Couscous Salad Recipe

This couscous salad recipe is a perfect make-ahead salad for days when you just can’t be bothered to give a flyin’ fark. I mean, just look at it. It’s beautiful. A salad like this will cheer you up (and fill you up) in two seconds flat.

couscous salad recipe

Back to the couscous salad recipe, here it is. Feel free to add some cooked chickpeas or kidney beans or cheese to this for extra vegetarian protein, or top it with leftover grilled or roasted chicken for non-vegetarian protein.

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Couscous Salad Recipe – Printable!


Couscous Salad Recipe

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 cup whole wheat instant couscous
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup diced sweet pepper, red or yellow
  • 1/2 cup mixed pitted olives, roughly chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds


  1. Put the couscous in a large heat-safe bowl with the garlic and coriander. Pour boiling water over and cover with a plate. Let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Let cool at room temperature while you chop the vegetables.
  2. Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice over the couscous and toss gently.
  3. Fold in remaining ingredients except almonds and taste to adjust for salt.
  4. Add almonds right before serving to keep crunchy.


To add protein, fold in cooked chick peas and/or crumbled feta or goat cheese.


  • Calories: 334

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couscous salad


  1. The Other Randy on August 1, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    This sounds fantastic! I’m always looking for recipes to make a week’s worth of lunches.

    BTW, back before I kicked type 2 diabetes’ ass through exercise and weight loss, I tried doing it through what I ate. Rice was at the top of the list of foods to avoid. Loving Indian, Thai and Chinese food I thought I was really going to suffer. But I googled “rice substitute” and found cauliflower suggested by a ton of people. Chop up a head and toss the chunks into a food processor and pulse until it looks like rice. It took awhile (since I only knew one recipe for a couscous…until now) but I eventually found that it makes a great substitute for couscous as well. Well, great if you don’t want or can’t eat rice or pasta, but from a cooking-from-a-pantry point of view, rice and couscous are far more convenient.

    • Hilah on August 2, 2014 at 9:06 am

      So happy you kicked the diabetes out, Randy! I had not heard that good new update yet, I don’t think. Yay! Tons of exercise is the only thing that really keeps my dad’s type 2 diabetes in check (of course he also has to watch what he eats, but it’s really amazing the difference exercise makes in control).

      We love that cauliflower “rice”. I think it would probably work great here, too, served hot I imagine.

      • The Other Randy on August 6, 2014 at 12:33 pm

        I’ve pretty much determined that eating rice, pasta and couscous once or twice a month isn’t going to affect my a1c levels significantly. And keeping it restricted to that isn’t at all a hardship. But I think that Donna’s suggestion of substituting quinoa for couscous is genius. I’ll be able to make a Moroccan-style vegetable tagine and not have any health concerns whatsoever!

        I had to laugh a couple of weeks ago when I followed the link in a newsletter email for a recipe called curried cauliflower rice something or another, thinking it would be a recipe for “curried cauliflower” and rice. But it was for curried “cauliflower rice”. And then there was the grilled cauliflower steak recipe calling for slicing a head of cauliflower into “steaks” and grilling them. I didn’t try it, but was inspired to substitute “cauliflower steaks” for the chicken in chicken piccata. As a substitute for the chicken, it didn’t work so well: the “steak” crumbled into florets. It tasted fine, but the visual effect was lacking.

  2. Donna on August 5, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Hey Hilah! Would this also work with quinoa or would that be a bit too much? I just happen to have extra quinoa at the moment. Love your channel!

    • Hilah on August 6, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Hi Donna! I’m sure that would work great!

    • The Other Randy on August 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Oh, wow! I love that idea! Says he who also has a surplus of quinoa.

  3. Philip Murad on August 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Made this, as well as a major mess in the kitchen, tonight for dinner!! I added a touch of sriracha sauce to it. This is an amazing dish. Thank you so much for sharing. I have a picture but don’t think I can add it here.

    • Hilah on August 7, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Great to hear, Philip! 🙂 You’re right, I don’t think you can add pics to the comments, but you can post them on my Facebook page or send through Twitter if you have either of those.

  4. John Clulow on August 29, 2014 at 10:29 am

    We made this with quinoa instead of couscous and it became our immediate favorite. Love all your recipes and your channel.

    • Hilah on August 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

      Great to hear, John! Thanks for writing 🙂

  5. Beth on October 6, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    I made this exactly like Hilah says cept for the time I forgot the almonds, dangit. It’s now in our regular rotation of sides. Easy, delicious, beautiful – love it so much!

    • Hilah on October 6, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      So happy to hear that, Beth!

  6. Karen on May 4, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Hilah. I’m pretty new to your blog, website and facebook page and I am having a lot of fun following you. I know the couscous salad recipe was posted a couple years ago and I see in your writing that you had videos called “lunch lady.” I tried to connect via your link, but I can’t find your videos. Is there a secret you can share with me to find them? I look forward to trying your recipes and following you for a long time.
    Thank you.

    • Hilah on May 5, 2016 at 7:53 am

      Hey Karen!

      Welcome! Glad you enjoying the recipes so far. Unfortunately the Lunch Lady series is no longer available anywhere, for reasons unknown to me. But I will share here one of the other recipes from the series I came up with that is super good: Quinoa salad with black beans
      1/2 cup quinoa
      1 cup sliced green onions (1 bunch)
      1 cup diced apple
      2 tablespoons lime juice
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      ¼ teaspoon salt
      1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
      ¼ cup minced cilantro
      1 ½ cups (16 ounce can) black beans
      ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese, optional
      napa cabbage

      Cook quinoa in 1 cup water
      Combine oil, lime, onions, apple and seasoning in a large bowl and mix.
      Add drained beans and cooled quinoa and stir gently.
      Serve over napa cabbage
      Serve with cotija cheese if you like

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