Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad

This Israeli couscous salad recipe is packed with raw & roasted cherry tomatoes, feta, chickpeas & herbs. Perfect for a picnic or packing for lunch!

Israeli Couscous Salad in a bowl

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.

Couscous Salad recipe ingredients

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 Israeli Couscous Salad

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.

Pearl Couscous Salad in a serving bowl

More Favorite Salad Recipes

If you love this couscous salad, try one of these delicious summer salad recipes next:

couscous salad

Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad

rate this recipe:
4.98 from 35 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Roast Tomatoes: 3 hrs
Serves 4
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
  • cups roasted chickpeas
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, more for garnish
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 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.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Susan

    This sounds absolutely scrumptious. I am adding this to my list of vegetarian lunch dishes (I can get away with vegetarian meals better at lunch than dinner). Really looking forward to trying it.

  2. Kristina B

    I just made this and it is fantastic! I was searching for something light & easy to make for dinner & this was perfect! Followed the recipe exactly & turned out fantastic! I just love your blog!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kristina, I’m so glad you loved it!!

  3. Claire Van Konynenburg

    I made this as written and it was delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Claire, I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!

  4. Rena Leeds

    I made this last night and we absolutely love it! Very delicious ingredients and layered flavors! The only thing I changed was the basil, which I did not have so I added chopped fresh mint. Excellent recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Rena, ooh, I bet mint was delicious. I’m so glad you loved it – thanks for coming back to let me know!

  5. Gaby Dalkin

    YUM! This looks delish!

  6. Krispy

    Made this for dinner last night. I loved this recipe. The roasted chickpeas are great in it. A great way to use up an abundance of cherry tomatoes from the garden! So delicious

  7. Jen

    5 stars
    Made this last night. So delicious! I added some broiled asparagus too.

    Seriously, I love every single one of your recipes.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      SO SO happy to hear that!! I’m glad you loved the salad 🙂

  8. Jenn

    Just a tip–I’ve had great luck growing herbs year-round with an aerogarden!

  9. Claudia

    5 stars
    A great recipe. I am amazed at how roasting the tomatoes in the oven brings out the sweetness in them (wow) it really adds another dimension to this salad. Next time I’ll plan ahead so that I have time to oven roast my chickpeas. Is it best to rinse the couscous after cooking it so it doesn’t clump together? That was an issue for me.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Claudia, I’m so glad you loved it with the roasted tomatoes! You can rinse the couscous or, better yet, toss it with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. I usually find that it un-clumps once I toss it in the bowl with the dressing if I just break it apart with a spatula before adding everything else. Hope that helps!

  10. vivian

    5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious, even better than I thought it would be. I was concerned that the amount of dressing was small for the amount of salad, but it worked out perfectly and I didn’t end up having that situation where there is a lake of dressing at the bottom of the bowl. Thanks for a fantastic recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Vivian, I’m so glad you loved it! Anything with tomatoes gets a little juicy 🙂

  11. Cheryl

    I can’t eat dairy. Any substitutions for feta?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cheryl, just leave out the feta and add a little extra salt, to taste. Hope that helps!

  12. Jen

    I’ve made this every week since you posted the recipe and it’s become an absolute favorite in our home. Wonderful flavors and so satisfying but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy. Really love it the next day, as well.
    We added some roasted asparagus for a little more bite and it was great.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ooh, I’m so happy it’s become part of the rotation, I LOVE hearing that :). Mmm, asparagus sounds delicious!

  13. Paulette

    Absolutely love this salad . So yummy.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Paulette, I’m so glad to hear!

  14. Jess

    What a beautiful page! Cant wait to try these recipes

  15. Katie

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing such a beautiful recipe! I added butter beans in the salad and it was delicious. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  16. Lisa P

    5 stars
    I followed the recipe except I pan-fried chickpeas in a cast iron skillet and left off feta (I’m vegan). It was DELICIOUS. So much flavor. Those roasted cherry tomatoes…wow! Thank you for the great recipe.

