An easy Mediterranean couscous salad, nutty, fruity and full of flavors. Great to accompany any meal, favorite side with grilled meats and a pleasure to bring to your next potluck.
Pearl couscous combined with arugula, pomegranate seeds and red onion then dressed up in a sweet and sour couscous salad dressing. Finished with chopped pecan for a nutty and crunch factor.
Mediterranean couscous salad
In the Middle East we are more used to regular fine couscous than this pearl couscous. I wanted to try these big pearls for a new look and it did great. You can make this couscous salad with the regular couscous of course, so feel free to use whatever you like.
This Mediterranean couscous salad is great on its own as a light vegan lunch or as a healthy side to your dinner. The salad bears a lot of flavors and textures with bright notes coming from the use of pomegranate molasses. It is really amazing how small amount of the pomegranate molasses can left your dish to an OMG-level of deliciousness.
Choosing a side dish other than rice and pasta is always hard for me. My kids are very traditional when it comes to side dishes. Couscous, however, they sometimes eat. I’m used to buying these ready flavored couscous packets in the market and make them. They can be a bit pricey though, but making plain couscous is not something my kids like.
Two of my kids picked up the pomegranate seeds and put them aside, bummers, the third was happy with everything. With all seriousness, I feel the addition of pomegranate seeds made this dish wonderful. So do not try to skip it unless you are allergic to it of course. I have never met someone, yet who is allergic to pomegranate seeds but who knows🤷.
Couscous Salad FAQs
Coucous is a staple in North African cuisines and is he base of most Mediterranean diets. Couscous is traditionally made with moistened semolina rolled in wheat flour.
If we are talking white rice then couscous has more fiber in it. But what about brown rice? Calorie wise, couscous is lower but brown rice has more fiber and wins in nutrients. Source.
Yes of course, actually this salad can be served warm or cold so feel free to serve it either ways.
Mediterranean Salad Recipe
This salad is actually very easy, it just needs you to cook the couscous and the rest is dump and serve.
- Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before you start as this recipe is served immediately.
- Toast couscous in olive oil and butter 1-2 minutes. Then Pour water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and use a fork to fluff and separate couscous, let it cool down.
- Make the dressing by adding the ingredients and combine well.
- In a deep bowl, add couscous, arugula and pomegranate seeds together. Pour dressing over and toss to combine. Garnish with pecans or your favorite chopped nuts.
Some notes about couscous salad
- I liked cooking the couscous with only water and no broth or stock involved.I felt that cooking the couscous with chicken broth will make this dish lose its light characteristic.
- I’ve cooked the couscous with 1 tablespoon of butter and with olive oil. Skip the butter for a totally vegan recipe.
- This recipe should be served immediately, or at most within two hours. This is because arugula tends to welt quickly. If you want to make it in advance, add arugula just before serving.
- Play with the recipe and change the greens, use baby spinach or mixed salad greens.
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I like this pomegranate molasses for its complex tanginess that it offers to my dishes, I also love the balance in the sweet and sour flavors.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Fruity, tangy and packed with flavors Mediterranean couscous salad that can be served cold or warm.
- 1 cup (5oz / 145gm) dry pearl couscous.
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil.
- 1 1/4 cup (300 mL)water or broth.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 3 cups (65 gm) baby arugula.
- 1/2 cup (3 oz / 87gm) pomegranate seeds.
- 1/4 cup (2oz / 60gm) red onion chopped.
- 1 teaspoon sugar.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste.
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin.
- 3 Tablespoons (44 ml) pomegranate molasses.
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) extra version olive oil.
- 1 1/2 teaspoon water.
- 1/2 cup (2oz / 54gm) chopped pecan/walnuts or pistachios.
In a sauce pan over medium heat, add butter and olive oil stir until butter melts.
Add couscous and toast for 1-2 minutes.
Pour water in and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and use a fork to fluff and separate couscous, let it cool down.
Couscous might clump together but it will separate when making the salad.
In a jar or measuring cup whisk the dressing ingredients well together until sugar and salt dissolves. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients and couscous.
Pour over dressing and toss to coat well.
Garnish with chopped nuts.