Couscous. What the heck is couscous? Amazing is what couscous is. “The food so nice they named it twice”. You’ve all heard that before, right? So, let’s talk about it for a minute, particularly Israeli couscous. Also called pearl couscous, this little ball of pasta is nothing like regular couscous which is significantly smaller and often used for pilafs versus pasta salads. Replacing traditional pasta noodles with these small balls of pasta help to cut amount of processed carbohydrates in half, which is always a plus in my book.
I’m excited to share this recipe with you. “Why?” you ask. Because this recipe is about to solve not 1 but 2 of your current dilemmas.
Dilemma #1: What can I make once and eat all week long when I have no time to cook?
Dilemma # 2: What the heck can I take to the BBQ this weekend that is cheap, easy, and makes enough for a TON of people?
You’ll want to begin this recipe by cooking the couscous. This salad is served cold and the couscous will need time to cool down completely before being added to the vegetables. Bring 1 ¼ a cup of cold water to a boil in a medium saucepan. When the water is bubbling, add 1 teaspoon of butter and allow it to melt. Once melted, add in 1 cup of the Israeli couscous and reduce the heat to a simmer. Give the couscous a stir and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook it over this heat until all of the water has been absorbed - this should take about 10 minutes but check your package instructions just to be sure!
While the couscous cools, it’s time to turn your attention to the other parts of the salad aka- the vegetables. Chop two Roma tomatoes, half of a yellow pepper, and one small cucumber so that they are roughly the same size and add them to a big bowl. Then, add 4 ounces of cubed cheese. For this recipe, I used a havarti dill cheese which heightened the flavor. If cheese isn’t your thing-go ahead and skip it! It’s not crucial to the recipe but adds some pizzaz to the texture and flavor of the dish overall.
After the couscous is cold, combine it with the vegetables and stir until the salad is combined. Drizzle over your favorite salad dressing or feel free to make your own! I used half a bottle of Garlic Expressions because it was handy. It’s made without any additives or preservatives. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s tangy garlic flavor is freaking delicious!
Once it’s all mixed together- steal a few bites right out of the mixing bowl! I’m telling you, this stuff is killer and once it’s served, people will practically inhale it.
Pro Tip: Top the salad with your favorite herbs, like basil - and give it a toss before serving.
Israeli Couscous Salad
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 teaspoon butter
1 ¼ cup of water
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
½ yellow pepper, chopped
4 oz dill havarti cheese, cubed
1 bottle Garlic Expressions Salad Dressing - I used half of the bottle for the recipe
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add butter and then add couscous. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally until all of the liquid has been absorbed. This should take about 10 minutes.
Spread the couscous on a baking sheet and set aside.
Prepare the vegetables. Chop the tomatoes, cucumber, and yellow pepper. Add to a large bowl. Combine with the cubed cheese.
When the couscous has cooled, add it to the bowl with the vegetables and the cheese. Toss to combine. Drizzle with the salad dressing and stir to combine.
Top with fresh herbs of your choice and serve cold!
Recipe serves 10
Hi! I'm Lacie, an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach turned Food Blogger. Welcome to The Vegetarian LunchBox where I celebrate my passion for vegetarian cooking.