Simple Israeli Couscous Recipe with Pesto (Greek Summer Salad)

Quick & easy; ready in under 30-minutes! Couscous with flavorful pesto is a delicious greek side or add a protein & it’s the BEST main dish!

A Pesto Couscous Salad Recipe in a white bowl with a silver spoon.

It’s fall. Life just got busier. Need dinner fast? This Pesto Couscous Salad Recipe is ready in 15 minutes.

Okay, you’re right. It’s actually not a recipe. It’s more meal assembly.

Which I’d like to suggest is the perfect strategy for filling the dinner gaps that may arise within a busy week.

Family Dinner Ideas

Couscous Salad is a good base for so many ingredients that make for delicious family dinners!

Start with a few prepared items, then add some fresh, healthy additions to make it your own.

Lunch Menu Ideas for Girlfriends

OR… Are you hosting a book club this month? A baby shower? Or a birthday celebration?

This easy recipe is sophisticated enough to fit the bill! It looks fancier than it is. People may think you fussed. 😁

Part Homemade Dinner

This shortcut dish will get to the table fast because it uses the art of food assembly.

You can make it by combining a variety of store-bought items. Or you can make parts of it from scratch. Your choice, depending on how crazy busy you are at the moment.

One of the main ingredients is basil pesto, which is available in most grocery stores.

You can also easily make your own. Here’s my holy grail, tasty Pesto Recipe. 🙂

Make this a High Protein Vegan Recipe

It’s really easy to increase the nutrition values or make it vegan. Take these extra steps below.

Vegan Ideas for Pesto

Basil Pesto is made with basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and lots of Parmesan cheese, so it’s not an option for vegans. But don’t despair. It is easy to make a dairy-free version. And it’s still delicious!

Just add a squeeze of lemon instead of cheese! The juice complements the flavors and adds brightness to the sauce that you will love.

There are also many prepared vegan jarred basil pesto sauces available! Look for options at stores that carry specialty foods, such as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Super Target, Byerly’s/Lund’s, Publix, Kroger, and Albertsons.

Protein Ideas to Pair with Couscous

I believe it’s vital to have protein with every meal. Fortunately, tofu, most meats, and seafood pair well with couscous salad.

Choose your favorite; chicken, salmon, tofu, shrimp, beef, etc. Then serve alongside your couscous, or chop it up and fold it right into the bowl.

If you are tight on time, buy a rotisserie chicken or prepared meat to cut up and toss in! Easy and Yummy too.

Israeli Couscous

Look for the smaller and more delicate Israeli couscous. Pearl couscous is a larger version of Moroccan couscous. It may be substituted if necessary.

If you are celiac, keep in mind couscous is not gluten free.

Vegetable Ideas to add to your Salad

Here is a handful of healthy fat and delicious veggies to add to this dish.

Artichoke Hearts
Grape Tomatoes
English Cucumbers
Bell peppers
White Beans

Pesto Couscous Salad Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make it!

The Basic Couscous Salad

Israeli Couscous
Pesto, homemade or prepared
Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
Kalamata Olives
Feta Cheese
Fresh Basil
Salt & Ground Pepper

Optional Add-Ins

Grape tomatoes
English Cucumber
Bell pepper
White Beans
Pine Nuts

And finally, here is the no-recipe, recipe!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A Pesto Couscous Salad Recipe in a white bowl with a serving spoon.

Pesto Couscous Salad Recipe

  • Author: Cindy Munson
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x


Delicious and ready in under 30-minutes! A quick and easy side dish. Or add a protein, such as chicken, tofu, or shrimp and this salad is the BEST lickety-split main dish! Enjoy!




1 box Couscous

1 jar Pesto, or homemade

2 tablespoons Olive Oil or Avocado Oil

1/21 jar Kalamata Olives, rinsed, halved lengthwise

Salt, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Feta cheese, to taste

1 bunch Fresh basil, sliced

Optional Add-Ins






Grape tomatoes halved

English Cucumber, chopped

Bell pepper, diced

White Beans


Pine Nuts


Prepare the dry couscous in boiling water, according to the directions on the package. Cook; stir occasionally; until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Meanwhile, make a homemade pesto recipe or use prepared pesto. Chop or slice any add-ins you are planning to use.

Combine rinsed couscous, pesto, oil, basil, and olives in a large bowl. Fold in any optional add-ins. Season with salt and pepper. (Olives are salty, so be sure to taste as you salt.) Mix gently. Garnish with feta and basil. Serve immediately.

The salad can also be made ahead and refrigerated. If chilled, I like to spray or drizzle Avocado oil on the top and gently fold in to “refresh” and moisten it.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Boiling
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: Israeli couscous, couscous, salad, salad recipe, pesto, feta cheese, basil, capers

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Give this yummy Pesto Couscous Salad Recipe a try next time you are in a hurry!

If you love it, thanks so much for rating recipe in the comments below. 😃


Subscribe to Bloom’s Recipe Emails

Sign up for Bloom email updates and to receive recipe ideas.

There are newsletters for other topics also, including crafts, sewing, gnomes, entertaining, and home & garden.

After you subscribe, update your interests by clicking “manage your subscription” at the bottom of the e-mail you receive. That way, we send you only what you like. Enjoy!

Explore More

SHOP for info & resources to buy
RECIPES for more recipes
INSPIRATION for creative project ideas
START HERE for blog home

Some products contain affiliate links. When you buy through affiliate links on my site, I may earn a commission at no cost to you. See the shop page for more information.

2 comments on “Simple Israeli Couscous Recipe with Pesto (Greek Summer Salad)

    1. Thank you, Nancy! Yes, yes, it was I, the hostess. Dang. And now you know my secret shortcut. 😂🤦‍♀️ Glad you gals enjoyed it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star