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Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad with Mint, Cucumber, and Feta

Scott Phillips

Servings: four to six.

This refreshing pasta salad, with its cool flavors of mint and cucumber, is a nice accompaniment to barbecued meats and a welcome contribution to a potluck.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled and finely diced (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh spearmint or pineapple mint leaves; additional sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more as needed
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup small-diced feta cheese

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 260
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 130
  • Fat (g): 15
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8
  • Cholesterol (mg): 20
  • Sodium (mg): 520
  • Carbohydrates (g): 25
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 8


  • In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts well-salted water to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the couscous, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Cook the couscous in the boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water until cool. Pour the couscous into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the cucumber and mint.
  • In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice and zest, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir in the feta. Add the feta mixture to the couscous, season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and mix well. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the mint sprigs.

Make Ahead Tips

You can refrigerate the salad for up to 4 hours; toss before serving.


Rate or Review


  • user-6878502 | 07/20/2017

    Put this together as an addition to our grilled salmon for tonight's dinner. I used fresh oregano and lemon thyme instead of mint. Excellent! We love couscous, so this will be my new go to! Even poured the reserved dressing on the salmon. Delicious!

  • kokkitytto | 08/31/2015

    I added diced red pepper and scallions, served with lamb kebobs. Excellent!!

  • user-3457423 | 05/31/2014

    I absolutely love this salad. I am huge fan of lemon, so I always at least double the juice. It is so cool and refreshing; just perfect for a light summer supper. A big hit at potlucks. Do be mindful of over salting. With the feta, the salted cooking water and the added salt in the dressing it's easy to go a bit overboard. I am eager to try it in tomato cups, as another reviewer mentioned.

  • Shaolintemple | 08/01/2011

    Made this the night before going on a picnic. Was lovely and was all eaten up! Would definitely be making again. Would be great to have some other giant couscous recipes :)

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