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minty couscous in small bowl in front of larger bowl

Minty Couscous Salad

A simple, yet addictive couscous salad that combines the sweetness of mint with other spices and vegetables. 

Course Salad
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword couscous, currants, dressing, nuts, raisins, vegetables
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Laura



  • 2 cups water About 473 ml
  • 2 cups large kernel "regular" (not Jerusalem or Israeli) couscous About 12 & 1/2 oz/355g
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter 1 oz/28g

Add-Ins for Couscous Salad

  • 2 cups finely diced "hard" such as carrots, colorful peppers, seeded cucumbers (removing the inside membrane and seeds), celery, and radishes About 10 & 1/2 oz/300g
  • 1/2 cup finely diced Italian (flat leaf) parsley About 1 oz/30g
  • 1/2 cup finely diced fresh mint leaves  About 1 oz/30g
  • 1/2 cup currants or raisins About 2&1/2 oz/70g. Currants are smaller than raisins. If you use raisins instead and you're obsessive, cut them.
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed) 2 oz/59 ml or about the juice from half an orange.
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts About 2&1/2 oz/70g. Preferably pistachios or pine nuts (for an especially Middle Eastern taste), or walnuts. You can mix the nuts if you do not have enough of any single variety.
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, green and white parts About 1&1/2 oz/45g


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 oz/59 ml or about the juice from about 1&1/2 lemons.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 2 oz/59 ml
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste



  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium size pot. Add the oil or butter, mix them in and add the couscous. Stir the couscous for 30 seconds as it begins to absorb the water, then cover the pot, remove from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. 
  2. Remove the cover, separate the couscous granules by running a fork over and through them. If necessary break up clumps with your (clean) hands. Set the couscous aside in a large bowl.


  1. First add the diced vegetables and mix them into the couscous, then the parsley, mint, scallions, and chopped nuts and mix again, gently but well.

  2. Heat the orange juice (with water if necessary) until it is warm but not simmering (microwaving is simple and quick), then add the currants or chopped raisins and let them soak until they have absorbed most of the liquid. Add the fruit and liquid to the couscous and mix. 


  1. Mix the spices, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl with a fork or shake them in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour the dressing over the couscous and gently mix it in. 
  2. Let the salad stand for 30 minutes on the counter or refrigerate it to let the flavors blend. Serve with grilled meats, fish, poultry and/or veggies, or as a one-dish lunch.