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

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Cherry Tomato Couscous Salad

rate this recipe:
4.98 from 71 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Roast Tomatoes: 3 hours
Serves 4
This fresh Mediterranean couscous salad recipe is packed with raw and roasted cherry tomatoes, feta, chickpeas, and herbs. Perfect for a picnic or packing for lunch! I like to roast the tomatoes in advance for quicker assembly.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, half for roasting, half raw
  • 1 cup dry Israeli couscous
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • cups roasted chickpeas, tossed with ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika before roasting
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  • 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, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme leaves, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Add the cooled couscous and toss. Slice the remaining raw cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl along with the roasted tomatoes, the chickpeas, basil, cucumbers, and feta. Top with more thyme and basil and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste and serve.

 

102 comments

4.98 from 71 votes (39 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Terri
    04.13.2024

    5 stars
    So good! The basil and thyme make it so fresh.. I really love the chickpeas and roasted tomatoes. Though I did zip through that and roast both together (at 400 for about 15m for the chickpeas and 25 for the tomatoes) it still came out great!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.20.2024

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Aimee
    03.19.2024

    How many Kcal are in this recipe? Thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.21.2024

      Hi Aimee, we don’t calculate nutrition facts for our recipes unfortunately, so an online nutrition calculator is the best way to get an estimate.

  3. Rachel
    08.07.2023

    How many days will this last in the fridge?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      08.11.2023

      Hi Rachel, it keeps well for about 4 days. If you’re making it ahead, I’d wait to add the basil until right before you eat, as it can wilt in the fridge.

  4. Christine
    08.04.2023

    I made a variation of this recipe and can’t wait to try it!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      08.04.2023

      Hi Christine, I hope you enjoy!

  5. Nicole
    05.31.2023

    5 stars
    I made for lunch meal prep and it was really good! Today is the first day, so TBD on how well it keeps. I didn’t use the fresh basil because I’m too cheap and it was still super good!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.31.2023

      Hi Nicole, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Alyssa
    05.24.2023

    Hi! I want to prep this the night before and was thinking of cutting all the veggies and herbs, preparing the couscous and the dressing, and then quickly combining right before the event (I may have 30 minutes before it starts!). Would this work? I want to make sure the dressing flavor resonates throughout the salad ingredients. Also could I use mint instead of basil and/or thyme? thanks!

  7. Alexis
    01.26.2023

    Does anyone have the nutrition facts and calories?

  8. Karli
    01.20.2023

    4 stars
    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. 😉

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      01.20.2023

      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!

  9. Caiti
    08.27.2022

    i really want to make this recipe but unfortunately i dont have any pearl couscous… would regular work too?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.28.2022

      It will – or a grain like farro would be my 2nd choice (a more similar size to the larger couscous)

  10. Jo
    08.23.2022

    5 stars
    This recipe was a huge hit at a picnic.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.26.2022

      Hi Jo, I’m so happy to hear it was a hit!

  11. Jo
    08.21.2022

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing!! What a great recipe! Recommended to all my friends and colleagues. Thank you for sharing it xx

  12. Tina
    08.11.2022

    5 stars
    My new fav. Delicious and simple

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.12.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Tina
    08.11.2022

    5 stars
    My new fab. Delicious and simple

  14. Astragalus
    08.11.2022

    5 stars
    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 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.12.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  15. Johnny
    04.11.2022

    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?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.11.2022

      Hi Johnny, farro would be my next choice!

  16. Jaswinder Kaur
    01.24.2022

    5 stars
    I made this salad today for my breakfast. we all family members love it.
    Good recipe, keep up the good work.

  17. Sienna
    01.12.2022

    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.13.2022

      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).

  18. Katharine
    12.26.2021

    5 stars
    This salad is delicious and beautiful on the table. It was a hit at Christmas!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.27.2021

      HI Katharine, I’m so glad it was a hit!

  19. Elizabeth
    09.13.2021

    5 stars
    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.

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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.