Greek Couscous Salad

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5 from 13 votes
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This Greek couscous salad recipe is vibrant and bursting with bold Mediterranean flavors. Made in minutes, I love serving it as a healthy side dish OR the main course!

Need more healthy salads? Try my rotisserie chicken salad, avocado chicken salad, steak salad, healthy pasta salad, or Jennifer Aniston salad next!

Greek couscous salad.

Ever since I learned how to cook couscous, it’s become a weekly staple in our household. I’m always looking for new recipes to use it with, and being a lover of Greek salad, I figured why not pair the two to create an even heartier, more flavorful dish?

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make Greek couscous salad
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Greek Couscous Salad (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Hearty and healthy. Couscous comes from semolina and is naturally high in fiber and low in calories. When paired with fresh vegetables and a healthy-fat dressing, it’s even better. 
  • Easy to customize. You can add, swap, or substitute just about every ingredient to save time or spare you a trip to the store. 
  • A perfect make-ahead salad. Make a massive batch and keep the dressing separate. Portion the salad for meal prep, or top with the dressing right before serving. 

Ingredients needed

  • Couscous. Cook your couscous according to the package directions. If the directions say to add butter at the end, I’d skip that step since it’ll make mixing the couscous with the other ingredients harder. 
  • Tomatoes. Use either Roma tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes. 
  • Cucumber. I like Persian cucumbers since they’re smaller and sweeter, but any kind will do. 
  • Red onion. I definitely suggest using red onion over white onion, which will be too overpowering. 
  • Black olives. For a salty, briny flavor. I also tried kalamata olives, and both were delicious, so use whichever you have on hand.
  • Feta cheese. I tested both crumbled feta and feta from a block, and I preferred the block as it’s less salty and has a creamier texture.

For the Greek dressing:

  • Olive oil. What good couscous salad doesn’t have olive oil as part of the dressing?
  • Red wine vinegar. For an authentic flavor.
  • Lemon juice. Elevates the other ingredients and adds a pleasant tang. 
  • Oregano. A popular Greek spice, this takes the salad to another level!
  • Salt and pepper. To taste.

How to make Greek couscous salad

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Make the salad dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients until combined. 

Step 2- Mix. In a large mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine. 

Step 3- Dress. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Greek pearl couscous salad.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Cool and fluff the couscous with a fork. My #1 tip for making couscous salad is to make sure ALL of the ingredients are at the same temperature. So, if you’re making your couscous fresh, make sure it’s fully cooled. 
  • Cook the couscous in chicken broth. For more flavor. 
  • Play around with different textures. Chop the veggies into different shapes to create a fun texture change. For instance, I like to halve the olives lengthwise and cut the cucumbers into ribbons.

Variations

  • Add protein. Fold in crumbled tofu, Greek chicken, or sautéed salmon for an extra protein boost.  
  • Add a crunch factor. Top the salad with slivered almonds, pine nuts, or roasted chickpeas
  • Experiment with mix-ins. Add some roasted garlic, capers, avocado, artichoke hearts, or pepperoncini peppers.
  • Garnish. Top the salad with fresh parsley or basil for an extra pop of color. 
  • Serve your couscous salad in Greek wraps or in these Greek chicken bowls!

Storage instructions

To store: Leftover salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If the dressing is already mixed in, don’t worry; just give it a good toss before serving. I don’t recommend freezing this salad since the veggies will become mushy once thawed. 

couscous greek salad.
greek couscous salad recipe.

Greek Couscous Salad

5 from 13 votes
This Greek couscous salad recipe is vibrant and bursting with bold Mediterranean flavors. Made in minutes, I love serving it as a healthy side dish OR the main course!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 1 1/2 cups couscous cooked
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes diced
  • 1/2 cup cucumbers chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup black olives sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion chopped

For the Greek Salad Dressing

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • Prepare the salad dressing, by whisking together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and dried oregano. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add your fluffed couscous, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, sliced olives, and red onion, and mix until just combined.
  • Pour the dressing over it and mix very well, until the dressing is fully incorporated into the salad. Serve immediately, or refrigerate.

