Lemon Basil Couscous Salad | Simple, Quick, Easy

This Lemon Basil Couscous Salad can be made ahead or served immediately. It’s simple to prepare and can be served a side dish or main entree. And it can make a great vegetarian option if you are looking to save time and money!

Lemon Basil Couscous Salad @ AHomeToMake.com

This morning when my alarm went off at 4 am I didn’t want to get out of bed. I mean, like, I seriously didn’t want to get out of bed. 4 hours of sleep just really isn’t enough.

I hit the snooze.

Three times. 

When I finally got up, of course, we had to hurry. Because now we had 30 less minutes to get out the door. As I was pulling out of the driveway at 5:30, long before the sun came up, Hannah’s coach called and said he was feeling sick and wouldn’t be able to give her a lesson today.

That was fine. She was going to skate anyway and needed to practice her programs for the competition in three weeks.

We headed out of town on the 2 1/2 hour drive to Knoxville. About 7:30 we hit stand still traffic on I-75 where there’s never stand still traffic. I knew immediately that this wasn’t rush hour traffic. It had to be an accident.

After sitting in traffic for 30 minutes I pulled off on the first exit I came to and took back roads to the ice rink. And by the time we got there she had 20 minutes of ice time.

20 minutes.

I could have slept in. 

However, once she stepped out onto the ice and I watched and critiqued and watched some more, I was so glad we didn’t skip that morning practice. It’s all worth it. Every moment. Every sacrifice. Every hour of lost sleep.

And this is why I love quick and simple recipes like this Lemon Basil Couscous Salad. Because who has time for long drawn out meals during the week? Not me.

Why You’ll Love this Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

Couscous is a simple, quick dish you can make any time you only have a few minutes to cook because everyone is either starving or you have to run out the door as quickly as possible. Here are a few other reasons you’ll love this couscous salad recipe

  • This couscous salad is light and refreshing, perfect for summer cookouts!
  • It can be made ahead or served immediately, making it a convenient dish to take with you wherever you go.
  • The lemon basil dressing gives this salad a delicious flavor that will tantalize your taste buds!
  • This couscous salad is a great vegetarian option.
  • It is an easy dish to prepare, making it the perfect meal when you are short on time.

Equipment Needed to Make Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

Ingredients for Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Of Garlic
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Israeli Pearl Couscous
  • 2 Tbs Red Onion
  • 2 Tbs Kalamata Olives, sliced
  • 2 Tbs Feta Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Basil, sliced in thin ribbons
Lemon Basil Couscous Salad @ AHomeToMake.com

How to Make Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

Step 1: Make the dressing. In a mason jar, combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, and salt. Screw-on lid and shake well to mix.

Step 2: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in the couscous.

Step 3: Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Unlike regular tiny couscous, you’ll probably have unabsorbed water left at the end. Drain it off.

Step 4: Stir the couscous with a fork to fluff it, and then stir in the dressing, plus the onion and olives.

Step 5: Let the mixture cool, then stir in the feta and basil.

Step 6: For full flavor, refrigerate for at least 4 hours. But you can serve this salad immediately if you’re in a hurry.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy!

Note: I tried adding the basil in after refrigerating for 4 hours, and it didn’t taste as good. If you cool the mixture before adding it, the leaves will still look fresh when it’s ready to serve.

What to Serve with Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

This Lemon Basil Couscous Salad is great on its own as a light meal. If you’d like to serve it as a side dish, you can pair it with a variety of delicious fare.

  • hummus and pita bread
  • sliced oranges
  • steamed asparagus
  • baked chicken
  • roasted veggies
  • chickpeas

Frequently Asked Questions

What is couscous made of?

Though it looks like a grain, couscous is actually pasta made with semolina flour and water. 

There are three different types of the dish: Moroccan (smallest); Israeli or pearl shape that is about as big around for peppercorns; and lastly there’s Lebanese couscous which is the largest of the three types!

Couscous is a tiny pasta made from semolina wheat and comes in three forms:

  1. Moroccan Couscous which is the smallest version with tiny little grain like pieces and is steamed for just 5 minutes.
  2. Israeli Couscous {or pearl couscous} which is a little larger than the Moroccan couscous and take a little longer to cook. This is the one we are using today in the Lemon Basil Couscous Salad recipe below.
  3. Lebanese Couscous which is the largest couscous of the three and takes the longest to cook.

Do you rinse couscous before cooking?

No, you do not need to rinse couscous before cooking. Couscous is a type of pasta and does not need to be rinsed.

Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

One of my favorite quick meals is couscous. There are so many ways to make couscous. You’re only limited by your imagination!

This Lemon Basil Couscous Salad is a refreshing dish that can be served as either a side or main entree. It’s perfect to serve at cookouts, picnics, and potlucks! It can also make for an easy vegetarian meal when you are in need of something quick to prepare. This salad tastes great at any temperature so it doesn’t matter if you want to make ahead or serve immediately!

Lemon Basil Couscous Salad @ AHomeToMake.com

Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Of Garlic
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Israeli Pearl Couscous
  • 2 Tbs Red Onion
  • 2 Tbs Kalamata Olives, sliced
  • 2 Tbs Feta Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Basil, sliced in thin ribbons

Instructions

Dressing

In a mason jar, combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, and salt. Screw-on lid and shake well to mix.

Couscous

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

Remove from heat, and stir in the couscous.

Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Unlike regular tiny couscous, you’ll probably have unabsorbed water left at the end. Drain it off.

Stir the couscous with a fork to fluff it, and then stir in the dressing, plus the onion and olives.

Let the mixture cool, then stir in the feta and basil.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

I tried adding the basil in after refrigerating 4 hours, and it didn’t taste as good. If you cool the mixture before adding it, the leaves will still look fresh when it’s ready to serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 219mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

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