Mediterranean Israeli Couscous Salad

This Mediterranean Israeli couscous salad is an easy make-ahead salad that makes a great side, lunch, or potluck dish.

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A serving of mediterranean Israeli couscous salad in a bowl

Wanna know what comes to mind when I think about the holiday season?

Crowded malls? Yep.

Family drama? ‘fraid so.

Holiday cheer? Sure…

But also: potlucks.

Today I had TWO potlucks. That’s right. Two potlucks. One day. The first was at Jack’s daycare, as a part of the annual Christmas show. The second was a work event that I dashed to right after the Christmas show.

So here’s what I did. I made a double-batch of this Israeli couscous salad, split it in two, and it was a great call, if I do say so myself. This salad has all the makings of a perfect potluck dish. It can be served cold or at room temp. It’s colorful and festive. And it’s a light, brightly-flavored dish that complements the usual heavy potluck casseroles well.

PLUS, (and this is the best part), everyone loves it. And this means I didn’t have to worry about taking home any leftovers.

Mediterranean Israeli couscous salad in a large bowl, before tossing with dressing

Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous, or ptitim) is a thing I discovered a couple of years ago, and it has become my go-to filler for sides and salads. If you’re not familiar with it, it is like regular couscous, but bigger. In fact I have seen it in various sizes, from a small pearl to almost the size of a chick pea. It doesn’t have the fluffy texture of regular couscous, but is a nice change from the usual grains and pasta shapes.

Overhead view of mediterranean Israeli couscous salad in a large bowl, tossed, with a wooden spoon

I find Israeli couscous pretty easily in my grocery store these days, but if you have trouble finding it, you can get it here. Or you can totally use regular couscous instead. Adding saffron to the cooking liquid gives the couscous a great taste and a pretty golden hue, but that’s also optional!

The rest of the ingredients in this Israeli couscous salad are pretty traditional Mediterranean, and I throw in some pomegranate seeds for a little festive, tangy crunch. Feel free to sub with raisins or cranberries if that’s what you have on hand.

A serving of mediterranean Israeli couscous salad in a bowl

I first made this Mediterranean Israeli couscous salad last year for a New Year’s Day detox salad potluck with some friends. It was a hit then, and it is a hit now!

Looking for more couscous inspiration? This beautiful red pepper carrot soup with couscous is a must-make!

A serving of mediterranean Israeli couscous salad in a bowl
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Mediterranean Israeli Couscous Salad

This Mediterranean Israeli couscous salad is an easy make-ahead salad that makes a great side, lunch, or potluck dish.
Course Lunch, Side
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 420 kcal
Author Ann

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 cups Israeli (pearl) couscous
  • 4 cups water, chicken or vegetable stock
  • a few saffron threads
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup black olives (optional)
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring water or stock to a boil. Cook couscous for the length of time indicated on the package. (Mine was 8 minutes, but this likely depends on the size of the couscous). Cool the couscous completely, stirring now and then.
  2. Put the salad ingredients in a large bowl and add the cooled couscous.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add to salad and toss until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Nutrition Facts
Mediterranean Israeli Couscous Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 420 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 803mg 33%
Potassium 258mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 50g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 4g
Protein 11g 22%
Vitamin A 7.6%
Vitamin C 19.3%
Calcium 15.3%
Iron 7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Mediterranean Israeli couscous salad is an easy make-ahead salad that makes a great side, lunch, or potluck dish. #potluck #mediterraneansalad #Israelicouscous



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