Notes

TO STORE: Leftover salad should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If the dressing is already mixed in, don’t worry; just give it a good toss before serving. I don’t recommend freezing this salad since the veggies will become mushy once thawed. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSodium: 532mgPotassium: 115mgFiber: 2gVitamin A: 228IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 59mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 15g
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published April 2020, updated and republished May 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. This salad looks really very tantalizing and healthy. I will definitely make this salad and feed it to my family. I will also recommend this salad to my friends. Thank you for sharing this delicious and healthy salad recipe with us. It was a pleasure reading your article.

  2. This looks absolutely delicious. I love finding new ways to put a great spin on salads and I’m definitely going to try this out!

  3. Arman the only thing I can say here is WOW. The colors and the approach to this recipe are simply amazing. This one’s a keeper!

  4. give me ALLLLLL THE KALAMAAAATAAA OLIVES. all of them. leave off the feta, and this is MINE. yum.

  5. I’m so with you on lettuce being filler in a salad. I much prefer the grain based ones and this one looks like a winner!

  6. A salad would be the last thing I’d order in Italy. 🙂 Just give me a pasta with a simple tomato sauce and I’d be more than happy.

    Mediterranean couscous with a vegan cheese sounds divine. Looks fantastic Arman.

    1. Thanks so much, Linda! YES. I had the best pasta there which was simply pasta with olive oil and garlic- SO GOOD!

  7. Rumor has it I’ve come to be known as “the weird vegetarian” because I don’t like salad. Salad salad that is. All that leafy nnothingness … Grain salads have always been my favourites as they don’t give me the feeling of eating salad but something that’s actually substantial. If you serve me this: lettuce be friends [said in Alexis’ voice]! Just add some chickpeas to my serving.

  8. What about spinach? Can I have spinach? Cause I load my bowl with it to make my salads like a mountain. Also to get some iron. Other than that I pile EVERYTHING and then some into my bowl, with chips or pretzels on the side. I have to have some salty crunch. Usually some bean, rice, avocado, tomato…and I’m happy. This looks so good. I now want to go to Italy.

  9. You could totally be my friend if you bring me this salad.

    Also, I need to hookup for the Pope’s private herb garden. Can you make that happen? VIP service please.

    I’m working on a recipe today that is going to make you LOVE your GREENS.

    1. ….I thought we were friends. Potato brothers. Cauliflower…cuckoos?

      If it’s the teaser I saw I’m already a fan!

  10. Gah, I haven’t found gluten-free couscous anywhere! I guess quinoa would work?

  11. My favorite salad ingredient is chickpeas. Actually, my favorite ingredient in general is probably chickpeas. They might actually work in this salad =P

  12. The answer is lettuce. Always lettuce. In all honesty, though, I’m pretty open when it comes to what goes into my salads. Avocado is almost always a must, and then I toss in whatever else I happen to have lying round. Mango is freaking amazing, and raisins too. Don’t come near me with olives, though. Do.not.like.

  13. Anything with feta gets my attention. You’ve created a wonderful salad here, and it’s a bonus that it has couscous (which is a fun word to say.)

  14. I wish I liked olives more. Something about them just makes me go mehh. If for nothing more than drinking more martini’s, I want to like olives. I guess that’s something to try and work on… if liking olives qualifies as some personal development material. I’m all about the cheese in a salad. Gots to have that cheddar yo! Lettuce.

    1. Lettuce add cheddar next time. I used to hate olives as a kid after reading a book where the kid hated it!

  15. Okay this looks totally awesome. I absolutely love feta cheese and olives. They are my favourite combination. I even love just throwing together tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, and a tiny bit of olive oil. No need for lettuce. I’ve never thought of adding a grain like this though. YUM.

