• July 7, 2010

    Classic Couscous Salad


    Summer has officially begun on the West Coast of Canada! Hoorah!

    To celebrate, I spent the day at the beach with my adorable furry bottomed friend. I put in some time working on my freckles, examining seashells, doing some neurons-not-required reading, and savouring the first of the local cherries. And despite all of that exhausting labour, I found time to cook! It was the perfect day.

    This couscous salad is perfect summer food; delicious, light, cool, and full of bright flavours like herbs, lemon, and fresh garlic. It is perfect picnic food. Perfect potluck food. Perfect side dish to grilled chicken or steak. It is a warm weather staple in my kitchen.

    Adarsh insists that I make sure everyone knows this couscous salad is his favourite food. I’m skeptical, because he tosses out words like “favourite”, and “best ever”, and “we should eat this every day” so often (about three times a day, to be specific, and generally coinciding with meals) that these exuberant exclamations kinda lose their substance. However, today when I made this for lunch, his enthusiasm convinced me that maybe he really does like it that much. He asked me to make it for his birthday. I personally thought he’d shoot a bit higher… but hey, I’m not gonna argue.

    My favourite thing about summer salads is their versatility. The “add-ins” I mentioned are just a smattering of things I had on hand today. This is a great opportunity to experiment! It would be delicious with dried cranberries instead of raisins, toasted almonds instead of walnuts, and/or some diced celery. Also, you can use more or less of the herbs – or switch them up. Sometimes I leave out the mint if I don’t have it on hand.

    Did you know that couscous is just a teeny, tiny pasta?

    Couscous Salad

    For couscous:

    • 1 1/4 cup couscous

    • 1 1/2 cup boiling water

    • 1/4 cup minced mint

    • 1/4 cup minced parsley

    • 2 green onions, finely chopped

    • 1 apple, cored and diced (I leave the peel on)

    • 1/4 cup raisins

    • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

    • 1 tomato, seeded and diced

    • 1/2 cup diced cucumber

    • 1/3 cup olive oil

    • 3 tbsp lemon juice

    • 3 cloves garlic, minced

    • 1 tsp salt

    • 1/2 tsp black pepper


    For Dressing:

    1. Pour the boiling water over the dry couscous, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and spread out over a baking sheet to cool faster.

    2. Once couscous is cool, toss in a large bowl with mint, parsley, green onions, and desired add-ins.

    3. In a separate bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the dressing. Pour over couscous salad and toss thoroughly to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

    Review this recipe

    Notify of


    Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox to confirm.
    August 14, 2019
    Easy Couscous Salad with Lemon Dressing & Fresh Herbs

    This quick and easy couscous salad recipe is fresh, healthy and deliciously addictive. The bright lemon dressing is made from only 4 simple ingredients.

    Peach Salad with Mozzarella August 13, 2019
    Fresh Peach Caprese Salad

    A delicious, fresh peach salad with basil, olive oil and creamy mozzarella, plus delicious variations you don’t want to miss.

    August 8, 2019
    9+ Genius Israeli Couscous Recipes You Seriously Have to Try

    FacebookPinterestTwitterIsraeli couscous – aka pearl couscous, is the larger, chewier version of what we call ‘regular’ couscous. A lesser-known ingredient in North American kitchens, this tiny pasta shape is made from semolina flour, then toasted, creating a deliciously nutty flavour.