Recipes & Food

Lemon Basil Couscous Salad | Simple, Quick, Easy

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This Lemon Basil Couscous Salad can be made ahead or served immediately. It’s simple to prepare and can be served a side dish or main entree. And it can make a great vegetarian option if you are looking to save time and money!

Simple, Quick and Easy | Lemon Basil Couscous Salad Recipe @

This morning when my alarm went off at 4 am I didn’t want to get out of bed. I mean, like, I seriously didn’t want to get out of bed. 4 hours of sleep just really isn’t enough.

I hit the snooze.

Three times. 

When I finally got up, of course, we had to hurry. Because now we had 30 less minutes to get out the door. As I was pulling out of the driveway at 5:30, long before the sun came up, Hannah’s coach called and said he was feeling sick and wouldn’t be able to give her a lesson today.

That was fine. She was going to skate anyway and needed to practice her programs for the competition in three weeks.

We headed out of town on the 2 1/2 hour drive to Knoxville. About 7:30 we hit stand still traffic on I-75 where there’s never stand still traffic. I knew immediately that this wasn’t rush hour traffic. It had to be an accident.

After sitting in traffic for 30 minutes I pulled off on the first exit I came to and took back roads to the ice rink. And by the time we got there she had 20 minutes of ice time.

20 minutes.

I could have slept in. 

However, once she stepped out onto the ice and I watched and critiqued and watched some more, I was so glad we didn’t skip that morning practice. It’s all worth it. Every moment. Every sacrifice. Every hour of lost sleep.

And this is why I love quick and simple recipes like this Lemon Basil Couscous Salad. Because who has time for long drawn out meals during the week? Not me.

Couscous is a simple, quick dish you can make anytime you only have a few minutes to cook because everyone is either starving or you have to run out the door as quickly as possible.

Couscous is a tiny pasta made from semolina wheat and comes in three forms:

  1. Moroccan Couscous which is the smallest version with tiny little grain like pieces and is steamed for just 5 minutes.
  2. Israeli Couscous {or pearl couscous} which is a little larger than the Moroccan couscous and take a little longer to cook. This is the one we are using today in the Lemon Basil Couscous Salad recipe below.
  3. Lebanese Couscous which is the largest couscous of the three and takes the longest to cook.
Simple, Quick and Easy | Lemon Basil Couscous Salad Recipe @

Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

One of my favorite quick meals is couscous. There are so many ways to make couscous. You’re only limited by your imagination!

Lemon Basil Couscous Salad

Simple, Quick and Easy | Lemon Basil Couscous Salad Recipe @


  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Of Garlic
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Israeli Pearl Couscous
  • 2 Tbs Red Onion
  • 2 Tbs Kalamata Olives, sliced
  • 2 Tbs Feta Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Basil, sliced in thin ribbons



In a mason jar, combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, and salt. Screw on lid and shake well to mix.


Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

Remove from heat, and stir in the couscous.

Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Unlike regular tiny couscous, you’ll probably have unabsorbed water left at the end. Drain it off.

Stir the couscous with a fork to fluff it, and then stir in the dressing, plus the onion and olives.

Let the mixture cool, then stir in the feta and basil.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

I tried adding the basil in after refrigerating 4 hours, and it didn’t taste as good. If you cool the mixture before adding it, the leaves will still look fresh when it’s ready to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 219mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

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