Mediterranean Salad

Total Time:
1 hr
20 min
30 min
10 min

6 servings

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-pound) box Israeli couscous (or any small pasta)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Carefully add the stock, and the juice of 1 lemon, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the couscous is tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the couscous.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with the remaining olive oil, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper and let cool.

Once the couscous is room temperature, add the fresh herbs, dried cranberries, and almonds. Toss to combine and serve.

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Pairs Well With
Sauvignon Blanc

Acidic, refreshing white wine

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    151 Reviews
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    Delish and you can sub with Quinoa.
    Super easy recipe and versatile. Nice and light for a summer feast. Yet sweet and tart -- perfect for a turkey dinner. More exotic than rice. More unexpected than pasta.
    One of my favorites. I double the craisins and nuts. I have made it several times and there is never any water to drain off the cous cous so don't worry that you have done something wrong. I like it better when the cous cous is NOT toasted.
    This is amazing! Made it twice in one week--once to go alongside burgers at my in-laws, and again with salmon for dinner company. Everyone went back for seconds and asked for the recipe. The flavors are wonderfully fresh and light, but can even work as a main dish. This is my new go-to recipe for get-togethers.
    Although this was an old recipe that just recently aired it is still one of our favorites. It has such a nice blend of flavors and is such a pretty presentation as well as just good ole delicious. I think it's worth it to find Israeli couscous versus plain couscous. A repeat recipe for sure and is perfect for the summer as a side dish. Highly recommend!
    I have made this recipe a multitude of times. Every time I serve it to guests, they ask for the recipe. It is so versatile - you can make it your own and make it fit with virtually any meal. I love it and appreciate the great recipes Giada shares. Thank you.
    This is a must try recipe! It tasted great and I will definitely make it again!!
    delicious and so easy. now one of my standards
    I've made this recipe several times and it always turns out great. I personally like to make a pesto out of the S+P, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, mint, and basil, using my food processor. If you do make a pesto, you should increase both the basil and mint by an extra 1/4 cup. Otherwise, it's always great to throw in 1 red bell pepper, 1 tomato, 1 cucumber, and some golden raisins (either a mix with the cranberries, or as a substitute.
    I made this entire meal last night and it is excellent! I swapped out the chicken broth for vegetable broth due to my daughter being vegan and she had veggie skewers. It is so clean and delicious tasting. This is a keeper in my recipe box!
    This was a wonderfully light tasting pasta salad. I love crazins so I had to try this dish...I was pleasantly surprised, even my husband said it was good - he usually hates it when I make couscous, usually thinks it tastes like saw dust.
    This has a really yummy freshness to it. I tried to cut the oil but it ended up sticking so I added it back. Not sure that I would put this in the rotation because for us personally it doesn't have enough veg, but I would make again on the right occasion.
    This is one of the best salad recipes ever. I used more lemon juice and zest, my family are lemon lovers. This salad is a real conversation piece when taken to a pot luck. LOVE IT!
    Very Tasty. My husband loves this more than any other couscous recipe I've made. Just made it so I haven't had it the next day but am looking forward to it.
    This is the second time I have made this recipe. The first time I used mint, the second time instead of mint I used Thyme. They both were fantastic. Thanks for the great recipe Giada!
    So easy, fresh and healthy! I agree that it tastes even better the next day. I can't wait to make this for my friends and family!
    This will be added to my "cravings" list! I also added some lime juice to it along with every last drop of juice I could squeeze out of the lemons, super delicious. Tastes even better the next day cold out of the fridge...mmmmmmm mmmmm
    I used quinoa (gluten free. Please, bear w/ me I had to adjust for quantity.  
    I added 2 shallots and parsley with the garlic, used 2 T butter and 1 T olive oil, 1 C quinoa, 2 C chicken stock, 1 lemon juiced and 1 lemon zest, 3 T basil, 1 T mint.  
    Awesome, the lemon added such a fresh flavor. What a great flavor addition to Quinoa. Will make again, like I said the lemon is wonderful, doesn't over power it.
    I can't believe I haven't rated this recipe yet! This is my favorite Food Network recipe--the ingredients are so simple, yet this tastes incredible. Sometimes I use whole wheat orzo instead of couscous and it still tastes great. Leftovers are fantastic-I will take this to lunch for days. Thank you so much for this recipe!
    I make this ALL the time, and whenever I need to adjust flavors for a season, the basic lemon-olive oil flavor works with everything. LOVE this recipe!
    I've made this recipe so many times, I have it committed to memory. The mint and basil are a trademark Giada-fresh-tasting combo and I usually use Orzo pasta instead of the couscous with the same success. This is my go-to recipe for backyard BBQ's if you need to bring a side.
    So very delicious! A bit on the sweeter side so not to everyone's tastes, but I REALLY liked it :
    Will make again and again....really delicious!
    love love love.  
    perfect to make on a sunday and eat for lunches at work. also a knock out as a side. my mom is allergic to gluten so i swapped the couscous for risotto, still awesome.
    Simply I love it and love the story about where it came from
    I love this recipe. I've made it with couscous and with orzo and either one works well. Perfect for a summer gathering and you don't have to worry about keeping it cold because it contains nothing that will spoil in the summer heat. Perfect!
    Nice and fresh!! I did only use half the oil and found it to be perfect, probably due to the fact I always cook Israeli Couscous with a bit more stock and about 15 minutes until all is absorbed and it still has a little bite to it (just my preference). I paired it with her marmaletta sauce over pork loin chops and made some glazed baby carrots & homemade pumpernickel bread!! What a great tasting healthy meal!! :)
    Absolutely love this. Goes with so many things as a side dish and its so simple. Keeps well in the fridge as leftovers for lunch the next day. The only changes I make to the original recipe is less olive oil (only 1/8 cup instead of 1/4 added after cooking couscous), and added a bit more cranberries. I was concerned that that much lemon, mint, and basil would be overpowering, but its not. Its bright, fresh, and light with an excellent balance of flavors. The perfect summer side dish to just about everything.
    I made this tonight and it was just fabulous. So simple yet filled with an abundance of flavor. I used parsley instead of basil and mint as that's what I had on hand and I added in some chickpeas as well and I think it worked just as well. A definite must do side dish for any mediterranean inspired meal.
    Excellent. I add extra lemon juice and craisins because those are my favorite part of the dish. I also agree with an earlier reviewer---toasting the couscous first also makes a difference.
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