Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Israeli Couscous Salad

Summer Israeli Couscous Salad - get the recipe at
Crisp greens, tender chicken, juicy tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms, are tossed together with warm, nutty couscous and a paprika dressing to create an absolutely unforgettable warm salad. The best part about this salad is that it's delicious when you first make it, but it's also fantastic cold. I like to make this salad and eat it for my lunches through the week.

My friend Lynne made this salad for Holly and me a few weeks ago while we were hanging out at my house for a #foodbloggersleepover. (always, always a fun time!) Holly and I went a bit nuts over this salad and we've both made it multiple times in our own kitchens over the past few weeks.

My youngest son blew me away by declaring this the best salad ever. As a non-fan of salads, take that for what it's worth, he eats this salad like mad anytime it's in the fridge.

Pearl (aka Israeli) couscous are tiny round balls of pasta. They are slightly chewy, slightly nutty, and nothing at all like traditional couscous. I'm not even a big pasta eater and I'll eat pearl couscous all day long. Try this Israeli Couscous with Pistachios, Pine Nuts, and Raisins or this Lemon Couscous with Chicken and Craisins for more great ways to use pearl couscous. 

COOK'S NOTE: This recipe is easily adapted to what you have on hand. I've made this salad with traditional and with white balsamic vinegar. I've also used plain and smoked paprika. I've made this salad both with and without chicken. It works nicely as a meatless main dish or side dish. Thinly sliced grilled chicken breasts or thighs can be used. Alternatively, chopped rotisserie chicken will work as well.

Summer Israeli Couscous Salad
recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via 365 Days of Baking
Yield: 6 servings
(printable recipe)

Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white or traditional balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika or smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salad Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cup Israeli or pearl couscous
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 cups packed arugula
16-20 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
6 mini bell peppers, thinly sliced or 1 large pepper, thinly sliced
8 button or crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 pound cooked chicken, sliced very thin or chopped small, 2-3 cups worth
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside. In a medium size saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the couscous and cook until fragrant and golden, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the water and salt and cover with a lid. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, arugula, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, parsley, and chicken. Pour the dressing over the cooked couscous in the saucepan and stir to combine. Pour the warm couscous over the salad and toss to combine and slightly wilt the greens. Sprinkle with feta, if desired. Enjoy!

Summer Israeli Couscous Salad with chicken, tomatoes, peppers, and mushrooms! get the recipe at

Here are some more summer salads you might like:
Three Bean Salad by Simply Recipes
Orange Parsley Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Cucumber Avocado Tuna Salad by Kalyn's Kitchen
Chicken Club Pasta Salad by Cook Crave Inspire
Bacon Avocado Tomato Pasta Salad by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Pineapple Spinach Salad by The Food Charlatan


  1. This is simply stunning, and I love the idea of the warm couscous mixed with the cool salad ingredients,--- sharing!

  2. I had no idea you'd even done this post - thanks, Mary!! Now I want this for dinner tonight.