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mediterranean couscous salad

Potluck Mediterranean Couscous Salad

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  • Author: Kate Kasbee
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: salad
  • Diet: Vegan


This Potluck Mediterranean Couscous Salad is brimming with fresh veggies and herbs, while chickpeas and couscous add substance. It's a real crowd pleaser!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ cups pearled couscous
  • 1¾ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1½ cups cucumber, chopped
  • 2 big handfuls of arugula (about 4 ounces)
  • Fresh dill, for serving
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

For the dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  • Few twists of black pepper


  1. Warm the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium-low heat. When hot, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Then add the couscous and toast the grains, stirring frequently, until light golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the vegetable broth into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Season the couscous with salt and black pepper and set it aside to cool. If the couscous sticks together, add a swirl of olive oil and stir to break up the individual pearls.
  3. Meanwhile, dice the red onion and scoop the pieces into a bowl. Fill with cold water and allow the onion to soak while you prep the rest of the veggies, at least 10 minutes.
  4. Combine the chickpeas, parsley, red bell pepper, cucumber, and cooled couscous in a large serving bowl. Drain the water from the red onion and add the onion to the salad.
  5. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  6. Drizzle the salad with half of the dressing and toss to coat the chickpeas, veggies, and couscous. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Just before serving, add the arugula to the salad and toss with the remaining dressing. Top with fresh dill and a squeeze of lemon juice.


  1. If you'd rather set your contribution on the food table and forget it, use kale instead of arugula. Add it to the salad along with the chopped veggies and dressing ahead of time - it'll hold up even after a few hours in the fridge.
  2. Make this salad gluten-free by using quinoa instead of couscous.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 302
  • Sugar: 4.9 g
  • Sodium: 396 mg
  • Fat: 10.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.7 g
  • Protein: 9.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg