Mediterranean-Inspired Couscous Salad

A taste of summer in a refreshing, protein-packed dish
A close-up of a Mediterranean-inspired couscous salad
Photo courtesy of Kate Hagan

Part of the joy of being a food writer is to explore different cultures' food traditions and test out these ideas with my home grocery budget and locally available ingredients. The turning of the seasons always has me craving some green freshness, but I also enjoy the feeling of being full from a hearty and protein-packed meal. This couscous salad provides my health-focused take on a popular light meal with both Mediterranean- and locally-inspired flavours.

One of the features I love best about this dish is the use of whole wheat couscous. Not only is couscous fast and simple to use for my life as a working mom; this simple substitution also has several health benefits, including being a good source of fibre and helping to prevent blood sugar spikes. As a cook, I enjoy the open flavour profile that allows me to use my preferred spices and flavours.

Pre-seasoned canned chickpeas are my secret ingredient for many a salad or light dish, and I try to never leave my pantry without a can. I use these easy-to-prepare staples plus fresh and clean ingredients for this health-forward and easy summer meal.

Mediterranean-Inspired Couscous Salad


  • 2 c uncooked whole wheat couscous (4 cups prepared)
  • ½ c chopped fresh mint
  • 1 10 oz can chickpeas of choice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ c pistachios, crushed and shelled
  • ½ c feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ c dried currants
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Prepare couscous according to package directions. Let cool and place into a bowl.
  2. Dice bell pepper and mint.
  3. Cut lemon into slices.
  4. Crush pistachios and crumble feta (if needed).
  5. Dump solid ingredients one at a time into cooled couscous. Stir after each addition. 
  6. Pour olive oil and squeeze lemon juice into the salad (to taste). Stir again.
  7. Add fresh mint sprig for garnish. Serve cold or warm.


  • Substitute quinoa for couscous.
  • Use bottled lemon juice or fresh lime for citrus.
  • Swap coloured peppers for different tastes and appeal. Substitute with cucumber.
  • Add fresh parsley for a greener flavour or fresh green onions.
  • Dried cranberries may be used in place of dried currants.


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