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:
- Best Broccoli Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Cucumber Salad
- Greek Salad
- Watermelon Salad with Feta
- Caesar Salad
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Or any of these 37 best salad recipes!
Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes, (half for roasting, half raw)
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 cup dry Israeli couscous
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, more if desired
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme, more for garnish
- 1½ cups roasted chickpeas, tossed with 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika before roasting
- 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.
Does anyone have the nutrition facts and calories?
Super good – fresh. Don’t make the mistake I made and decided to use this recipe for meal prep. A couple days later is not nearly as good when fresh. Also, this took me way too long to make. 😉
So glad you enjoyed the salad! The roasted tomatoes do take some time. I like to make them ahead of time to shorten the prep!
i really want to make this recipe but unfortunately i dont have any pearl couscous… would regular work too?
It will – or a grain like farro would be my 2nd choice (a more similar size to the larger couscous)
This recipe was a huge hit at a picnic.
Hi Jo, I’m so happy to hear it was a hit!
Absolutely amazing!! What a great recipe! Recommended to all my friends and colleagues. Thank you for sharing it xx
My new fav. Delicious and simple
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
My new fab. Delicious and simple
Might be the best lunch I’ve had! Didn’t have time to roast anything and used parsley instead of thyme and basil and it was still absolutely delicious. Perfect summer dish for when tomatoes are in season 🙂
I’m so glad you loved it!
Hey there! I want to make this but I don’t have couscous. But I have farro. I also have lentils and quinoa. Would either of those work?
Hi Johnny, farro would be my next choice!
I made this salad today for my breakfast. we all family members love it.
Good recipe, keep up the good work.
Just made this recipe for dinner this week and absolutely loved it! Can this be frozen? It makes a lot for just one person and I don’t want to waste it!
Hi Sienna, I’m so glad you loved it! I don’t think this would freeze well, but it would keep in the fridge for awhile (like 3 to 5 days).
This salad is delicious and beautiful on the table. It was a hit at Christmas!
HI Katharine, I’m so glad it was a hit!
Made this tonight, and it turned out great. I’m thinking next time of using all roasted tomatoes instead of raw because the roasted ones were so good. Definitely going to make this again.