This Israeli Couscous Salad is tossed with pistachio pesto for extreme flavor! Serve this vegetarian salad as a main dish, lunch, or side.
Israeli couscous salad is taking pasta salad to the next (fancier) level.
When I say fancy, I don’t mean difficult! I mean easy, yet elegant. Fancy little pasta pearls, veggies, and the most delicious pesto. Let’s make it happen!
Israeli couscous can also be found labeled as pearl couscous. I’ve purchased it near the rice and in the organic section by other grains like barley, bulgur, and quinoa.
It’s similar to regular couscous, but is much larger. It makes a great base for mixing in various flavors, veggies, and proteins.
What is pearl couscous made of?
Pearl couscous is generally made of wheat flour and semolina. It’s pasta, so it contains gluten and has about the same nutritional content as your favorite noodle.
The texture of pearl couscous is one of my favorite things about it. It’s a chewy little pasta nugget that gets cooked to al dente and tossed with your choice of mix ins!
How to make Israeli Couscous Salad
- Cook the pearl couscous by simmering in vegetable stock for about 10-15 minutes.
- Toast the pine nuts over medium heat until fragrant
- Toss couscous and pine nuts with spinach, cherry tomatoes, lemon zest, pesto, salt, and pepper.
Can couscous salad be eaten cold?
This couscous salad is delicious warm or cold. It’s perfect for taking to potlucks, picnics, or backyard barbecues.
This Israeli Couscous Salad can be customized! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Use whatever kind of pesto you have on hand
- Swap sun-dried tomatoes for the fresh tomatoes
- Add a handful of chopped, marinated artichoke hearts
- Swap the fresh spinach for other tender leafy greens such as baby kale, arugula, or watercress
- Add roasted chickpeas for protein and crunch
More main dish salads
- Vegan Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Tofu
- Orzo Pasta Salad
- Vegan Potluck Barley Salad
- High Protein Salad with Hummus
If you make this recipe, be sure to rate it, leave a comment, or tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
Israeli Couscous Salad
- In a 2 quart saucepan, bring vegetable stock to a boil. Add the couscous, cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain off any remaining water and allow to cool to room temperature.
- In a small pan, toast pine nuts over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked couscous, spinach, grape tomatoes, lemon zest, pistachio pesto, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.