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Quick Pesto Couscous Salad

10 min



One-bowl / one-pot

No cook

Easy, quick, and delicious: words that perfectly describe this couscous salad! It's also an incredibly versatile recipe, so adjust to your own taste by using red pesto, or bell pepper instead of cucumber, different herbs, or add some lemon juice. Anything goes!



10 min


10 min


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  • 1 cup (173 g)
  • ½
    vegetable bouillon cube, crushed
  • 1 cup (240 mL)
    boiling water
  • 1 cup (150 g)
    cherry tomatoes
  • ½
  • ⅓ cup (45 g)
    kalamata olives
  • 3.2 oz (90 g)
  • 3 Tbsp (4 g)
    fresh basil (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp (6 g)
    fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp (3 g)
    fresh parsley (optional)
  • ¾ cup (135 g)
    cooked brown lentils
  • ¼ cup (64 g)


  1. To a large bowl, add the couscous, crushed bouillon cube, and boiling water. Mix, cover with a plate and set aside.
  2. In the meantime, chop the veggies, olives and feta into bite-sized pieces, and finely chop the herbs.
  3. Coming back to the large bowl with couscous, remove the plate and use a fork to β€œfluff” the couscous.
  4. Add the veggies, feta, herbs, lentils and pesto to the bowl with couscous. Mix and enjoy!


  • The couscous salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Let us know what you think

Plate method

The Plate Method is a visual tool that helps us ensure our dietary needs are on track. Touch the image below to see how this recipe measures up.

Grains & Starches 39%

dry couscous

Proteins 18%

vegan feta

cooked brown lentils

Fruits & Veggies 43%

cherry tomato


kalamata olive

fresh basil

fresh mint leaves

fresh parsley

No significant sources of calcium

kalamata olive

vegan feta

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Claire - July 12, 2024, 3:21 a.m.

Tried this with rotini and it worked well

Shayda Abidi - July 2, 2024, 2:23 a.m.

I don't know where I went wrong... but my cous cous is NOT soaking up the water and now this "10 min" recipe is taking all day? Help?

Shayda Abidi - July 2, 2024, 4:52 a.m.

Update- I used quinoa instead and it was amazing! Don't skip the fresh herbs. I added a drizzle of lemon and my whole family loved it :)

PUL Team - July 2, 2024, 3:37 p.m.

Hi Shayda, thanks for sharing your experience with the recipe! It sounds like your couscous might not be soaking up the water due to the water not being hot enough. Ensure the water is boiling when you pour it over the couscous, and let it sit covered for at least 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. If it’s still not absorbing, you can try adding a bit more boiling water and letting it sit a bit longer. We're glad that recipe was enjoyed quinoa in the meantime πŸ™Œ

Aaliyah Madadi - April 24, 2024, 1:11 a.m.

Amazing, feels and tastes so fresh!! ✨ perfect for spring and summer

Melissa Henry - April 8, 2024, 3:11 a.m.

Delicious and tastes so fresh! Also easy to make!

Rebeka Yaneva - April 6, 2024, 6:34 p.m.

πŸ” my go to in the summer

Teresa Moscatelli - April 6, 2024, 2:20 p.m.

Really nice 😊😊

Heather - Feb. 7, 2024, 11:59 p.m.

This tastes sooo fresh! I'm bringing this to my next potluck.

Manya - Feb. 3, 2024, 10:24 p.m.

Lecker! Worth taking the time to chop up so many ingredients. Easy to make a gluten free version by swapping the Cous Cous for cooked quinoa, rice or millets.

PUL Team - Feb. 4, 2024, 4:06 a.m.

Woop woop! We're so happy that the salad is being enjoyed, Manya πŸ€—

Ksenako - Jan. 16, 2024, 6:49 p.m.

Such a good and simple recipe! I made a few tweaks and skipped pesto, instead added cumin, dried coriander, and olive oil. Also, since I had in my fridge peppers and onion, I threw that in the mix as well πŸ˜„
Now, officially one of my favorite salads πŸ€— Ready to cook it for my family and friends πŸ˜‡πŸ˜„

PUL Team - Jan. 16, 2024, 11:31 p.m.

