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Israeli couscous salad

A staple of the Mediterranean cuisine, this Israeli couscous salad with feta, cucumber, tomato and a lemon - olive oil dressing is a must-try. The toasted couscous makes all the difference!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Healthy, Mediterranean, Vegetarian
Keyword couscous, dressing, feta, Israeli, lemon, pearl, salad, toasted
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 463 kcal
Author Makos


For the couscous salad:

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for sauteing the couscous)
  • 1 full cup (about 250 grams/ 9 oz) chopped cucumber
  • 1 full cup (about 250 grams/ 9 oz) sliced grape tomatoes
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup sliced olives
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 200 grams (7 oz) feta cheese, cubed or crumbled

For the lemon-olive oil dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried garlic powder, optional


  1. Cook the couscous: Cook the couscous with the olive oil in a pot until it starts to smell nutty. Add 4-5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain and rinse.

  2. Make the salad: Mix the couscous with the rest of the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.

  3. Make the dressing: Transfer the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake well to combine and emulsify.

  4. Mix: Pour the dressing over the couscous salad and mix to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings. This salad is even better after it's chilled in the fridge for a few hours.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use regular tomatoes instead of grape tomatoes
  • I normally don't use garlic in this salad, but if you especially like the flavor you can use ½ a teaspoon of dried garlic powder (for mild taste) or 1 minced garlic clove (for stronger taste).
  • You can use capers instead of olives.
  • You can use dill weed, fresh coriander or fresh mint instead of parsley (or a mix of the above)


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