This Israeli couscous salad recipe is packed with raw & roasted cherry tomatoes, feta, chickpeas & herbs. Perfect for a picnic or packing for lunch!
Whenever I’m styling (and eating) something as herb-heavy as this Israeli couscous salad, I start to wonder if a year-round indoor herb garden is possible. I love having a ton of fresh herbs right outside my door, and I’m really going to miss them when they’re gone. They’re so delicious in summer recipes like this couscous salad, and they’re oh so PRETTY. I often get asked about my food photography/styling tips and my best tip is always: Whatever dish you have, smother it in herbs!
Aside from lots of fresh thyme and basil, this couscous salad recipe is all about the tomatoes. I slow roast half of them and put the other half raw into the salad. Together, the raw and roasted cherry tomatoes make this a sweet, tangy, bursty, crunchy, herb-y gem of a late-summer salad.
Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe Ingredients
I’ve mentioned the tomatoes and the herbs, but here’s a complete picture of the ingredients that make this couscous salad recipe one of our late summer favorites:
- Cherry tomatoes: The combination of roasted tomatoes and raw tomatoes creates wonderful texture and flavor.
- Israeli couscous: If you’ve never tried this Middle Eastern pasta, you’re going to love it. It’s larger than regular couscous, and the big, chewy pearls are really fun to eat.
- Roasted chickpeas: These provide protein and a nice crisp bite. Roast them ahead of time if you like!
- A pinch of smoked paprika: This smoky spice highlights the sweet tomatoes.
- Olive oil & lemon juice: There’s no need to make a separate salad dressing when you have these two ingredients.
- Garlic: Because tomatoes love it.
- Fresh herbs: We all love the combination of tomatoes and basil, but the addition of fresh thyme takes this over the top.
- Cucumbers: These add a fresh, crisp element to the salad.
- Feta cheese: I love feta’s creamy, salty bite! Skip it if you’re vegan, or add chopped Kalamata olives in its place.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make This Couscous Salad
Before you toss this salad together, you need to roast the tomatoes and chickpeas and cook the pearl couscous!
Roasted cherry tomatoes are easy to make, but it takes a while for them to shrivel in the oven and become all jammy and concentrated. I suggest making them ahead of time – they can sit at room temp until you’re ready to assemble the salad. When you come home, have a glass of wine, cook your couscous, check your email… do anything besides stare at the oven waiting for your tomatoes. They’ll be done in no time and your kitchen will smell amazing.
Once your tomatoes, roasted chickpeas, and couscous are ready, toss everything together in a big bowl. Top with an abundance of fresh herbs and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Serve this couscous salad as a side dish with a protein if you like, or just on its own (chickpeas = protein).
This is also a great recipe to pack for lunch. On day 2, I like to add a little bit more lemon and an extra pinch of salt.
More Favorite Salad Recipes
If you love this couscous salad, try one of these delicious summer salad recipes next:
Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad
This fresh mediterranean couscous salad recipe is packed with raw & roasted cherry tomatoes, feta, chickpeas & herbs. Perfect for a picnic or packing for lunch! I like to roast the tomatoes in advance for quicker assembly.
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes, (half for roasting, half raw)
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 cup dry Israeli couscous
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, more if desired
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme, more for garnish
- 1½ cups roasted chickpeas
- ¼ cup fresh basil, more for garnish
- 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roast 2 cups of the cherry tomatoes according to this recipe. These can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days.
Cook the couscous according to the package directions until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
In the bottom of a large bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice, garlic, thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Add the cooled couscous and toss. Slice the remaining raw cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl with the roasted tomatoes, the chickpeas, basil, cucumbers, and feta. Top with more fresh herbs and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste.