By Allison Frahn

If you have never had couscous, the best way to explain it is like a marriage of pasta and rice. Because the grains are tiny, it serves well to mix with a variety of ingredients in the form of a salad or can be served on it’s own as a side dish, similar to rice.

This Mediterranean Couscous Salad combines the nutty flavor of the couscous and pine nuts with zesty feta, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and lemons for such a vibrant bite. There are quite a few ingredients, as this dish combines so many flavors, but it is super easy to create. Enjoy!



• 1 cup instant couscous
• 1 cup water
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese crumbles (like Athenos)
• 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
• 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup sliced black olives
• 1 tsp fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
• 1 tsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
• 1 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
• 1/4 tsp dries oregano
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, or to taste


• Toast the pine nuts by arranging them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning. Once done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.

• While the pine nuts are toasting, cook the couscous. Boil 1 cup of water with ¼ tsp. salt. Then add the couscous and cook al dente, according to the package directions. Drain any excess water. Set aside.

• Make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.

• Add the couscous, chickpeas, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, bell pepper, onion, olives, and herbs to the bowl with the dressing. Mix well to combine.

• Put in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to set. Enjoy


(Per serving; recipe serves 6)
255 calories, 7g protein, 33g carbohydrates (3g fiber), 10g fat

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Allison is a five-time IFBB Figure Olympian who has a passion for healthy, yet delicious cooking. Allison owns Alli’s Slim Pickins, Inc., a healthy food and recipe-based company. She is excited to share her years of experience with you and provide healthy recipes that proclaim her slogan: 100% Taste & 0% Guilt.

Want more recipes? Purchase Ali’s recipe e-book here!