This Greek couscous salad recipe with feta and veggies is delicious served warm or cold. It’s bursting with Mediterranean flavors and is easy to make for potluck parties or a Greek party at home. It’s ideal as a summer side dish, or you can add chicken or beans to turn it into a main course.
Food from the Mediterranean is known to be healthy and my Greek style couscous is loaded with ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes, artichokes, 2 types of onions, black olives and pine nuts.
Why You’ll Love It
- It’s quick and easy to make.
- You can make it ahead to make meal prep and hosting so much easier.
- Customize it any way you like.
- Serve it warm or as a cold salad.
- This is a great option for vegetarians and you can make it vegan by omitting the cheese or serving it on the side.
Take this to a potluck party where it can be served at room temperature.
Include it in a Greek theme dinner party menu.
You can serve it warm for a ladies luncheon or shower.
Make this part of your meal for a Moroccan theme party.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Add these ingredients with a Mediterranean or Greek flavor profile.
- Uncooked couscous. Plain small couscous has a light nutty taste and works well with savory or sweet ingredients.
- Broth. Use vegetable or chicken broth to cook the couscous in.
- Artichoke hearts. I use a can of artichoke hearts that are packed in brine, however you can use the jars that are packed in olive oil if you prefer.
- Cucumbers. English cucumbers are long and have thin skin making it easy to slice and eat in salads. Persian cucumbers have similar qualities but are a little shorter and available year round.
- Black kalamata olives. I use a small can that’s already pitted and sliced to save time and energy.
- Tomatoes. Use cherry tomatoes cut in half or quarters to get the perfect size bites.
- Red onion. Slice red onions add color, flavor and crunch, but I suggest you take the extra time to make them pickled first. It takes the strong taste out while adding some acidity. At the very least you should slice your onions and soak them in warm water for 15 minutes before using. That helps tame the pungency.
- Green onion. I use 2 types of onion because they have different tastes. If you want to use one or the other you can do that too.
- Crumbled Feta cheese. It’s salty, tangy and adds depth to the dish. Buy it crumbled or in a block and break it off yourself.
- Pine Nuts. These are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, especially Greek and Italian dishes. I lightly toast them but you don’t have to. They will roast up very quickly because of their small size so keep an eye on them. An excellent substitution is lightly toasted walnuts! Or you can use almond slivers, and even pecans.
- Garnish. Fresh parsley, mint, oregano or chives.
- Lemon Vinaigrette dressing. You’ll need extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, fresh lemon juice, dried oregano, salt and pepper
You can change it up to add your own twist to this recipe. In fact you could even make a base salad and provide additional items on the side so guests can make their own couscous bowl. Here are some delicious variations you can or substitute with.
- Pearl couscous, also called Israeli couscous, instead of regular couscous.
- Diced avocado.
- Toasted walnuts, almond slivers, or pecans.
- Oil-packed sundried tomatoes add an intense sweetness.
- Roasted red peppers from a jar and patted dry.
- Diced bell peppers, red, yellow or green.
- Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved.
- Goat cheese, crumbled.
- White beans like cannellini or great northern beans.
- Garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas.
- Cooked chicken or shrimp.
- Fresh dill or chopped mint.
How to Make It
- Cook couscous on the stove top according to directions below, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the rest of the salad ingredients to a large bowl with the couscous and stir to combine.
- Mix up the dressing and pour it over the salad, stirring to completely combine.
- Top with feta cheese and pine nuts and serve warm, or chill until ready to serve cold.
How to Cook Couscous
Add broth to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Add couscous and stir quickly to combine, then remove from heat and cover with the lid. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to make the salad.
Storing & Make Ahead
Make it the morning ahead of a party for a cold salad. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Double the recipe for a potluck party or to serve at a graduation party. It’s a crowd pleaser!
- It might look like a lot of dressing when you make it but the ingredients will soak it up.
- In a rush? Use a bottled dressing instead of the homemade vinaigrette, but choose a brand that’s made with olive oil like Newman’s Own. Use traditional oil & vinegar dressing, lemon dressing, Greek dressing or Italian dressing.
Cook it in broth instead of water. Once it’s done add delicious vegetables, cheese and nuts to give it flavor and texture.
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
- 10 ounce package cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
- 1 medium size cucumber, sliced into quarters
- ½ red onion, sliced and pickled
- 1 small (4-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
- 2 green onions, diced
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup Pine nuts, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from ½ a lemon
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- Cook couscous according to directions, substituting the broth for the water called for on the package.
- Combine dressing ingredients together and whisk well or shake in a lidded jar until it's completely emulsified.
- Add artichokes, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onions, green onions; Pour on dressing and mix well to integrate everything together.
- Top with pine nuts, and cheese, and serve warm or as a cold salad.
Toss in a can of white beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed for a vegetarian main course.
Toss in cooked chicken or shrimp for a main dish.