Awe we're so happy that the salad is being enjoyed, Ksenako! Thanks for sharing the tweaks πŸ€—

Erin - Dec. 12, 2023, 8:19 a.m.

This is delicious. Made it at 1am because I was hungry but tired, and really looking forward to more tomorrow. Don't sleep on the fresh herbs, really makes the dish sing.

Freyha - Dec. 7, 2023, 2:05 p.m.


Litniche - Nov. 12, 2023, 8:38 p.m.

Making this for the weeks' lunches. Any suggestions for a whole food alternative to the vegan feta?

PUL Team - Nov. 13, 2023, 4:42 a.m.

Hey Litniche, you could omit the vegan feta or make a homemade one if you'd like. Alternatively, some ideas are toasted nuts or seeds like almonds or sunflower seeds, avocado cubes, or tofu. For a cheesy flavour, you could also add a touch of nutrition yeast flakes πŸ€—

Emily - Nov. 12, 2023, 7:51 p.m.

Super easy and quick. Made this in autumn but it would be perfect for hot summer days. Added roasted bell pepper + cashews.

Dee - Oct. 31, 2023, 8:31 p.m.

Added avocado
Good recipe

Eszter - Oct. 19, 2023, 8:52 p.m.

The ingredients are put together in such a way that is an amazing experience to enjoy eating. It was absolutely so tasteful .

Sarah - Oct. 9, 2023, 7:03 p.m.

Very tasty and nourishing. Thank you πŸ˜‹

delia munteanu - Sept. 7, 2023, 7:37 p.m.

Very tasty !

Loretta - Sept. 2, 2023, 11:18 a.m.

Tasty and quick salad!

Kaitlin Simons - Aug. 26, 2023, 1:10 a.m.

Absolutely scrumptious! Super quick and nourishing. Will be making again!

misty - Aug. 22, 2023, 9:14 p.m.

this is so delicious! definitely going to be my go-to lunch during the week. i left out the olives since i don’t prefer them and it was still really full of flavor!

Mary - Aug. 12, 2023, 4:20 p.m.

Very simple and soo tasty! With the fresh mint, itβ€˜s perfect for summer!

Nova - Aug. 10, 2023, 8:51 p.m.

Felt really nourishing! Added some fresh spinach and Bell pepper as well. I think I used a pesto i didnt like that much, so i felt the flavour lacked some depth. But a little balsamic vinagar actually helped!

PUL Team - Aug. 10, 2023, 10:42 p.m.

Adding a bit of balsamic vinegar is a lovely idea, Nova 😊

Martina - Aug. 4, 2023, 1:01 a.m.

Nice and creative idea, would have never thought to use pesto with couscous. Very nice with the juice of a lemon. Adapted ratios a bit, very easy to play around with this recipe.

Anuvilasini Muthusamy - Aug. 2, 2023, 3:34 p.m.

Delicious salad 😘

xen - July 31, 2023, 5 a.m.

Yummy!! And easy to make!

Susi Moe - July 26, 2023, 6:54 p.m.

Super quick and easy recipe. I added some green onions for extra fresh flavor. Will make this again very soon for sure.

Djuli - July 21, 2023, 8:08 a.m.

Really good! But I thought there was a little too much couscous compared to the veggies and pesto. So I added more pesto and some raw spinach. Nice way to add some leafy greens to my nourish thing as well :)

PUL Team - July 25, 2023, 1:17 a.m.

Thanks for sharing your experience with it, Djuli, and happy nourishing 🌈

Tara - July 20, 2023, 7:53 p.m.

Added some extra olive oil and apple cider vinegar as felt it was a bit dry. Big hit with my family and kept well for a few days!

PUL Team - July 22, 2023, 11:31 p.m.

Thanks for sharing your experience with the couscous salad, Tara, it's so appreciated ☺️

Elsa - July 18, 2023, 12:21 p.m.

Super easy and super good πŸ‘πŸ»

Shubhangi Singh - July 10, 2023, 9:45 p.m.

This was so good. It is quick, and incredibly flavourful
Thank You Sadia, so grateful that I get to learn from you.

Elise - July 10, 2023, 6:24 a.m.

Perfect salad for a Spring or Summer day! Delicious!

Layking - July 7, 2023, 7:43 a.m.

Easy and quick to assemble. Amazing taste!

Diana - July 6, 2023, 7:03 p.m.

OMG. This is so good. And the instructions were so easy to follow! Thank you PUL team

Aj Jarrett - July 6, 2023, 12:49 a.m.

This was incredibly tasty and perfect for an after work dinner. We subbed the lentils with chickpeas cause we were out but my partner and I really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to try it again with the lentils!

PUL Team - July 6, 2023, 8:17 a.m.

So happy to hear, Aj, thank you! πŸ˜ƒ

MANONTHEMOON - July 4, 2023, 7:58 p.m.


Silke - June 29, 2023, 5:57 p.m.

Isa - June 28, 2023, 8:12 p.m.

Easy to make and very delicious

Georgie Sargeant - June 27, 2023, 7:12 p.m.

Beautiful and flexible. We all loved this tasty and filling salad. Thank you team!

Martunia - June 1, 2023, 6:52 p.m.

I rediscovered savory couscous thanks to this recipe. Thank you 😊

Kristine - May 22, 2023, 12:41 a.m.

Really easy and hearty salad. I enjoyed it! It’s good as a side or main. I would omit the broth cube if you prefer a less salty tasteβ€” It’s still very tasty without IMO.

PUL Team - May 22, 2023, 5:34 a.m.

So happy to hear, Kristine, thank you πŸ˜ƒ

Sophie - April 21, 2023, 11:30 p.m.

I absolutely love it! I made so many times it already became one of my staples. Perfect dish to make a bigger batch and bring it to lunch for work/school.

PUL Team - April 22, 2023, 6:37 a.m.

We're so thrilled it's being enjoyed, Sophie!

Rebekka - April 15, 2023, 5:13 p.m.

Really quick to make and very tasty, the kids loved it too!

Maryke - April 7, 2023, 4:42 p.m.

Very very nice!

Suz - Feb. 11, 2023, 4:46 p.m.

I made this today for lunch & really enjoyed it. Very easy to throw together & tasty. I made enough for 3 lunches so I will be taking it to work Monday & Tuesday πŸ˜ƒ I was pleased to find a recipe that allowed me to use up pesto & the half cucumber that was in the fridge!

PUL Team - Feb. 11, 2023, 11:42 p.m.

Thank you, Suz, do let us know if you have any other feedback πŸ€—

Rhonda - Feb. 10, 2023, 8:28 p.m.

Our family really loved this recipe. It was delicious. I will be making this again in the near future. Thank you.

PUL Team - Feb. 11, 2023, 2:39 a.m.

Awe it means so much, Rhonda! Happy cooking πŸ€—

Elyse - Jan. 19, 2023, 5:11 p.m.

I just love this recipe! I never thought to combine some of these ingredients I already often have lying around and it's such a good (and tasty) use of these items! It's also been the envy of a few coworkers when I bring leftovers in for lunch:)

PUL Team - Jan. 20, 2023, 7:32 a.m.

Woohoo - so thrilled it's being enjoyed, Elyse, thank you!

Saudamini - Nov. 29, 2022, 8:17 p.m.

Your recipes are the best Sadia. Honestly, your content guides me like a nutritionist would <3 Love love love your recipes. Thanks for putting in so much effort for us <3

PUL Team - Nov. 29, 2022, 10:19 p.m.

Aw thank you, Saudamini, it means so much 😊

Joan - Nov. 17, 2022, 4:54 p.m.

Love to watch your videos and try out your recipes even though I am not totally vegan. At this moment, my couscous is doing it's thing but everything else is ready to go for this delicious looking salad. Perhaps I've missed it but do you post meal plans?

PUL Team - Nov. 19, 2022, 6:21 p.m.

It means so much, Joan, and thank you for the question! We don't have meal plans at the moment, but we're in the works of an exciting project we hope to share soon that might be helpful for meal planning πŸ€—

Teresa Parry - Aug. 18, 2023, 8 a.m.

Ooh!! Intrigued and looking forward to seeing this 🀩πŸ₯ΈπŸ€©

PUL Team - Aug. 19, 2023, 8:34 a.m.

