Grain salads are pretty great, they are more filling than a green salad and make a perfect packed lunch or dinner. But quinoa with veggies on repeat can get pretty boring pretty fast. Switching up your grains can make all the difference, and Israeli couscous is a pretty yummy choice. The grains are bigger and chewier than regular couscous, and it’s commonly used in salads or in the place of rice or pasta.

Also known as Jerusalem couscous, pearl couscous or ptitim, this grain is high in dietary fiber. Used in this recipe, it creates a healthier version of pesto pasta. And with the addition of veggies it’s the perfect meal; full of protein and fiber, it’ll be a salad you look forward to eating.

Pesto & Veggie Israeli Couscous Salad

  • Prep Time:5 minutes
  • Cook Time:20 minutes
  • Total Time:25 minutes
  • Servings:3-4
  • Easy


  • 1 1/2 cup Israeli couscous
  • 3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 Red onion
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Bell pepper
  • Chili flakes
  • Step 1

    In a medium pot, bring the couscous and 3 cups of water to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and let cook for about 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender.

    Photo by Nathalie Kent
  • Step 2

    To make the pesto, combine the basil, garlic, cheese, pine nuts, oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a blender until smooth. Set aside

    Photo by Nathalie Kent
  • Step 3

    Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan. Slice the onion and cook for a few minutes, then add the chopped pepper and zucchini as well. Cook until veggies are tender and begin to brown

    Photo by Nathalie Kent
  • Step 4

    To assemble the salad, spread the couscous in a large bowl and mix in the pesto and veggies. Stir well and top with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Enjoy!

    Photo by Nathalie Kent