This colorful and full-of-bright flavor Couscous Salad is easy to make, fresh, satisfying, and healthy. The perfect side dish to any meal. Ready in less than 30 minutes!
Easy Couscous Salad Recipe Highlights
If you’re in need of a quick salad with minimal cooking, then you are in luck!
Salads are my go-to side dishes. They are a great addition to any lunch or dinner. Fill out the plate with color and nourishment. They are also quick and easy and require minimal or no cooking. Plus, they’re very customizable since you can add or change the salad ingredients as much as you want.
This recipe is a twist on the traditional tabbouleh, which is made with bulgur wheat, so I decided to make a tabbouleh salad with couscous. I love this flavor combination. It’s nutty, herby, and lemony. This salad gets better after a day or so in the fridge as the dressing pretty much marinates your ingredients, so it’s a perfect make-ahead recipe for busy days. And It’s ready in 20 minutes!
This bright minty tomato and cucumber-packed salad is so refreshing and easy to make. If you have kids, you can get them in the kitchen to help by giving them the salad spoons and having them toss all the ingredients together or practicing measuring the salad dressing ingredients out.
Couscous Salad Ingredients
Amounts are included in the printable recipe below (scroll down). You’ll need:
- English cucumber: I like to use English cucumber because it is sweeter than the standard cucumber, and it doesn’t need to be peeled or seeded before eating. They’re long, thin cucumbers sold covered in plastic at the store.
- Cherry tomatoes: If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, you can use grape tomatoes or plum tomatoes.
- Fresh Parsley leaves
- Fresh mint leaves
- Scallions: Also known as green onions.
- Couscous: I used Tri-Color Pearl Couscous. Feel free to use any other couscous style that you prefer; just make sure to cook accordingly to package instructions.
For the dressing, you’ll need:
- Fresh lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
How To Make Couscous Salad Step-by-Step
Detailed instructions are included in the printable recipe below (scroll down).
1 – Cook The Couscous
Cook the dry couscous following the box instructions. Let it cool before assembling the salad.
2 – Combine The Salad Ingredients
In a medium bowl, mix the cucumber, tomatoes, fresh herbs, scallions, and couscous. Mix until everything is well combined.
3 – Make The Dressing
Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and garlic. Gradually add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4 – Mix Both
Add dressing to salad and toss to combine. Let the mixture stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Fresh lemon juice is ideal for the salad dressing. The flavors are more bright and fresh compared to bottled lemon juice.
Your couscous should come with directions on how to cook it. If not, the usual couscous-to-water ratio is 1 cup couscous to 1 and 1/2 cup water or broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and then stir in the couscous and allow to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Be sure to cut your cucumbers into bite-sized pieces, so you don’t end up with a spoonful of just cucumber!
If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, you can try grape tomatoes or plum tomatoes.
Feel free to add other vegetables to this salad if you’d like to bulk it up some more!
The salad can be made ahead up to 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. I do not suggest freezing this recipe as it does not freeze well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Couscous is crushed durum wheat semolina that is formed into mini spheres. It’s commonly served in North Africa, and it is sold in different varieties and textures, from slightly coarse or chewy to larger varieties. It has a neutral taste, making it perfect for serving as a side dish with most main dishes.
1 cup of dry couscous will give you about 2 to 2 ½ cups of cooked couscous.
Yes! You can make this salad 2 days in advance and keep it covered and chilled.
You can add whatever your heart desires! Some of my favorites are red bell pepper, red onion, olives, and feta cheese. Chickpeas are also a great idea for an extra source of vegetarian protein.
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Recipe Card 📖
Easy Couscous Salad
- 1 cup (170 g) uncooked couscous, (I used tricolor couscous) (see notes)
- 1 large English cucumber, washed and cut into small cubes
- 12-15 cherry tomatoes, washed and cut half
- 2/3 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
COOK THE COUSCOUS:
- Cook the dry couscous following the box instructions. Let it cool before assembling the salad. 1 cup of uncooked couscous will give you about 2 to 2 ½ cups of cooked couscous.
ASSEMBLE THE SALAD:
- In a medium bowl mix the cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint, scallions, and cooked couscous. Mix until everything is well combined.
PREPARE THE DRESSING:
- In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and garlic. Gradually add the olive oil.—Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add dressing to salad and toss to combine. Let the salad stand for 15-30 minutes before serving so all the flavors mix together.
- Fresh lemon juice is ideal for the salad dressing. The flavors are more bright and fresh compared to bottled lemon juice.
- Your couscous should come with directions on how to cook it. If not, the usual couscous-to-water ratio is 1 cup couscous to 1 and 1/2 cup water or broth. Bring the liquid to a boil, stir in the couscous, and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Be sure to cut your cucumbers into bite-sized pieces, so you don’t end up with a spoonful of just cucumber!
- If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, you can try grape tomatoes or plum tomatoes.
- Feel free to add other vegetables to this salad if you’d like to bulk it up some more!
This recipe was originally published in June 2015. The recipe remains the same, but more notes, tips, photos, and information were added to the post in January 2023 to make it as helpful as possible!