Summer Couscous Salad is a flavorful side dish featuring fluffy couscous studded with fresh corn, juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, sweet peaches, chopped basil, and creamy feta in a honey lime dressing!
School may be right around the corner, but when it comes to seasonal eating, summer is still in full swing! And I’m not sure I’ve made a recipe this summer that encompasses the glorious flavors and textures and colors of the season better than this Summer Couscous Salad. Bursting with an array of fruits and veggies and herbs, this is an easy couscous recipe that I’d have no problem eating all year long!
How to Cook Couscous
Couscous is basically a cousin of pasta. The type of couscous we’re using in this recipe is traditional couscous, comprised of teeny-tiny balls of semolina — not the larger varieties of pearl or Israeli couscous.
Different boxes or bags of couscous will vary in their ratios and directions. So for a tried-and-true outcome, you might like to check out the directions in my How to Cook Perfect Couscous post. 😉 Of course, if you’re needing to use up leftover cooked couscous instead, that would work great in this recipe as well!
Summer Couscous Salad Ingredients
So aside from couscous, what else makes this Summer Couscous Salad so special?
- Corn on the cob. Cooked and sliced from the cob…and don’t forget to use my fool-proof method for roasting it!
- Cherry or grape tomatoes. You’ll most likely want to halve them. However, if they’re particularly large, you can cut them into quarters. You just want fairly uniform-sized ingredients in your couscous salad to make it easy to eat.
- Cucumber. Peel it and dice it. I prefer using an English cucumber (or a regular-but-not-too-large cucumber) to avoid big seeds.
- Peaches. Sweet, ripe, juicy peaches are slightly unexpected — yet simply divine — in this salad. If you prefer, you could include firmer apricots or cherries instead.
- Feta. I’m a huge fan of the contrast that creamy, crumbled feta lends to a salad. Alternatively, you could use goat cheese.
- Basil. A chiffonade of basil adds such freshness to this dish. Mint would also be lovely.
- Honey Lime Dressing. Finally, this salad is tossed with a simple blend of extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, and honey. It’s the perfect, tangy-sweet vinaigrette to bring all of the other flavors together.
Of course, feel free to swap out or throw in any additional goodies to your liking! Cubed avocado, plump berries, minced red onion, crispy bacon, sliced almonds…the possibilities are endless.
How to Make Couscous Salad
The steps are as easy as:
- Cook the couscous.
- Peel/slice/chop the ingredients.
- Shake up the dressing.
- Combine, toss, and serve!
Any leftovers of this recipe will be delicious for an additional day or two. That being said, pasta always changes consistency with chilling so I think that this salad is best enjoyed immediately after making it.
Therefore, if you’d like to prep your salad ahead of time, you may certainly do so. You can cook and cool the couscous. You can peel/slice/chop most of the ingredients (although I’d wait on the peaches and basil until just before serving, to prevent them from browning). You can whisk together the dressing.
Then tightly cover and separately store your pre-prepped, individual ingredients. And save the last step of combining everything until just before it’s time to chow down!
This easy couscous recipe really does make the most unique and delicious addition to any summer meal, party, or get-together. It’s light and healthy and oh-so-flavorful…the perfect side for just about anything from burgers to barbecue to seafood to steak. And don’t forget that it’s also totally customizable!
Hope y’all have a chance to enjoy this one before the season ends. 🙂
Couscous Salad Recipe
Summer Couscous Salad
- 1 cup dry couscous, cooked & cooled, (yielding about 3 cups of cooked couscous)
- 2 cobs fresh corn on the cob, cooked, peeled & sliced from the cob
- 1 cup small cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 2 medium peaches, peeled & diced
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (packed), sliced into a chiffonade
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Combine the cooked couscous, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, feta, and basil in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper (or shake together in a jar). Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, toss to coat, and serve immediately.