This couscous summer salad is made with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red bell peppers and arugula all tossed in a honey-lemon dressing seasoned with fresh mint! This salad is light, refreshing and is the perfect summer side dish with dinner or to take to a potluck. Served cold. Ready in 20 minutes.
This cool and refreshing couscous summer salad is chock full of vegetables, flavor and texture.
Made with garden-fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and sweet corn tossed in a tangy honey-mint dressing. Arugula adds a peppy freshness.
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
This couscous summer salad is one of those side dishes that sort of steals the spotlight from the main dish. It's so good, you'll want to be sure you make plenty to go round!
If you have a garden (or a friend with one who like to share), this salad is a great go-to since it uses a variety of common garden vegetables and herbs.
This recipes also works well to use up leftover corn on the cob.
This salad is a great summer dinner side dish to take to potlucks, picnics or sporting events, or serve it with dinner. You can also make this salad ahead of time and pack it for lunch.
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
You'll need a handful of fresh vegetables, cooked couscous and dressing.
The dressing is simple to make and adds just the right touch to bring all the different vegetables in this dish together.
Here's everything you'll need:
For the salad:
- Couscous. This recipe uses the standard, smaller-sizes couscous. If you want to, you can substitute with the larger pearl (aka Israeli couscous or whole wheat couscous.
- English cucumber. There will be less seeds when you use an English cucumber however, it's fine to use any kind of garden cucumber. You can peel or leave the skin on if you prefer. The skin can be a little rubbery buit the color is nice. So sometimes I will peel stripes in the skin to get the best of both worlds.
- Arugula. Is a leafy lettuce that has a bit of bit to it. This adds wonderful txture and flavor.
- Red bell pepper. Red bell peppers is a bit sweeter than other colors which is nice with this dish. However, if you prefer, you can use other colors.
- Corn. The best type of corn is scraped off the cob. White sweet corn is my favorite but any kind of corn that's convenient for you will work. Even thawed frozen corn.
- Cherry tomatoes. You can also use grape tomatoes.
- Fresh mint. Wash and finely chop.
For the dressing:
- Olive oil. Grape see or avocado oil also work well.
- Honey. This sweetens and layers in one of summer's quintessential flavors!
- Sea salt. You can add more or less to taste. I use fine grain for this recipe.
- Black pepper. Just your standard table pepper. I do prefer freshly ground.
- Lemon juice. Always for with fresh squeezed. You just do not get the same flavor with bottle lemon juice unfortunately.
- Lemon zest. Use a grater to shave off the outer skin of the lemon. This adds more lemon flavor and a bit of natural lemon oil.
- Brown mustard. You don't need much. Mustard helps intensify the other flavors in this salad and adds tang.
- Garlic. I prefer to use garlic paste to save time. You can use fresh or minced if you prefer.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
This salad comes together in 4 main parts. Here's a look at each step:
- Prepare your veggies. Wash, de-seed, peel and/or chop as needed.
- Mix dressing ingredients.
- Cook couscous.
- Combine vegetables, couscous and dressing.
You'll want to chill before serving to let the flavors marinate a bit.
★ Tips & FAQs ★
This couscous salad stores well in and airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This salad is not freezer-friendly
Can you make this ahead?
Yes. You can make this the night before. You may want to add the arugula in right before serving to preserve some of it's crispness. Toss before serving as well.
Can I add other vegetables?
Many summer favorites make an appearance here but there are so many others that you may want to try adding in.
Some ideas for added veggies include: radishes, yellow squash, zucchini, peppers of any kind, shredded carrots, green onions, red onions, sugar snap peas or whatever sounds good to you! Just add extra dressing as needed.
How can I make chopping the veggies easier?
Start with a good chef's knife. A new, sharp knife makes chopping all the veggies much easier. Need a new one? Shop chef's knives on Amazon.
★ More Recipes You'll Love ★
Want more side dish ideas?
This couscous summer salad recipe was featured on South Your Mouth!
Couscous Summer Salad
- 2 cups couscous
- 2 cups water more or less depending on package instructions
- 1 English cucumber diced (peel if desired)
- 1 ½ cups arugula
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- ¾ cup corn
- 12 cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 tablespoon fresh mint chopped
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup lemon juice (about 2 ½ lemons)
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard
- 3 teaspoon garlic paste
- Prepare couscous according to package directions then set aside to cool.
- Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Wash and chop your veggies and herbs.
- In a large bowl, add cooked couscous, veggies, mint, and dressing. Toss to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.