Hehe thanks, Teresa! We launched our iOS mobile app which has features to support meal planning. The Android version is in the works. You can learn more about it here if you're interested: 😊

Lorena - Oct. 10, 2022, 9:12 p.m.

Tried it today and it's so delicious πŸ˜‹

Karen - Sept. 27, 2022, 12:32 p.m.

Serve it with a squeeze of lime juice and a dollop of yoghurt! YUUUM.

PUL Team - Sept. 28, 2022, 8:09 p.m.

πŸ™Œ so glad to hear, Karen!

kc - Sept. 14, 2022, 1:23 p.m.

Amazing platform and healthy recipes , ive watched PUL for years and absolutely love everything it has to offer

PUL Team - Sept. 15, 2022, 7:19 p.m.

Oh it's so appreciated, kc, thank you!

Ratka - Sept. 12, 2022, 11:06 a.m.

So easy, so delicious! Will be a regular in our home!

Pat - Aug. 17, 2022, 5:44 p.m.

While you were off getting married to Robin in Canada ( Congratulations!! πŸŽ‰β€οΈβ€οΈπŸŽ‰)
I was trying out you salad. The family loved it. I ended up using pearl couscous instead to make it a little heartier! Don’t skip the fresh herbs! The pesto is stand alone awesome πŸ‘πŸ»

PUL Team - Aug. 17, 2022, 11 p.m.

Oh, Pat, thank you for the kind words! So glad the salad was enjoyed πŸ’›

Salome van Ingen - Aug. 8, 2022, 6:45 p.m.

I was astonished that it was so quick and EASY to make!❀ beside it is being easy to make, the flavour is also πŸ‘ŒπŸ»Wow! This is definatly my new go-to salad. A new couscous lover roams the earth hahaπŸ₯—

PUL Team - Aug. 10, 2022, 8:14 a.m.

Awe it means so much! Thank you for the glowing feedback, Salome van Ingen 😊

Carol - July 30, 2022, 6:31 p.m.

So tasty and easy! I love thus salad. My new favorite. Thank you so much for sharing ❀️

PUL Team - July 31, 2022, 1:36 a.m.

Thank YOU, Carol!

Guru - July 26, 2022, 9:59 p.m.

This has become my quick lunch recipe rather than buying frozen stuff. Sometimes I add finely chopped baby spinach leaves.

PUL Team - July 28, 2022, 7:20 a.m.

So glad it's being enjoyed, Guru, baby spinach is a lovely idea!

Hannah - July 21, 2022, 12:14 p.m.

I loved this recipe, so simple but so delicious. And perfect for the summer heat.
Really good to have as an alternative to my standard Couscous Salad :D

PUL Team - July 22, 2022, 7:24 a.m.

We appreciate the kind words, Hannah, thank you!

Tracy - July 15, 2022, 2:40 a.m.

This was amazing! I told my family what I was making for dinner and they gave me a weird look and were not looking forward to it. Then they tried it and gobbled it up! I had to make another batch of this deliciousness so they could eat more. Highly recommend!

PUL Team - July 15, 2022, 4:32 a.m.

So happy to hear, Tracy, thank you for taking the time to share!

Brenda - July 2, 2022, 11:53 p.m.

Thanks for such a quick and easy dinner that was perfect for the summer weather. I also used your pesto recipe and the dish was such a delight! My husband, who is not a fan of salads, even came back for seconds (and thirds!).

PUL Team - July 4, 2022, 6:18 p.m.

Mmm sounds delicious, Brenda! It means so much the salad was enjoyed πŸ™‚

Ladybug - June 30, 2022, 1:20 a.m.

Absolutely delicious! Easy and yummy! Thanks for the recipe!❀️

Suluhu - June 26, 2022, 5:49 p.m.

Just made it for a bbq. My mother in law took the leftovers. She's never done that with any food before!

PUL Team - June 27, 2022, 8:02 a.m.

What a lovely compliment, Suluhu! We're so happy it was enjoyed ☺️

Suluhu - Nov. 14, 2022, 2:45 p.m.

Update: I've just eaten it for lunch but I used fonio instead of couscous and it was even deliciouser!