  17. Allison

    5 stars
    Yum!! I made this tonight and the roasted tomatoes are SO worth the time and effort! Delicious and healthy. I couldn’t find Israeli couscous, so substituted orzo, which worked great! I can’t wait to make it again with actual couscous.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  18. Victoria

    5 stars
    As always, thank you for your amazing recipes. Big hit in our house! I roast garlic with the tomatoes versus adding fresh to the dressing to tone it down a bit. So flavorful and no feta needed. Thank you!!

  19. Rishi Sharma

    5 stars
    These look so incredible!! Can’t wait to make this!

  20. andi

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe! Love the roasted tomatoes mixed with the fresh.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  21. alicia

    i love this recipe, so much so that i feel like i made a mistake by not printing it or writing it on a recipe card. is there a reason that some of the cooking instructions were removed? now it seems like i have to click through to two other pages for roasting temperatures, and the instructions for roasting tomatoes now advise 3 hours instead of an hour? i’ll try to remember the older, better recipe instead.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Alicia, here are the original instructions for the tomatoes and chickpeas:

      Roast the cherry tomatoes (this step can be made in advance): Preheat the oven to 300°F. Slice 2 cups of the cherry tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkles of salt and pepper, and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Roast 60 to 90 minutes (the time will depend on the size and juiciness of the tomatoes), or until shriveled and browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside.

      Increase the oven heat to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chickpeas on the baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkles of salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the oven and toss with the smoked paprika.

      apologies that separating these recipes out ended up to be inconvenient.

  22. Liz

    5 stars
    You have smoked paprika on the ingredients list but I’m missing where it gets added?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      oh thanks for pointing that out! I toss it with the chickpeas before roasting.

  23. Paige

    5 stars
    I don’t leave comments on recipes, ever. In fact, this is my first ever out of hundreds of recipes I’ve used.

    But this salad is probably the most delicious couscous salad I’ve ever had. I made it ALMOST exactly- but I couldn’t find Israeli couscous, so I used regular. I even made the roasted cherry tomatoes and chickpeas!!

    IT’S WORTH THE TIME, FOLKS!! This is so delicious with so many flavors that compliment each other so well. I’m currently pigging out as I type this!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ha ha, yay!! I’m so glad you loved it so much. Thanks for taking a minute to come back and let me know 🙂

  24. Leslie

    5 stars
    My whole family enjoyed this. We used fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, thyme and basil right out of our garden. So simple to throw together, not complicated and a pleasant side dish with lots of flavor but isn’t overpowering with a main dish. Love the toasted chickpeas. So happy I found this recipe!

    I didn’t get a chance to oven roast the tomatoes, and it was still delicious. Looking forward to making it again properly.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Leslie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  25. Charlie Murtaugh

    5 stars
    Made this tonight – it was a decent amount of work (between the chickpeas and the tomatoes) but it was definitely worth it. Everyone had seconds, even our tomato-skeptical kids. They picked out the fresh tomatoes but I think they didn’t realize what the roasted tomatoes even were (apart from delicious). This will definitely be a staple of my summer cooking.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you all loved it! Sometimes, I make the tomatoes the day before, it helps the process go quicker.

  26. rose

    5 stars
    I absolutely love your recipes!

  27. Abby

    4 stars
    I really liked this recipe! The roasted tomatoes were amazing, and I think it’s great with a little extra lemon for zing, however I keep screwing up the toasted chickpeas! They just don’t seem crispy enough even after extra cooking, and I thought I dried them plenty. Perhaps I drizzled too much olive oil? Any tips? Anyways, love your recipes!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Abby, I’m glad you loved it! You can keep cooking the chickpeas longer – just yesterday I was cooking some and I forgot to set the timer so they went at least 10 minutes longer. They turned out SUPER good and crispy, so I’m going to adjust the timing suggestion in my recipe.

  28. Allison Hamff

    Wow, we made this salad recently and loved it. So much flavor and would also be delicious with either shrimp or chicken. This recipe will become a favorite I believe!

  29. Alexis

    What do you do w the chickpeas? They’re in the ingredients and not the instructions?

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.