Cooking for Wellness

Pearl Couscous Salad

Aug. 14, 2017

Whole wheat couscous pearls are small balls of toasted whole wheat. Pearl couscous is an alternative to rice or pasta because of its larger size, compared to the more familiar smaller sized varieties. As with other whole grains, it has a nutty flavor, yet cooks in about 20 minutes for quick side dishes.


  • 6 side dish portions


  • 1 ¼ c water or vegetable broth 
  • 1 c whole wheat pearl couscous, uncooked 
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced 
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped 
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chiffonade 
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped 


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper 
  • pinch ground red pepper or chipotle pepper, optional 


  1. Bring water to a boil in a 2 qt saucepan. Add pearl couscous, return to boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 15- 20 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. Remove from heat. 
  2. While the couscous is cooking, prepare the tomato, scallions and cilantro. Place in a large serving bowl. 
  3. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and red pepper, if desired. 
  4. Once the couscous is cooled, add it to the other salad ingredients in the large serving bowl. Stir gently. 
  5. Pour prepared dressing over the salad. Stir until well combined. Season to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate.