Couscous Tabbouleh Salad

by jenna on June 13, 2012

Happy Wednesday to you!

So, after Seattle I needed a little bit of a break from the doughnuts if you know what I mean. I’m a firm believer of everything in moderation and that includes doughnuts, booze, random tiramisu cravings at 10pm (thank goodness for take-out), chocolate cake and dr. pepper straight from the can. I think everyone that reads this blog understands that I have a major sweet tooth. If I thought there was any call for it, I would totally just turn this little ol’ blog into a dessert only blog and post cookies, cakes and pies

However. None of our waistlines need that right now. And as much as I love chocolate cake (oh, just wait!! heh heh), sometimes a good summer salad recipe is just as necessary.

I love tabbouleh.

It’s fresh, grainy and fills me right up when I stuff it into a pita wrap with some hummus and hot sauce. I usually just buy it in little containers at Whole Foods (I know…I know…), but it recently dawned on me that I would save some $$ if I just cranked out my own. Duh, Jenna—when will you ever learn? One day I’ll get the hint and make my own hummus, too, just you wait!

So, in making my own tabbouleh, I made a few little changes to more traditional versions.

First, I used whole wheat couscous instead of bulgar wheat! I love couscous because it’s so fluffy and cooks up SO fast with little to no effort. I mean really—-all you do is pour the dry couscous into boiling water, turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes. Easy as pie.

It’s what I cook up the most for myself when I don’t feel like spending a bunch of time in the kitchen at night but want a healthy meal.

The second change is that I added FETA to the mix! I love me some feta cheese and it goes so perfectly in this salad recipe. Yum.

This tabbouleh recipes comes together quickly and keeps well in the fridge all week, making it perfect for packed work lunches or dinners when it’s too hot to think about turning on the stove. I also love it alongside some grilled chicken or fish. Really, it’s just great all around!

I hope y’all enjoy this quick and easy summer salad recipe….I know I’ll be eating it all week long since it tastes better a day or so after you make it.

Looking for more quick summer salad recipes that both keep and pack well? Try this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, Black Bean, Quinoa and Citrus Salad and Wheat Berry Salad with Corn and Smoked Mozzarella. Now what are you waiting for?! Go pack a picnic.

Couscous Tabbouleh Salad

serves 6

Print this recipe!


1 cup whole wheat couscous, dry

1 cup vegetable broth or water

1 large cucumber, peeled and small diced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 large bunch Italian parsley (about 3.5 oz), minced

1 handful fresh mint (about 1 oz), minced

2 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 large lemon

sea salt to taste

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


Bring the broth or water to a boil in a small pot on high heat on the stove. Once boiling, add the dry couscous and 1/4 tsp sea salt. Stir, then immediately turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let sit for 12 minutes covered like this then fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, place the minced parsley, minced mint, diced cucumber and thinly sliced green onions in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked couscous to the bowl, followed by the lemon juice, olive oil, feta cheese and a additional sea salt to taste. Toss well and chill for 2 hours before serving to let the flavors intensify.


About 2 hours (includes time to chill salad)

**Salad will keep for up to 5 days covered in the fridge

PS: Gaby sent me the gorgeous grey plate in my above photos from her mom’s shop. It’s my very favorite. Thanks, Gaby!

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn June 13, 2012 at 3:03 am

Love the addition of feta, everything is always better with feta.


Sonal June 13, 2012 at 3:22 am

I love how fast cous cous is made too! I’ve recently run out of recipes in which to use it so this is a must try! :) Lovee the addition of feta!


Katrina June 13, 2012 at 4:02 am

This looks fabulous! I love tabbouleh and love your take on it!


Kristen @ notsodomesticated June 13, 2012 at 4:03 am

Definitely smart to make your own vs. buying it at Whole Foods. I love that store, but man, can it hurt my wallet!! I always leave spending more than plannec! 😉


Kristen @ notsodomesticated June 13, 2012 at 4:04 am

Definitely smart to make your own vs. buying it at Whole Foods. I love that store, but man, can it hurt my wallet!! I always leave spending more than planned! 😉


Molly @ RDexposed June 13, 2012 at 4:30 am

Oy tabbouleh! In production class I had to make this for 200 people. I was chopping parsley for daaaays.
Not sure if I could bring myself to doing it again. I still need time to heal.


Annie @ What's Annie Making? June 13, 2012 at 4:31 am

Tabbouleh, hummus and hot sauce? Why didn’t I think of that?!?!


Michal June 13, 2012 at 4:49 am

I love couscous, but I was only a semi-fan of tabbouleh…. but couscous-tabbouleh might make all the difference! Also, hummus is ridiculously easy to make – you should try it!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 13, 2012 at 5:13 am

I love tabbouleh too! When I used to live in the Middle East, I ate it like it was going out of style. In fact, I might whip some up this weekend! I like that you used couscous rather than bulgur because if you ask me, bulgur’s a little boring! I also like to use quinoa because I find it gives the tabbouleh more of a chewy texture. Great recipe!


jenna June 13, 2012 at 5:15 am

love me some feta! :) a nice addition to this tabbouleh.


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama June 13, 2012 at 5:31 am

Tabbouleh is one of my go to fresh eating salads. So flavorful and perfect for summer!


Cait's Plate June 13, 2012 at 6:14 am

I have a bag of whole wheat pearl couscous in my cabinets…would that work as well or would the texture be too big?


deva by definition June 13, 2012 at 6:14 am

I will have to add this to my list of “things to try.” the Tabouleh that I can buy at the grocery store is made with a lot of cilantro – which to me tastes funny. I like that this one is made with couscous – my favorite grainy food!


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 13, 2012 at 6:19 am

Feta makes it betta :) Love the tweaks in this!


Ali @ Gimme Some Oven June 13, 2012 at 6:20 am

I love learning how to make Whole Foods dishes at home too! This looks amazing. So fresh and delicious…love tabbouleh!


{lori} June 13, 2012 at 6:24 am

just pinned this…thanks for sharing!


Speed Girl June 13, 2012 at 6:27 am

Absolutely amazing dish! I picked up a bunch of fresh mints at the market and I can’t wait to make this dish. Thank you for sharing!


amy walters, aDESIGNdock June 13, 2012 at 6:29 am

I love couscous, but I’ve always been a bit tentative at the mention of tabbouleh because of the presence of mint leaves. How strong is the mint flavouring typically in tabbouleh? Thanks Jenna!


Amanda at the red table June 13, 2012 at 6:29 am

Oooh. I like your version a lot. this is always what I crave in the summer — quinoa or couscous salads. Yum.


Julia {The Roasted Root} June 13, 2012 at 6:30 am

I had a roommate who was ALL ABOUT Dr. Pepper in a can. She’d say “I need a Dr. Pepper in a can” Girl I don’t know where you’re getting your takeout tiramisu, but I want to go there too! Looks like everyone had fun at the conference and great couscous recipe to bring you back down from sugar la la land! :)


Margarita June 13, 2012 at 6:36 am

I have ever been to a Whole Foods but my boyfriend lived near one a couple years ago and lived off their deli. Tabbouleh is something I should try making soon! Thanks for this great recipe!


Ashley @Hop Skip Jump June 13, 2012 at 7:02 am

Perfect combo. Printed it out and can’t wait to make it.


Cassie (bake your day) June 13, 2012 at 7:04 am

This is a great “detox” kind of meal. Looks amazing!


Lindsey @ Family Food Finds June 13, 2012 at 7:06 am

This looks delish! I will be trying this with the cucumbers and parsley I have in my backyard! It will be my first attempt at couscous! Thanks for the recipe!!


Lauren June 13, 2012 at 7:07 am

LOVE tabbouleh! Looks delish, Jenna! {Also, so glad we got to meet this last weekend! You are great!}


Bev @ Bev Cooks June 13, 2012 at 7:22 am

I could eat this for a week straight, after our weekend. But I might need one (or 35) of those carrot drinks to, um, wash it down.


brandi June 13, 2012 at 7:58 am

the ONLY things i’ve eaten since i got home are salads. recovery feels good.

i love tabbouleh – especially with tons of mint. so good!


Lindsey June 13, 2012 at 8:07 am

Can’t wait to try this! I’ve had WAY too many sweets this week. Need a detox and this salad is the perfect start!


Moni Meals June 13, 2012 at 8:09 am

Looks really great Jenna. I also Am a huge fan of whole wheat couscous. I like your other added ingredients too and feta is always a must!


Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts June 13, 2012 at 8:16 am

I love this salad! My parsley plant just took off like crazy, and I need to use some. This sounds like a great recipe for it!


Sarah June 13, 2012 at 8:41 am

Well I didn’t know you could get whole wheat couscous – I shall have to look out for it. The salad sounds yummy – I love making couscous salad, its so fresh and tasty.


B @ Crags and Veggies June 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

I love tabbouleh! It’s so wonderful and light for a nice summer meal! That plate is beautiful!


Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe June 13, 2012 at 8:45 am

Delicious – love the addition of feta! This looks like perfect picnic food!


The Intrepid French Learner June 13, 2012 at 8:47 am

This looks like a great twist on traditional tabbouleh. I do love the nutty flavor and hearty texture of bulgar, but I LOVE couscous and would never have thought of using it in tabbouleh. (Frankly, I don’t think I knew there was such a thing as whole wheat couscous, either.) While you’ll definition lose a little bit in terms of fiber and vitamins and minerals with this swap, I can see it mellowing the flavor a bit, which could get good.

