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15 Minute Pizza Couscous Salad

pizza inspired couscous recipe

Pizza Couscous Salad has all my favorite veggie supreme pizza toppings like red and green bell peppers, red onions, black olives and Italian herbs. I add the ingredients to a bowl with warm pearl couscous, some vegan feta cheese and a simple lemon vinaigrette and the result is a vegan pasta salad that tastes like pizza!

pearl couscous, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, olives and lemon dressing

What is Pearl Couscous

Pearl Couscous is not a grain or seed, but a small pasta. It’s typically made with toasted wheat which gives this pasta a lovely chewy texture. Because of its tiny pearl-shaped size, pearl couscous cooks up in just a few minutes and it’s delicious served warm like a man dish or chilled like a pasta salad.

Note: Pearl Couscous is sometimes called Israeli Couscous and it can be found here and in most grocery stores in the pasta or rice section.

How to Cook Pearl Couscous

Each brand will have its own cooking directions, so I always recommend following them for best results, but in general, cooking pearl couscous is just like cooking any other kind of pasta. I typically add 1 1/4 cups of water to a pot and bring it to a boil. Then I add a big pinch of salt and pour in 1 cup of pearl couscous. I reduce the heat and let it simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. When it’s finished, the couscous will be tender and fluffy and water will be completely absorbed.

πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ³ Pro Tip: If you’re not going to be dressing the couscous immediately, I recommend tossing with a splash of olive oil to prevent the pearls from sticking together.

pizza inspired couscous recipe

Pizza Salad Ingredients

  • Pearl Couscous
  • Red and Green Bell Peppers
  • Chickpeas
  • Red Onion
  • Black Olives
  • Vegan Feta Cheese
  • Fresh Basil
  • Dried Italian Herbs
  • Lemon Vinaigrette

How to Make Pizza Couscous Salad in 15 Minutes or Less

Start by cooking the couscous according to the package directions.

πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ³ Pro Tip: To save time, add boiling water from an electric kettle to the pot so you don’t have to wait for the water to boil. I have one that heats water in under one minute and it means never having to wait for water to boil when making pasta or couscous. Such a time saver!

While the couscous cooks, chop the red and green bell peppers, dice the onions and crumble the vegan feta cheese. I use VioLife or Follow Your Heart Vegan Feta to make this recipe.

Then I add chickpeas and the chopped veggies to a bowl (wait to add the cheese until later) and when the pasta is done cooking, add that to the bowl too along with olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of dried Italian herbs.

Toss well, top with the crumbled vegan cheese and enjoy warm or chilled like a pasta salad.

How to Serve Pizza Couscous Salad

  • Serve warm as a main dish (my go-to lunch recently!)
  • Serve chilled as a side dish like a refreshing pasta salad
  • Spread a thick layer of your favorite hummus onto some Romain lettuce boats and spoon the chilled couscous salad on top
  • Spoon over a large mixed green salad (this is good either warm or chilled)
  • Scoop using mini sweet bell peppers that have been deseeded and cut in half

RECIPE FAQS

Can I use brown rice or quinoa in place of pearl couscous in this recipe? Yes! The texture will be a little bit different but still delicious!

What can I use instead of vegan feta cheese? If you can’t find vegan feta, I would opt for a creamy herby cashew based cheese like this one from Miyokos or this one from Treeline. Crumble and use in the same way as you would feta.

How can I add more protein to this meal? Grilled cubes of tofu seasoned with olive oil, garlic powder, paprika and Italian herbs would be delicious on this! You could also top this salad with crispy vegan chicken or even sliced vegan Italian sausage.

MORE SALAD RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE

pearl couscous, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, olives and lemon dressing

15 Minute Pizza Couscous

Nicole Vranjican
A pizza-inspired vegan pasta salad made with Pearl Couscous, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, basil, olives and lemon dressing.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dry pearl couscous also called Israeli Couscous
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 handfuls sliced black olives
  • ΒΌ cup chopped red onion
  • 5 basil leaves chopped
  • β…“ cup crumbled vegan feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Β½ lemon
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Cook the Couscous

  • Cook the couscous according the package directions with 1/4 tsp of the salt.

Prep the Veggies

  • While that cooks, chop the bell peppers, tomatoes, basil and onions and place in a large mixing bowl with the chickpeas and olives.

Assemble

  • When the couscous is tender and fluffy and all of the water has been absorbed it's ready to serve.
    Add the couscous to the mixing bowl with vegan feta cheese, dried Italian herbs, remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and olive oil. Squeeze in the juice of half of a lemon and toss well to combine.
    Top with a few grinds of fresh black pepper and add more salt to taste.
    Serve warm as a main dish or chilled like a pasta salad. More serving suggestions in the post above!
    Enjoy!
Keyword 15 minute meals, chickpeas, dairy free salad dressing, pearl couscous, salad, salad recipes, vegan feta

If you like this recipe please leave a comment and rate this post below! And if you’re on Instagram, tag me in a pic so I can see your recreation! @nikkivegan  

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Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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