Pearl Couscous Salad

Pearl Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Feta 2

May 3, 2024

To kick-off National Salad Month, I’m sharing what will likely be my go-to salad for the summer. Its Mediterranean flavors punctuated with bright citrus and fresh herbs make it a delightful dish and a nice alternative to the usual pasta salad.

Pearl Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Feta - overhead

Mediterranean ingredients

The foundation of this salad is pearl couscous and lightly smashed chickpeas. I like using Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Pearl Couscous for extra added color but any pearl couscous will work well.

Cucumbers and pomegranate seeds give the salad crunch. Olives and feta give it a briny pop. And parsley and mint give it much needed freshness.

Everything is brought together with a simple lemon vinaigrette spiked with a little za’atar.

Pink pomegranate
Pink pomegranate from our garden

Substitutions and modifications

  • If you can’t find or don’t like pomegranate seeds, substitute with chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries
  • If you can’t find za’atar, then use dried oregano instead
  • Add some fresh chopped tomatoes if they are in season
Pearl Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Feta

Serving and storage

This salad is best eaten fresh. If you make it in advance, mix in the herbs just before serving to prevent them from wilting. The salad may be stored in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.

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Pearl Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Feta 2

Pearl Couscous Salad with Chickpeas and Feta

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This tasty Mediterranean-inspired salad makes a delicious side dish. Or mix in your favorite protein for a meal-size salad.



1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup pearl couscous

1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth*

1 15½-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

¼ cup chopped red onion

1 cup cucumber, quartered

½ cup pomegranate seeds, plus more for garnish**

½ cup pitted olives

½ cup crumbled feta

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

Zest of one lemon

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon za’atar

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook until the couscous is lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes.

While the couscous cooks, mix together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, lightly smash the chickpeas with a potato masher or the end of a rolling pin. Add the red onions. Set aside.

Remove the couscous from the heat and fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the couscous to the chickpeas and onions. Add half of the dressing. Toss then set aside to cool, 10 to 15 minutes.

To the cooled couscous, add the cucumbers, pomegranate seeds, olives, feta, mint, and parsley. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with more pomegranate seeds and crumbled feta before serving.


*Substitute vegetable broth to keep this salad vegetarian.

*If you can’t find, or don’t like, pomegranate seeds, substitute with diced dried apricots or dried cranberries.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salads
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • Calories: 191.28
  • Sugar: 3.52 g.
  • Sodium: 340.53 mg.
  • Fat: 8.94 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 2.21 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 23.04 g.
  • Fiber: 2.49 g.
  • Protein: 5.26 g.
  • Cholesterol: 8.34 mg.

Keywords: pearl couscous, chickpeas, feta

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