Couscous is the perfect dish for any cook in a hurry; it requires no actual cooking, can be served hot or cold, and is ready in about 10 minutes. This 15-Minute Couscous Salad is a great way to serve couscous; since it’s quick and easy to prepare, can be served immediately or refrigerated to serve later, and is colorful and attractive. It is the perfect salad to serve with any grilled entrée, or it goes well with picnic food. If planning to serve this salad immediately after mixing, make sure the vegetables and dressing are chilled; the couscous will cool down quickly as the chilled ingredients are stirred in.
Traditional couscous is thought to have originated in the region of North Africa (consisting of the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania) by the Berbers, and is now considered to be the national dish of Morocco. While the couscous available in those countries takes a considerable amount of work to prepare since it must be steamed several times, the couscous available in most other parts of the world is “instant” and requires only hot liquid to be poured over it with a 10 minute sit and a fluffing of a fork before serving. Couscous is actually a fine-grained pasta, made with semolina flour.
Since this delicious salad contains Mediterranean ingredients, it’s a great side dish to serve with Mediterranean Pork Tenderloin or Chicken Shawarma; both are prepared on the grill, so it won’t be necessary to heat up the kitchen in warm weather. Plan the next family get-together or barbecue around these main dishes with this 15-Minute Couscous Salad; it will be a gathering with minimal work and maximum raves.
1 cup couscous
1 1/4 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons granular chicken bouillon
1 medium cucumber
1 red bell pepper
3 green onions
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons pesto
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
- Measure the couscous into a large serving bowl.
- Mix the boiling water and chicken bouillon; stir until the bouillon is dissolved.
- Pour the bouillon mixture over the couscous, stir, and let sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, quarter the cucumber lengthwise and slice.
- Quarter the red pepper and slice.
- Chop the green onion.
- Halve the grape tomatoes.
- Pit and slice the Kalamata olives.
- After 10 minutes, fluff the couscous with a fork and add the cucumber, red pepper, green onion, grape tomatoes, and Kalamata olives.
- Stir in the feta cheese crumbles and pine nuts.
- Mix the pesto and Italian dressing; toss with the couscous mixture.
- The salad can be served immediately or covered and chilled up to 24 hours before serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 252 Calories from Fat 108
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 43% Protein 10% Carb. 47%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 8 mg
Sodium 465 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 7 g
Vitamin A 19% Vitamin C 55% Calcium 0% Iron 5%