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January 16, 2024

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

This fresh couscous salad has all the herbs and vegetables, plus olives and feta, in a tangy lemon vinaigrette. Great as a main for lunch, or on the side of grilled meat for dinner.

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mediterranean couscous salad made with feta, Greek olives, cucumber, tomato, pepperoncini, red onion and parsley
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More of our favorite Mediterranean inspired salads

Our Favorite Couscous Salad Recipe

Pearl, also called Israeli, couscous has quickly become one of our favorite grains to use in salads, especially in cold salads like this Mediterranean couscous salad. This salad is a great weekday lunch to have on hand, or perfect for serving at dinner alongside grilled meats like our Grilled Chicken or Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri.

mediterranean couscous salad made with feta, Greek olives, cucumber, tomato, pepperoncini, red onion and parsley

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What is Israeli Couscous?

Israeli couscous is actually a pasta. Unlike North African couscous, which is made from durum wheat, Israeli couscous is made from semolina flour (just like pasta). Larger than other varieties of couscous (such as the standard variety in this Perfect Couscous recipe), it packs a perfectly toothsome punch, and pairs perfectly with a zesty dressing like the one used in this salad, made with red wine vinegar, oregano, lemon, and garlic.

couscous, feta, Greek olives, cucumber, tomato, pepperoncini, red onion olive oil, red wine vinegar, spices and parsley

Ingredients You’ll Need For The Best Mediterranean Couscous Salad

All the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers popping up everywhere are put to good use in this summery salad, and the only thing you’ll have to cook is the couscous itself. This magical grain can be cooked in ten minutes and then tossed with warm water to avoid clumping. Once the couscous has cooled, add:

  • Olive oil

  • Tomatoes

  • Feta

  • Onions

  • Olives

  • Red onions

  • Parsley

couscous, feta, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, pepperoncini, onion, and parsley in a large bowl
mediterranean couscous salad made with feta, greek olives, cucumber, tomato, pepperoncini, red onion and parsley

How To Make This Easy Mediterranean Couscous Salad

  • Cook the pearl couscous according to package instructions.

  • Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt until emulsified.

  • Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, feta, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, pepperoncini, onion, and parsley. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.

  • Serve! Divide the salad between your serving bowls. Top with more fresh chopped herbs if you’re feeling fancy.

olive oil, vinegar, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt being stirred together in a bowl

How to Store Leftover Mediterranean Salad with Couscous + Tips

  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-4 days. Plain couscous can be frozen, if needed, for up to 3 months.

  • This Mediterranean couscous salad recipe is a great example of a recipe that you can easily make your own. Start with the cooked couscous, and add whatever veggies you have on hand. We think cooked eggplant and zucchini would also be great. Don’t have feta, but have goat cheese? Use it! Fresh basil instead of parsley? You get it, right?

  • We recommend tossing the cooked couscous with warm water to remove some of the extra starch, just like you might with cooked pasta. You can also drizzle lightly with olive oil to prevent it from clumping.

  • We like to add nuts to this salad if we have them around–pistachios, walnuts, and almonds are some of our favorite add-ins.

mediterranean couscous salad made with feta, Greek olives, cucumber, tomato, pepperoncini, red onion and parsley

More Go-To Summer Salads From The Modern Proper

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Mediterranean Couscous Salad

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  10 min
  • Calories: 260

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cups cooked pearl couscous, cooled
  • 4 ounces feta, crumbled
  • ½ cup mixed Greek olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup thinly sliced pepperoncini (optional)
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt until emulsified.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, feta, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, pepperoncini, onion, and parsley. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine.

  3. Divide the salad between 6 bowls and serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories260
  • Protein7 g
  • Carbohydrates23 g
  • Total Fat15 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol17 mg
  • sodium474 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Questions & Reviews

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  • Tom

    The recipe says 5 cups couscous. The answer to another question says to use 2 cups. Is it 5 cups or 2 cups?

    Hi Tom, it calls for 5 cups of COOKED couscous. The other question was asking how much uncooked couscous to use and that answer is 2 cups uncooked. When 2 cups is cooked it will become 5 cups of cooked couscous. Hope this helps clarify and we hope you enjoy!

  • Julie

    Mediterranean Couscous Salad
    Is it 2 cups already cooked couscous or 2 cups uncooked couscous?

    Love your recipes, thank you!

    Thanks Julie, so glad you're enjoying the recipes! It's 2 cups uncooked, then prepare that according to the package instructions.

  • Hannah

    Absolutely delicious recipe. I made it as-is and was surprised by how flavorful this dish is with ingredients that seem simple. Love a healthy, hearty plant based meal. Thank you, Modern Proper!!!

    Thank you Hannah, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Kate

    My partner made this recipe, and I'm hooked! Absolutely delicious, thanks!

    YAY! Thanks kate!

  • Patricia

    I ansolutly loved thos dish. A bit of tang to go with it but man even mu picky 12 year old loved it.

    Thanks Patricia, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Peter

    Tried it by following the recipe exactly the first time and it was a bit too acidic. After a second go where I cut the amount of red wine vinegar in half this has become my favorite Mediterranean cous cous salad out if all the recipes I've tried.

    Thanks for trying it Peter! Glad you found a way to make it work for your taste!