Pearl Couscous "Tabbouleh"

close up of the recipe, pearl couscous tabbouleh

A lot of people think that couscous is a grain, but it is actually a type of pasta.

Here, pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous, is combined with the herbs and vegetables traditionally found in classic tabbouleh for an unexpected twist.

Pearl couscous has a unique toothsome texture and cooks quickly. Toasting it first in a skillet adds a slightly nutty flavor.

4 Servings

1 cup pearl couscous
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the couscous and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly golden. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, onion, and mint. Add the couscous and stir to combine. In a bowl, combine the oil and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice (or put into a jar and shake well). Drizzle the dressing over the couscous to lightly coat, and stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and additional lemon juice, if desired.

If you can't find ripe tomatoes, use one cup of chopped cherry tomatoes. If you use a 6-ounce box of pearl couscous, follow the package instructions for the amount of liquid needed.