Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad is a healthy and delicious vegetarian recipe! Made with pearl couscous, garbanzo beans, colorful vegetables, and a simple lemon & olive oil dressing … this flavorful dish is light, bright, and perfect for a weeknight dinner or a party side dish. A simple must make recipe for this spring and summer!

close up shot of mediterranean chickpea couscous salad in a bowl with a spoon

A fresh, bright, & healthy salad for spring or summer…

During the spring and summer months I am always looking for light, bright, veggie filled, and healthy meals. However, they still need to keep me full and satisfied. That is why i absolutely love grain based salads.

It is no wonder that this Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad is my newest obsession as the weather gets warmer!

This vegetarian chickpea salad recipe is made with garbanzo beans, grape tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and a super simple homemade lemon dressing. It works as both an easy dinner for busy weeknights or a side dish at your next party!

overhead shot of salad with tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumber, onion, and feta cheese

Ingredients needed for Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad…

This healthy and hearty salad is made with only a few simple and fresh ingredients! I’m talking lots of colorful vegetables, whole grains, and protein packed beans.

  • Pearl Couscous: Pearl couscous is one of my all time favorite grains to cook with! It’s chewy, delicious, and perfect with so many recipes. You’ll need 1 cup dry pearl couscous.
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas pair deliciously with the couscous here. The also give this salad a nice protein boost. A 15.5 oz can is perfect!
  • Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes provide a scrumptious burst of flavor. 1 cup is just the right amount.
  • Cucumbers: Cucumber gives this salad a perfect freshness and crunch. Add 2 chopped baby cucumbers!
  • Red Onion: I love the flavor 1/3 cup of diced red onion adds here. Check out my red onion tip below!
  • Feta Cheese: Add 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese to this couscous salad. It adds some salty deliciousness!
  • Lemon: The juice from 1 lemon gives this salad a bright, light, and zesty flavor. So good!
  • Olive Oil: All you need is 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to dress this simple recipe.
  • Garlic Powder & Oregano: The seasonings in this recipe were kept very minimal, but trust me they truly pack in the flavor. 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp oregano is all you need!
  • Salt & Pepper: Lastly, add salt and pepper to taste of course.

Raw red onion tip…

I personally love raw red onion in recipes, but in my opinion the onion often over powers other flavors or is just too strong to enjoy. I recently learned about this tip which helps mellow the taste and create a more enjoyable salad ingredient!

Tip: Simply run your diced red onion under some water. I don’t know the super specific science behind this, but I do know that it gets rid of the enzyme that creates the strong onion flavor. You could also soak the onion for a greater effect!

overhead shot of chickpea couscous salad in a mixing bowl before being mixed

Ingredient swaps or additions to this side dish…

There are a few basic ingredient swaps or additions you could make to this salad for it to meet your personal preferences or dietary needs! Here are some of my ideas.

Couscous: If you do not like couscous, or perhaps you are gluten free, you could replace this with a different grain of your choice. Like quinoa or rice! You could also use a different pasta … like orzo.

Feta: I love feta cheese in Mediterranean inspired dishes, but if you are not a fan you can leave out or swap with a different cheese. Perhaps parmesan!

Chickpeas: This is of course a chickpea salad, but the garbanzo beans can easily be replaced with a different white bean of your choice. Like cannellini!

Fresh Herbs: This is not a swap, but an addition! I kept things super simple here and just used dried herbs, but fresh would be absolutely delicious. Try oregano, parsley, or basil!

Extra Ingredients: There are definitely some extra ingredients that could add more delicious flavor and elements to this Israeli Couscous Chickpea Salad. You could add or swap in cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, pine nuts, lemon zest, or even grilled chicken breasts.

How to make Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad…

This recipe is a quick and easy side dish! All you do is prepare the couscous, chop the veggies, and then combine. So simple and so scrumptious!

Step 1: Start by cooking the couscous according to the package directions. Next prepare the vegetables and drain & rinse the chickpeas.

Step 2: Add the cooked and cooled couscous to a large bowl.  Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and feta cheese.

Step 3: Next add the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, and oregano.  Mix until all ingredients are combined thoroughly.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Step 4: Let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!

closeup shot of mediterranean chickpea couscous salad

Frequently Asked Question

What is pearl couscous?

There are many types of couscous and knowing the differences between all of them can definitely be confusing! The three main types are Israeli couscous, Moroccan couscous, and Lebanese couscous.

Pearl couscous is very similar to and is often referred to as Israeli couscous, although the two are slightly different. Pearl couscous is tiny pasta like balls made from semolina flour! It is also a larger size than the traditional couscous. They have a nutty flavor, chewy texture, and are perfect in so many recipes.

Should I chill this recipe before serving?

Yes, I recommend chilling Chickpea Couscous Salad in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving. This allows for all the flavors to develop deliciously!

overhead shot of chickpeas couscous salad recipe in a bowl

Can I use store bought dressing in this recipe?

Yes, you totally can. I dressed this salad very simply with fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, but you could replace this with a store bought dressing if you’d like.

Like a greek dressing!

How should I serve this couscous dish?

This dish can be served in so many delicious ways. You can serve as is, or with some grilled chicken on top, for a light dinner. Or you could serve as a simple side to any protein dish you are making!

Mediterranean Couscous Chickpea Salad also works perfectly as a summer barbecue or cookout side dish. It is light, bright, full of flavor, and sure to be a total crowd pleaser!

How to best store Mediterranean Couscous Salad?

Chickpea Couscous Salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for 1 week – 10 days!

zoomed in shot of couscous, feta, tomatoe, onion, and cucumber dish

Love Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad? Check out some similar recipes below…

Connect with me!

If you make Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.

mediterranean chickpea couscous salad in a bowl

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Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad is a healthy and delicious vegetarian recipe! Made with pearl couscous, garbanzo beans, colorful vegetables, and simple lemon & olive oil dressing … this flavorful dish is light, bright, and perfect for a weeknight dinner or a party side dish. A simple must make recipe for this spring and summer!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup dry Pearl (or Israeli) couscous
  • 1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 baby cucumbers, chopped
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by cooking the couscous according to the package directions.
  2. Next prepare the vegetables and drain & rinse the chickpeas.
  3. Add the cooked and cooled couscous to a large bowl.  Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and feta cheese.
  4. Next add the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, and oregano.  Mix until all ingredients are combined thoroughly.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

Keywords: Chickpea Couscous Salad, Couscous Salad, Chickpea Salad, Mediterranean Chickpea Couscous Salad, Chickpea Salad Recipe

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