This Greek Couscous Salad is bursting with fresh flavors of ripe tomatoes, tangy olives, and creamy feta tossed with light and fluffy couscous. An easy-to-make, make ahead side dish that’s healthy and totally delicious.
Greek Couscous Salad Recipe
If you’re looking for a side dish or a salad to take to your next party, this Greek Couscous Salad is the one to make. Fluffy pearl couscous tossed with a tangy red wine vinaigrette, lots of veggies and creamy feta cheese. This salad can be completely made ahead of time (even gets better when it sits a bit) and is totally portable.
Not only do we love serving this couscous salad as a side to dinner, but sometimes we use it as part of the main course. Grill your favorite marinated chicken, slice and then add the grilled chicken to a bed of this Greek couscous salad. You’ll get that delicious contrast of the warm chicken to the cool couscous salad with every bite.
Ingredients To Make Greek Couscous Salad
We’ll start with the base ingredients for this pasta salad, then move on to what you’ll need to make the red wine vinaigrette dressing.
- Pearl Couscous: Pearl couscous, also called Israeli Couscous, is larger than regular couscous and can be found in the grocery store right in the pasta and rice aisle. This type of couscous is key to making this salad, regular couscous will tend to clump together and become mushy in this recipe.
- Feta Cheese: Full fat feta is preferable, we had fat-free when we made this recipe and that does work too. However, full fat feta is much more creamy and delicious, so if you can use that you definitely should.
- Grape or Cherry Tomatoes: Sliced in half or quarters, depending on the size.
- Red Onion: Thinly sliced.
- Cucumbers: We like using English cucumbers or these mini cucumbers since they have less seeds.
- Kalamata Olives: Drained and sliced in half.
- Pepperoncini Peppers: Drained, stems removed and roughly chopped.
Ingredients For The Red Wine Vinaigrette
This easy to make, tangy red wine vinaigrette can be whisked up in less than 5 minutes. Homemade dressings are so much better than store bought, so do try and take the time to make it!
- Olive Oil: Doesn’t have to be extra virgin, but a good quality olive oil with a nice, fruity flavor.
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Fresh Garlic: Fresh garlic is best!
- Dried Oregano
- Fresh Lemon Juice: Again, fresh is best!
How To Make The Couscous
For this pasta salad recipe, simply boil the couscous in salted water until tender. Drain the couscous and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Make sure that you let the couscous drain really well before adding to the bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients. To much water leftover from the cooking process will, of course, result in a watery, less flavorful couscous salad.
Variations On Greek Couscous Salad
You can absolutely add more vegetables to this salad, or swap out different vegetables to your liking. Roasted red peppers, or fresh bell peppers are a delicious addition to this couscous salad.
Pickled red onions are a favorite ingredient of mine, so if raw onions aren’t for you, try grabbing pickled onions instead. Black olives can be swapped out for the Kalamata olives if you like.
Or try different vinegar in the dressing like white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or a white balsamic. Regular balsamic dressing would make the salad too dark and not as appealing.
Also try using different pasta shapes like rotini or bow ties. Chick peas and lentils are also delicious for a non-pasta option!
Can This Couscous Salad Be Made Ahead Of Time?
Absolutely. You can do this one of two ways. Make the couscous and chop the ingredients for the salad first, and then toss together in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Whisk the red wine dressing together and then store in the refrigerator separately. When it’s time to assemble the salad, whisk the dressing together again and the toss with the salad.
Alternately, you can make the entire couscous salad tossed with the dressing, cover and refrigerate for up to a day before you need it.
Toss the pasta salad before serving, add a little more dressing if needed and serve.
How About Some More Pasta Salad Recipes?Print
This Greek Couscous Salad is bursting with flavors! A tangy red wine vinaigrette tossed with fluffy couscous, crunchy vegetables and creamy feta cheese!
- 2 cups pearl couscous
- 1 heaping cup diced cucumbers
- 1 heaping cup diced grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (or 1/2 cup pickled red onions)
- 6 ounce jar Kalamata olives, drained and halved
- 12 ounce jar pepperoncini peppers, drained and rough chopped
- 1 heaping cup feta cheese (full fat feta preferable)
For The Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2–3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water generously and then add the couscous. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook the couscous for 8 minutes until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside. Make sure that the couscous is drained really well before adding to the salad.
- Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, olives and peppers to a large bowl. Add the drained couscous and season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the ingredients together for the vinaigrette. Pour about half of the vinaigrette over the couscous salad and toss. Taste and adjust with more vinaigrette if needed, cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. After the couscous salad chills, you may need to add more vinaigrette since the couscous tends to absorb some of the dressing. Toss the salad before serving and save any remaining dressing for adding to any leftovers.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: mantitlement, greek couscous salad, couscous salad, pasta salad, healthy recipes, make ahead recipes, greek salad