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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

This Mediterranean couscous salad is inspired by the flavors of Sicily - with lemon, fresh mint and basil, sweet-tart cranberries and crunchy almonds, it's a lot of bright flavor and satisfying texture. While couscous isn't thought of as Italian, it's actually made of Semolina flour and is technically a pasta! You can substitute any small pasta like orzo, or even fregola for an extra toasty, delicious flavor.

This is a great simple side dish to serve up with company, or a prep-ahead lunch. Add chicken or seafood for protein!

Mediterranean couscous salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad


pasta pasta salad Salad side Side Dish

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Mediterranean Couscous Salad


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1-pound box Israeli couscous, (fregola, or orzo)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 lemons, (juiced)
  • 1 lemon, (zested)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, (toasted)


  1. In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Carefully add the stock, and the juice of 1 lemon, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the couscous is tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the couscous.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with the remaining olive oil, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper and let cool.
  3. Once the couscous is room temperature, add the fresh herbs, dried cranberries, and almonds. Toss to combine and serve.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
73 grams
14 grams
11 grams
Saturated Fat
2 grams
4 milligrams
375 milligrams
6 grams
7 grams
Unsaturated Fat
9 grams
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