This Israeli Couscous Salad is wonderfully light with sweet raisins, salty feta cheese, and crunch from green beans, cucumber, and pistachios. A lot of layers and flavors in this one! Great for a simple lunch, side salad, or potluck!
This salad was my first introduction to Israeli couscous back in 2009. And I fell in love instantly. I love regular couscous, too. But this stuff is so different. More like a tiny pasta.
Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe
I can’t say enough about this salad. The raisins and feta are a great balance of salty and sweet. The green beans, cucumber, and pistachios give it some crunch, and the pearl-sized couscous make it heartier than regular couscous, giving the dish more texture. I’ve made this countless times now, adapting it along the way, but the core is still there. It’s one of my absolute favorites.
If I’m serving this for guests, I have to be careful not to prepare it too early in the day, otherwise I end up eating a spoonful here and a spoonful there, leaving very little when everyone arrives!
Couscous Salad Ingredients
The entire salad comes together in 25 minutes. You can serve it right away or chill for an hour. Here’s what you’ll need:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Israeli couscous: Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous) has a mild, neutral taste, and a slightly chewy texture, similar to barley.
- Green beans: Fresh green beans are trimmed, cut, and blanched. They add a nice earthy flavor.
- Cucumber: We use Persian cucumbers because they are virtually seedless, have less water, and have good tasting skin, eliminating the need to peel them.
- Feta cheese: Crumbled feta adds a tangy, lemony, salty flavor. So good.
- Golden raisins: Sweet raisins are a great compliment to the salty feta. We love them in this salad. If you hate raisins, you can use dried cranberries instead.
- Roasted pistachios: Pistachios have a mild, almost sweet flavor. They’re our favorite here, but you can use walnuts or almonds instead.
- Dressing: The dressing is a simple combination of red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. It’s rich and tangy.
This salad can be assembled the day before serving, so it’s a great meal-prep option. Any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep up to 4 days.
What to Serve with Couscous Salad
We love this salad paired with our favorites off the grill in the summer, but it’s a wonderful year-round side and always top of mind when I’m hosting a brunch. Everyone loves it! Here are some ideas of what to serve with it:
More Summer Potluck Recipes:
Israeli Couscous Salad
- 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous (pearl couscous)
- 1/2 pound green beans , trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 small Persian or English cucumber , cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup roasted pistachios
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper , to taste
- In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook couscous for 4 minutes. Add green beans, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain, and run under cold water until cool.
- Transfer green beans and couscous to a large bowl.
- Add in the cucumber, feta cheese, pistachios, raisins, vinegar, and oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine.
- Serve right away or chill in the refrigerator for an hour.