Ε Γ‘rka - June 20, 2022, 1:23 p.m.

I made it when I needed a light lunch and it really was one! I love the combination of these ingredients 😊

PUL Team - June 22, 2022, 3:53 p.m.

So happy to hear, Ε Γ‘rka, thank you!

Elena - June 15, 2022, 2:23 p.m.

quick and healthy lunch idea! I also looove the feta in it

Lisa - June 13, 2022, 11:40 p.m.

This recipe was fresh, easy and delicious. Great to bring along as a side to a summer barbecue. For personal preference, I omitted the olives and chose to include a generous amount of chili flakes to the pesto which adding light kick to this already well balanced flavor. Yum!

PUL Team - June 16, 2022, 2:38 a.m.

Hey Lisa, aw we're glad it was enjoyed! Thanks for sharing the modifications as well πŸ™‚

Romane - June 9, 2022, 10:54 p.m.

It's an easy way to prepare some couscous and veggies ! I like it, it's healthy and tasty :)

PUL Team - June 11, 2022, 5:07 p.m.

Thank you, Romane, do let us know if there's any other feedback πŸ˜ƒ

Maayan - May 28, 2022, 1:46 p.m.

Just prepared this and it is sooooo good! Also added some red onion because why not

PUL Team - May 28, 2022, 10:58 p.m.

Mmm love the added onion! Thank you, Maayan πŸ€—

Catherine - May 23, 2022, 7:42 p.m.

It was very good and quick to put together! My picky daughter loves it too! I didn’t have feta. Also I added leftover cooked asparagus and I used a whole can of lentils which is more than what the recipe called for. Great lunch. I will be making this one again for sure! Thank you!

PUL Team - May 24, 2022, 3:17 a.m.

Mmm sounds lovely, Catherine, we're so happy it was enjoyed!

Elvin - May 22, 2022, 6:31 p.m.

It is very tasty and easy to prepare. I will be taking this recipe as reference and alternate according to what I have in my fridge. Thank you very much!

PUL Team - May 24, 2022, 1:12 a.m.

It means so much, Elvin, thank you!

Sarolta - May 20, 2022, 10:02 a.m.

I really liked the recipe, but I had to use much more pesto and some lemon juice as well because without those it didn't have much taste, even though I used all the herbs too.

PUL Team - May 23, 2022, 1:41 a.m.

Hey Sarolta, thank you for taking the time to share the feedback with us! Did you use the bouillon cube as well? We find a fresh and flavourful pesto is especially helpful in this one aside from the fresh herbs and bouillon cube. We'll note down the feedback in any case though so thank you for contributing to PULs growth πŸ™‚

Charlotte - May 18, 2022, 8:16 p.m.

I swapped the couscous for quinoa as its naturally gluten free and the salad was absolutely delicious! I made the PUL feta for it too which is always a big hit. I can tell this will be a go-to salad to make this summer as it involves someone my favourite things!

PUL Team - May 19, 2022, 1:58 a.m.

Woohoo! Thanks, Charlotte, it means so much πŸ˜ƒ

Rose - May 17, 2022, 4:55 a.m.

Made this for lunch today, was a hit with my omnivore parents. I subbed elbow macaroni for couscous and chickpeas for lentils and it was still tasty.

PUL Team - May 18, 2022, 3:48 a.m.

We're so thrilled it was enjoyed, Rose!

Angela - May 14, 2022, 8:24 a.m.

This looks amazing! I’ve been looking for different ways to make couscous!
Would this last in the fridge for meal prep or would you recommend the ingredients be kept separate from each other until serving?

PUL Team - May 15, 2022, 12:41 a.m.

Hey Angela, we find this one stores best in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. If you can keep at least the cucumber and tomatoes separate, it'll ensure they stay crunchy, but it's definitely not necessary. Enjoy! 😊

Johanna - May 13, 2022, 3:19 p.m.

Can I use amaranth instead of couscous? And how much?

PUL Team - May 14, 2022, 10:44 p.m.

Hey Johanna, yes you can use an alternative grain such as amaranth if desired. Typically around 1 cup amaranth to 1 Β½ cups water for a pilaf like texture is used πŸ™‚