Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Mediterranean Couscous Salad- Made with fresh summer produce, this plant-based salad is light, satiating, and only takes 30 minutes to prepare! (vegan with gluten-free option)
If you’re looking for a light and refreshing summer salad that will fill you up and store well in the fridge then look not further! This Mediterranean Couscous Salad is where it’s at.
Packed with protein and plenty of micronutrients, I love prepping a big batch to eat for lunch for during the week. But it would also be great to serve for gatherings or take along for a picnic lunch.
Mediterranean Couscous Ingredients
- Pearled Couscous- If you’ve never had couscous before, I would describe it as a mix between pasta and rice. Pearled couscous has more of a pasta texture which is what I love about it, while traditional couscous is much smaller with a firmer texture similar to rice. Feel free to use whichever you prefer. (see below for gluten-free alternatives)
- Chickpeas- Using canned chickpeas makes this salad come together super fast while also adding a nice punch of protein. If you’re not into chickpeas, white beans would make a good substitute.
- Cucumber- Diced cucumber gives the salad a pop of refreshing flavor and are hydrating too.
- Red Bell Pepper- I love the crunchy texture and subtle sweetness red bell pepper offers. You could also use yellow or orange if you can’t find red.
- Tomatoes- Such a great way to use up fresh cherry or grape tomatoes. Just slice them in half and toss them in!
- Red Onion- Finely chopped red onion adds a nice savory kick. You could leave it out if you like but I personally have to have it. Yellow onion just isn’t the same.
- Parsley- Fresh parsley compliments the refreshing flavor of the cucumber and is so good here. Again, not totally necessary but definitely recommended.
- Vegan Feta Cheese- I have made this without the vegan feta and it’s still delicious but I like the saltiness it adds, plus the creaminess it adds is nice. My favorite is made by Violife.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil– EVOO creates the base for our dressing, giving the salad nice moisture and flavor. If you want to make it oil-free, I would simply omit the olive oil. The salad will be slightly drier but still flavorful.
- Lemon Juice- Fresh squeezed lemon juice with parsley and olive oil is such a fantastic combo. Please don’t skip the lemon.
- Red Wine Vinegar- This enhances the tanginess of the lemon juice and elevates the umami flavor a bit.
- Dijon Mustard- Just a hint of dijon to round of the flavor profile.
- Dried Oregano- I love dried oregano so I added a bit to give the salad more of Italian dressing feel. You could probably skip it but I wouldn’t.
How to Make Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Cook the couscous. Pearled couscous usually cooks the same as pasta so it only takes about 15 minutes.
- Prep the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, oregano and salt.
- Combine everything. Add all of the chopped vegetables, chickpeas and couscous to a large bowl. Top with dressing then stir until everything is coated.
- Serve and enjoy! You can serve it immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Can I make it gluten-free?
Yes! You can either seek out gluten-free couscous or sub quinoa, gluten-free pasta, or rice.
More summer salad recipes
- Grilled Vegetable Summer Salad
- Blueberry Corn and Basil Quinoa Salad
- Peanut Soba Noodle Bowls
- Easy Lentil Taco Salads
- Roasted Corn and Tomato Summer Salad
- Strawberry Kale Salad with Tempeh Bacon
- White Bean Lettuce Wraps
- Summer Kale Salad
- Lentil Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
For the Salad
- 2 cups uncooked pearled couscous
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup diced cucumber, about 1 medium cucumber
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper, about 1 small pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¾ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup crumbled vegan feta cheese, optional
For the Dressing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- pinch fine sea salt
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add couscous and cook as directed on package (usually about 15 minutes for pearled couscous). Drain excess water. Rinse with cool water, strain, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. Add cooked and cooled couscous and stir to combine.
- Prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk until evenly incorporated.
- Pour dressing over top of the ingredients in the large bowl then stir until everything is evenly coated in dressing. Top with vegan feta and stir. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.