And, I loves me some feta. I often bookmark your recipes with the intent of making them, and then I forget to. But this seems like a quick, easy, delicious and versatile salad and I’ll make a point to make it. (It also makes me want to make some regular tabbouleh, too!)


The Intrepid French Learner June 13, 2012 at 8:48 am

*definitely, not definition. BE good, not get good. What am I thinking this morning?


Sarah June 13, 2012 at 9:28 am

Mmmm! Tabbouleh is a favorite of mine and I really like your idea of couscous and feta. Quinoa is great in it too. Have you ever tried cinnamon meat balls with it? Sooooo good!


JMK1961 June 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

Love tabbouleh! I add it to green salads to beef them up and make into a real meal. Quinoa is great for quick tabbouleh also (and adds a little protein for us veggies :)


Laura @ She Eats Well June 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

Love that this incorporates the fresh herbs, especially the mint! This screams healthy and delicious, love it.


Averie @ Averie Cooks June 13, 2012 at 9:41 am

I know what you mean about after traveling or being at a big conference like that and wanting to put down the donuts, at least for a minute. This looks (almost) as good as donuts :)


Rebekah H @ PDXfoodlove June 13, 2012 at 9:44 am

whyyyyyy is my kitchen so far away right now… I want to make this stat.


Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables June 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

this looks so delicious Jenna, I can’t get enough of these grain salads right now.


Megan @ Megan's Miles June 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

I love how simple and fresh this is! I will definitely make it next week for lunch or a side dish.

Glad you had fun in Seattle and the weather didn’t bother you too much. It’s been pretty gloomy lately, but it’s an awesome city!


Stephanie June 13, 2012 at 10:43 am

Love this new idea to go with my quinoa salad loves. By the way, hummus is so easy to make and you can add so many fun things to it. You probably have a Vitamix (yes?) The hummus recipe in the Vitamix cookbook is great! Make it!! You will love it. Thanks for all your great recipes!


Megan June 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

This looks so good! Do you have a recommendation for a substitute for the parsley? (Not a fan of it.)


Denise and Laura June 13, 2012 at 11:44 am

I also love cous cous. I actually prefer it to quinoa, especially when I am in a rush! It’s so easy to cook.
Great recipe!


Ali June 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Looks so light and refreshing! And the feta will just make the dish. :)


A bowl full of simple June 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Great summer salad! So nutritious and Yum!
I often use Israeli couscous instead as I love the texture of those little pearls!


Heidi - Apples Under My Bed June 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm

fresh! I’ve never thought to use couscous in tabbouleh, usually I always go for quinoa. Funnily enough I’ve never used bulgar. Fresh! It’s winter here and I still want this.
Heidi xo


Allie P June 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Jenna–I just tried to email you using the link on your “about” page and got an error–I’ve got a recipe request for you!


jenna June 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

that’s odd! Was it the about page or the contact page? You just can email whatever to the contact page in the little box :) sorry bout that!


Rebecca June 14, 2012 at 4:32 am

Great! I just bought some whole wheat couscous yesterday, so I can’t wait to try this as soon as I get my hands on some feta. Thanks, Jenna!


Sarah June 14, 2012 at 6:10 am

I literally just made this exact recipe last week for me to take to work all week – I guess great minds think alike….


Charise June 14, 2012 at 6:20 am

One of my favorite sandwiches to make is a wrap + hummus + spinach + sriracha + WF tabbouleh. I’ve actually had a bag of cracked bulghur sitting in my pantry for a while to make it myself. Should probably get around to that now that my herbs are taking off. :)


Kate June 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I just made this for dinner and it was so delicious. The couscous is lighter than the usual bulgur.


Jennifer @ Mother Thyme June 14, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Great recipe! This is right up my alley. I love the addition of fresh mint and feta.


kristinp June 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

Just thought I’d let you know – I made this for a party last night and it was BEYOND a hit. I’m celiac, so I switched out the couscous for quinoa and then threw some olives and tomatoes in as well. People gave up on plates at one point and just started using spoons and chips to shovel it in their mouths. I made a double batch so I would have some left over and there was not a single grain left! Thanks for the idea :-)


jenna June 16, 2012 at 10:58 am!


Rachel July 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I completely LOVE this recipe. It is so wonderfully easy, and only gets better with time in the fridge. I make it literally every Sunday and serve in wraps or on salads for super quick lunches every day of the week. I love it so much I shared it on my own blog – thanks again!


jacie July 30, 2012 at 7:08 am

what is a green onion any suggestes alternatives??


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