There’s just something about a cold pasta salad in the summer. I mean, I really enjoy them any time of the year (like this vegetable and goat cheese version I made a couple of years ago in the fall). I wanted to try something a little different with this recipe, so I grabbed pearl couscous for my pasta base. At some point, I’ve had a couscous salad, but I couldn’t tell you when or where that was, so this was all trial and error. But, it’s so simple! I just mixed it up in this bowl, popped the lid on and stuck it in the fridge. Then I can just grab the bowl and serve from it, too.
We ate two batches or this balsamic couscous salad over the course of about a week. It makes a great side dish, but it’s also a good base for a meal! I enjoyed it with a bit of chicken on top for a light lunch, basically as a protein bowl. (Actually, my husband took with him to work for lunch as a bowl, too!)
Now, there is some cheese in the recipe, but if you’re vegan or just try to avoid dairy, just leave those out! Fill out the rest of the recipe with more cucumber and tomatoes, or even another type of fresh vegetable. This couscous salad is light & refreshing, plus a little tart from the balsamic vinegar dressing (with the tiniest bit of spice from the red pepper.) Actually, I think I might just whip up another batch for the weekend.
Summer Balsamic Couscous Salad
- 1 cup Pearl Couscous uncooked
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tsp Minced Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes halved or quartered
- 1 cup Cucumber cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella Pearls
- Cook your couscous according to the package instructions, then transfer it into a mixing bowl. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together and let it cool.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt. Whisk it all together so that it is well blended.
- Once the couscous has cooled, add the tomatoes, cucumber, and mozzarella pearls into the mixing bowl. Stir to evenly combine.
- Pour the balsamic dressing mixture over the salad, and stir until it is evenly coated.
- Cover and refrigerate it for an hour or longer (I like to let it marinate overnight, but that's not a requirement.)
- Stir before serving and enjoy! This salad is light & refreshing on its own, as a side dish, and topped with a little cooked chicken breast for an entire meal!