    Never, ever order a salad in Italy. You are totally right about their ingredients though. Italians don’t take their salads very seriously. Even my grandmother would only toss mixed greens with oil and vinegar when I was younger. The effort goes into the good stuff – pizza and pasta!

    1. YESSSSS. I’m not surprised their prices were to elevated!

      ….Can I come to Nonna’s for dinner? I’ll bring panatone and bakala.

  16. Yay for Greek salads! They seem to be the thing to make right now. I’m loving your version and that you used couscous!

  17. Oh, how I want to go to Italy and eat EVERYTHING! Cheese and something with a “crunch” are musts on a salad for me 🙂

  18. HAHAHA Simpsons quotes are always relevant but that salad one is pure gold – my brothers still say it to me all the time.

  19. I love couscous and this totally looks like something I would make! Feta cheese usually finds its way into any salad I make.

  20. oh yes this looks good and I am massively craving salad bowls now! It reminds me of all these lovely choices on the whole foods salad bar. But I am making the same mistake over and over again: starting to pile lettuce and then add other ingredients because you do need something to fill you up, don’t you? Then I eat all the delicious couscous, lentils, peas… and I end up with a pile of lettuce left I a) don’t want to eat and b) can’t get in anymore. Fail!
    I don’t really have key ingredients in salds. I chuck in whatever is in arms reach. I do love to add hummus or guac in the end. Or actually both 😀
    And the only acceptable salad in Italy is Tomato and Mozzarella! With maybe a bit of green in the form of basil!

    1. Haha I made that error too and was like…Why did I just pay $6 for lettuce! Oh yes….the infamous Caprese!

  21. Gorgeous salad!! I would serve it over lettuce because I love crunchy lettuce (romaine) with my greek salads!! I could eat this for days! Also thanks for the heads up on salad in Europe = thats crazy!

    1. Thanks Sam! Haha, you better indulge in their delicious pastas there- Seriously I dream about it to this day!

  22. Yum! You’re pics have me drooling! I think it’s hard to find salad in most places in Europe. I need to start doing the photoshop thing. Love how those look!

  23. Lol the Pope’s garden. You’re so right though — the best salads aren’t lettuce based. I love my veggies, but there are so many creative ways to eat “salad.” Feta has been all over the blog world lately! I like it and all but I don’t use it as frequently as I know you can — it’s such a mild flavor but it still scares me to use for some reason.

    1. Dude, you just bought some fancy pants cheese. USE IT. (but preferably, by the handful as opposed to in a salad!)

  24. I’m laughing at herbs cheese and olives from the popes private garden! I know what you mean about sparse salads and that’s a huge pet peeve! I like loaded salads if I’m eating a salad, the good stuff is key!

  25. You make me wish it was socially acceptable to have couscous for breakfast… It looks amazing and with the extra veg, it knocks down the need for a lot of couscous. Carbs are my sticking point, so this is brilliant for me!

  26. I think this salad and I need to become best friends. Like we can develop a secret handshake and have a secret club where no pizzas are allowed. Wait a second, pizzas can still be allowed. Who in the heck wants to belong to a club where no pizzas are allowed?? Greek salads are one of my favorites, and you’ve totally nailed it with the couscous here. Tell my friend hello for me!

    1. A life without pizza is punishment. My friend had to go dairy free and seeing as Australia has no dairy free cheeses, still order pizzas sans cheese. Even though it looks pitiful, damn, it’s still pizza!

  27. Definitely making this for my sister and brother-in-law for our next “family dinner”!
    Tomatoes and red onion are a couple musts for my salads!!!

  28. You know I love a good veggie loaded salad! I love adding sweet potato wedges, roasted Brussels sprouts and always avocado.

  29. Yeah!!!!! Feta is always my key ingredient in a salad. I have something similar on my blog, but it uses quinoa which makes a nice change 🙂

  30. This looks INCREDIBLE!! Your food is always so dreamy, Arman! You should really open a restaurant or eatery of some sort! 🙂