Mediterranean-Inspired Israeli Couscous Recipe

Are you in need of a healthy, but tasty side dish that pairs perfectly with a main course of protein? Do you only have minutes to get a meal on the table due to your busy schedule? If so, trust us — this Mediterranean-inspired Israeli pearl couscous, courtesy of recipe developer Kate Shungu, is just what you're looking for. "I like serving this as a light lunch or side dish for dinner," Shungu says. "It's also a good option for a potluck or cookout, since it can be enjoyed at warm, at room temperature, or cold."

This couscous is an ideal dish to prepare on the weekend and keep in the fridge during busy weeks. The reason for this, as Shungu tells us, is that "leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days." We love to serve this dish on the side of easy barbecue chicken in the summer months, because it pleases a crowd, especially picky kids. However, if you are looking for more of a meal-type entree, Shungu mentions, "You could even add chickpeas or diced, cooked chicken to make this salad a main course."

Gather your ingredients Mediterranean-inspired Israeli pearl couscous

To make this Mediterranean-inspired Israeli pearl couscous, you can start by gathering the ingredients. For this recipe, you will need olive oil, Israeli pearl couscous, water, salt, lemon juice, honey, cucumber, red onion, parsley, mint, and feta cheese.

Toast and boil the couscous

Similar to how you would toast rice, you will want to do the same for your couscous. Place a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the saucepan, followed by the couscous. Toast the couscous until it is lightly golden, then add in the water and salt to the pan. Bring this mixture to a boil, before lowering to a simmer to continue to cook for 12 to 14 minutes.

Whisk together a tangy vinaigrette

While the couscous is boiling, you can start to assemble your vinaigrette. In a small bowl, add the remaining ⅓ cup of olive oil, lemon juice, and honey. Whisk these ingredients together until they are combined.

Mix everything together and serve

In a large bowl, add the drained and cooled cooked Israeli couscous. It's important to wait until the cooked couscous has completely cooled before mixing it with the remaining ingredients. Then, add in the cucumber, onion, parsley, mint, and feta. Pour the vinaigrette over top and toss this mixture all together.

This couscous is best enjoyed right away, when all ingredients are at peak freshness. Of course, as Shungu mentioned, this dish tastes great cold, so you can keep leftovers in the fridge and enjoy them throughout the week.

Mediterranean-Inspired Israeli Couscous Recipe
5 from 51 ratings
Bright and refreshing, this Mediterranean-inspired Israeli pearl couscous makes for a great side dish or lunch.
Prep Time
Cook Time
israeli couscous salad final dish
Total time: 24 minutes
  • ⅓ cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup Israeli pearl couscous
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  1. Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the couscous, and toast for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Pour in the water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 12-14 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. At that point, transfer the couscous to a large bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining ⅓ cup of olive oil, lemon juice, and honey to create the vinaigrette.
  3. When the couscous has cooled slightly, place the cucumber, onion, parsley, mint, and feta into the bowl.
  4. Toss gently to combine ingredients, and pour the lemon vinaigrette over the top. Toss again. Taste and season with additional salt if desired.
  5. Serve while warm, at room temperature, or chilled from the fridge.
Calories per Serving 400
Total Fat 22.4 g
Saturated Fat 5.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 16.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 41.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
Total Sugars 5.3 g
Sodium 476.1 mg
Protein 8.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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