overhead of couscous salad with toppings before stirred together, hands holding bowl

israeli couscous salad

  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 43 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegan


This Israeli Couscous Salad recipe with chickpeas brings together flavors of lemon, garlic and cumin with fresh parsley. It’s a fast and healthy side dish salad and naturally vegan so it compliments so many meals!



1 ½ cups Israeli couscous

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup chopped parsley

½ cup toasted sliced almonds or chopped pistachios

¼ cup golden raisins


  1. Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add couscous and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Drain well.
  2. Meanwhile, combine oil and garlic in a small skillet and set over medium high heat. Cook, swirling until the garlic is just starting to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add cumin and swirl for 5 seconds. Immediately pour the hot oil mixture into a large bowl. Add lemon juice, zest and salt.
  3. Add in the couscous and stir to coat. Add chickpeas, parsley, almonds (or pistachios) and raisins and stir to combine. Serve immediately or chill.


For more flavor, you can add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the oil and garlic mixture with the cumin.

If you do not like raisins in savory dishes, you can sub in 1 large ripe tomato, diced.

Make Ahead Instructions

  • After you stir the couscous with the dressing, add the remaining ingredients on top of the bowl, but do not stir it together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then refrigerate. When you are ready to serve it, stir it together.
  • Note: You may need to add a touch more salt if you are serving it cold. That’s because our taste buds are less perceptive to flavors when they are cold. And the couscous will absorb the dressing while it sits, and there will not be enough seasoning for the parsley, chickpeas etc.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 298
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 283 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 8 g

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