover the pot so that the couscous can absorb all of the liquid. In just 5 minutes it will be ready.
- Fluff the couscous and it is ready to be served.
Substitutes for the couscous
Feel free to substitute any of the following for the couscous:
- any small pasta: elbow, orecchiette, or orzo pasta (cooking times will vary so, follow the package instructions)
Ingredients for the salad & Substitutes
Here’s everything that you will need to make the salad:
- feta cheese: a sheep’s milk feta will be creamy and the most delicious but, feel free to use cow’s milk feta if that is what you have or prefer.
- Kalamata olives
- tomatoes: any tomatoes will do but, my favorites are cherry or grape tomatoes
- onions: red onions are traditionally used in Greek salad but, you can use any onion (sweeter onions are preferred such as Vidalias) or scallions instead.
- bell peppers: any color or a variety will all taste wonderful
- fresh herbs: mint, parsley, dill, and/or basil
- for the dressing: olive oil, red wine vinegar (balsamic vinegar or lemon juice works too) salt, and garlic
Substitutes or additions:
There are so many delicious additions that can make this salad even better:
- toasted nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, pecans…)
- roasted or steamed asparagus
- boiled eggs
- pickled vegetables
- tuna fish
Serve this salad with
How long does the Couscous Salad last?
This salad keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It honestly tastes best on the second day when the veggies have released their juices and all of the flavors get into the couscous. So good!
I hope that you give this recipe a try. If you do, let me know what you think in the comments section and I will see you back here soon with another delicious recipe worth sharing. Kali Orexi! -Dimitra
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- 1 cup couscous
- 1 and ¼ cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 1-pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
- Bell pepper, diced
- ¼ of a small red onion, finely chopped
- 5-6 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 4-6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
- Optional: cooked chickpeas, beans, avocado slices
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup good olive oil
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- Optional: 1 garlic clove, grated
- Prepare the couscous:
- • Place the couscous in a large bowl.
- • Bring the broth to a boil and pour over the couscous.
- • Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- • Cover with a plate and set aside for 5 minutes
- Make the salad:
- • Chop all the salad vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl. Season lightly with salt.
- • Crumble the feta over top and add the dried oregano with the olives and mix well to combine.
- • Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the salad. Mix it all together.
- Fluff the couscous with a fork and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Place the couscous in a serving plate or bowl. Pour the salad over the top and serve.
- This salad is flavorful enough to eat on its own or alongside grilled chicken or fish. Enjoy!