Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables

An easy, flavorful summer salad with a Mediterranean flair featuring Israeli couscous and chopped summer vegetables.


This Israeli couscous salad with summer vegetables is an easy, flavorful dish with a mediterranean flair.

It has sweet cherry tomatoes, cool cucumbers, crunchy red peppers, salty feta and olives.  It’s tossed with a zesty red wine vinaigrette.

The salad comes together quickly – you prep the veggies as the Israeli couscous is cooking – and your dish is ready in about 20  minutes.

Israeli couscous – also called pearl couscous – is larger and chewier than regular couscous. In fact, Israeli couscous is really pasta.

It is a small, pearl shaped pasta that is toasted before cooking.  Toasting the couscous gives it a lovely nutty flavor.  I used Israeli couscous that I bought at Trader Joe’s.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables

Tips for making this recipe:

  • I used to skip the step of toasting the couscous and that was a mistake.  By toasting the Israeli couscous, you give it a light nutty flavor that really enhances the recipe.
  • After toasting the couscous, you are going to be adding water to the pan – it will boil/bubble right away since the pan is hot.  Be careful because it may splash up and splashing hot water is not good.
  • Once you add the water to the pan, turn down the heat to low right away.  If you cook the couscous on medium or high heat, the couscous will end up being struck to the bottom of the pan.
  • This Israeli couscous salad with summer vegetables refrigerates really well.  Make a little extra so you can bring it to work for lunch the next day.
  • I like to soak the red onion in a little water before mincing.  This reduces the raw onion taste.  So slice off a piece of onion and add it to a small bowl of water before you start dicing your other vegetables.

If you make this recipe and enjoy it, come back and let me know by leaving a comment below!


Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables

5 from 1 reviews

An easy, zesty summer salad with a Mediterranean flair featuring Israeli couscous and chopped summer vegetables.

  • Author: Geraldine
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: mediterranean


  • 1 cup of Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 veggie bouillon cube – roughly chopped up
  • 1/4 red bell pepper – finely diced
  • 1/2 cucumber – peeled and seeded – finely diced
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes – sliced in half
  • 2 tbs red onion – minced
  • 1 handful of parsley – minced
  • 10 olives – roughly chopped
  • 2 oz of feta – diced
  • 3 tbs olive oil plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey – a small squeeze
  • 8 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and add one tsp of olive oil. Once the oil is warm – about 30 seconds – add Israeli couscous and stir for a minute or two until Israeli couscous is slightly toasted.
  2. When couscous is toasted – add 1 cup of water and chopped up bouillon cube. Be careful, the pan is hot and the water will probably instantly come to a boil, pour carefully so it doesn’t splash up.
  3. Turn heat down to low and simmer couscous for the amount of time on package instructions.
  4. While couscous is cooking, dice red pepper and cucumber – you want the dice to be roughly the same size for both. Add to a large bowl.
  5. Next, slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to the other vegetables in the bowl.
  6. Mince parsley and red onion. Add to the vegetables in the bowl.
  7. Roughly chop olives and add to the bowl.
  8. Dice feta cheese and set a side.
  9. Whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, black pepper and salt together.
  10. When Israeli couscous is ready, add to a fine mesh sieve and rinse so that the couscous cools. Shake the fine mesh sieve thoroughly so that the couscous is fairly dry.
  11. Add Israeli couscous to the bowl of vegetables. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
  12. Add feta cheese to couscous and vegetables and toss gently to combine.


  • Serving Size: 1 (of 4)
  • Calories: 350
  • Sodium: 480mg
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg


Thanks for stopping by – hope you enjoy the recipe.  You can find me on instagram and pinterest too!


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24 comments on “Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables

  1. Sandra Croley

    I came across your recipe just last month and I am making this salad for the third time. I love it! This batch will be to share at a potluck lunch tomorrow.

  2. Diana

    I made this today. I subbed a few things because it is what I had. I used real chicken broth instead of water and veggie bullion. I don’t like the taste of veggie boullion or broth. I used small shallot instead of red onion, and cilantro instead of parsley. It was addictingly delicious!

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Thanks, Diana – glad it worked out so well for you! I love the idea of cilantro – I’ll give that a try the next time I make it.

    1. Geraldine Post author

      That’s great, Lucy! I’ll have to look for whole wheat Isreali couscous – I haven’t seen that in the markets – but it sounds like a great addition. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed it – I appreciate it.

  3. Hodayah


    First i would like to say that the recipe is vey good and tasty, but i would like to correct you on two things.

    Coscos is made of semolina, what you are useing in the recipe is called PETITIM which is a kind of egg less pasta. Because it is similar in its shape to Coscos its ” nickname” is coscos.

    And if somtheing the recipe is medditeraninan. Because i have never seen something like this here- in Israel 🙂

    Any ways thanks for the great recipe 🙂

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Hodayah – Yes, this recipe is definitely mediterranean in flavor. Thanks for the info on Petitim – I’ve never heard of Petitim and had to look it up! Glad you enjoyed the salad. Have a great day.

      1. Sheila

        Fabulous Geraldine, never had Israeli couscous before, it’s delicious, helped maybe by my feta which had dried cranberries in it.

    1. Geraldine Post author

      Hi Crystal – I agree – I sometimes forget about Israeli couscous and then when I eat it, I think, why don’t I make this more often :). Have a good one!

  4. Traci | Vanilla And Bean

    Geraldine, I am so excited to learn about Israeli couscous! I haven’t tried it… it just hasn’t been on my radar, but I love regular couscous, so this must be fantastic! Looking forward to toasting up some couscous and preparing this beautiful salad! Your photography is stunning! 😀 Thank you for sharing this recipe!


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