This easy plant based Pearl Couscous Salad is made with sweet cranberries, zucchini, tomato, parsley and pine nuts. It’s tossed with a lemony turmeric dressing and makes for one easy side to dinner or light lunch.
What Is Pearl Couscous? How Do You Cook?
Pearl couscous or Israeli couscous is a type of pasta made of semolina flour and is much larger than the regular (smaller) granular couscous variety. It’s pretty versatile and can be used in place of rice or smaller pastas in soups or salad.
It takes minutes to cook, which makes it a great candidate for Sunday meal prep. Unlike the granular version of couscous, you cook pearl couscous like you would pasta – in a pot of boiling/salted water for about 10 minutes.
Pearl Couscous Salad
I got the inspiration for this pearl couscous salad from my local grocery store. They sell a similar salad in their deli department that hubby loves. Of course, you know I had to try my hand at a homemade version!
The ingredients for this couscous salad recipe are pretty simple and all pretty healthy. Aside from cooking the couscous, it’s just mix and toss.
This one has lots of textures too, from the crunchy zucchini and pine nuts to the sweet dried cranberries. You can pretty much say that this couscous salad has it goin’ on, if there ever was such a thing 😉
Can Couscous Be Eaten Cold?
Totally! Matter of fact, this is a cold couscous salad recipe!
Can I Make This Salad Ahead of Time?
Yep! You can make a day ahead, store in the fridge to devour the next day. Enjoy leftovers within 3 days.
Tips and Variations
The cranberries work beautifully in this salad and adds a nice pop of sweetness to the other savoury ingredients. However, golden raisins work great too!
I prefer to peel the zucchini in this recipe, but if you don’t want to, don’t.
Pine nuts are delicious, but they are also expensive. Feel free to sub in another nut, like sliced almonds.
Instead of parsley, try cilantro (or a combo of the two). A little fresh mint is great too!
Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette
For this simple vinaigrette, I used turmeric, which is supposed to be great for ya with anti-inflammatory properties. Do not, though, get that turmeric on anything you don’t want ruined. That stuff stains…even your hands. Speaking from experience here!
The dressing ingredients for this salad are –
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Maple syrup
Simply place them in a mason jar and get shakin’! Pour over the salad and stir to combine.
What To Serve With This Salad?
Of course, you could totally enjoy this on its own, but if you want to make things more substantial, serve with any of the following –
- Add in some grilled halloumi cheese
- Toss in some tofu
- Serve with your favourite protein
- I love to have some olives on the side
Other Easy Side Dishes you May Enjoy
Hope you love this pearl couscous salad!
Until next time, take care and chit chat again soon 🙂
P.S. If you think this couscous salad recipe will make your belly happy too, please be sure to hit that Pin button. Many thanks, you guys! XO
Pearl Couscous Salad (with Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette)
- 1 cup pearl couscous -cooked per package instructions
- 1 cup zucchini -peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup tomato -chopped (I removed interior membrane of tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3-4 stalks green onion -chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley -roughly chopped
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- Cook couscous per package instructions. For mine, I placed 1.5 cups of cold water, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 cup of couscous in a medium pot. Bring to boil, lower heat, cover and cook about 10 minutes. Turn off heat, leave covered for a couple minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain.
- Mix cooked couscous with zucchini, cranberry, tomato, pine nuts, green onion, and parsley.
- In a small mason jar combine olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, salt, black pepper and turmeric. Cover and shake to combine. Pour over couscous mixture. Stir to combine. Enjoy!
- The cranberries work beautifully in this salad and adds a nice pop of sweetness to the other savoury ingredients. However, golden raisins work great too!
- I prefer to peel the zucchini in this recipe, but if you don’t want to, don’t.
- Pine nuts are delicious, but they are also expensive. Feel free to sub in another nut, like sliced almonds.
- Instead of parsley, try cilantro (or a combo of the two). A little fresh mint is great too!