Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad

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

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad in a bowl with spoons

We’re at that point in the summer where I’m starting to wonder: is an indoor herb garden possible? I love having a ton of fresh herbs around, and I’m really going to miss them when they’re gone. They’re so delicious and 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 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.

Here’s what’s in it, except I forgot to include the fresh basil in this photo. Just don’t forget to include it in the recipe when you make it 🙂

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad

First, I make the roasted cherry tomatoes. This step is not difficult, but it takes a while for them to shrivel up and get nice and concentrated. I suggest starting the roasted cherry tomatoes right when you get home… have a glass of wine, 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. Note: if it’s too hot to turn your oven on, you can make roasted cherry tomatoes at a lower temp for a longer amount of time so as not to heat up your kitchen.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad

Once you have finished the roasted cherry tomatoes, roast the chickpeas, prep everything else, and toss it all together in a big bowl. Top with an abundance of fresh herbs and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Serve this couscous salad with a protein if you like, or just on its own (chickpeas = protein).

This is also delicious the next day for lunch. On day 2, I like to add a little bit more lemon and an extra pinch of salt.


Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad in a bowl with spoons

For more tomato salad ideas, try this panzanella, this caprese salad, or this spicy salad with watermelon!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad
This fresh summer couscous salad gets a sweet and savory pop from raw & roasted cherry tomatoes. Perfect for a picnic or packing up for lunch!
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, (half for roasting, half raw)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 cup dry Israeli couscous
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, more if desired
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme, more for garnish
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, more for garnish
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. 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.
  2. Cook the couscous according to the package directions until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

    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

    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

    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!

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.