Couscous Summer Salad Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Couscous Summer Salad

39 reviews / 4.7 average

Couscous Summer Salad! Spiced couscous, juicy nectarines, crunchy cucumber, avocado, chickpeas, cherries, sweet corn, and mint. It's sunshine in a bowl!

Couscous Summer Salad, because juicy nectarines and avocados and mint and cucumbers and chickpeas and cherries and couscous and fresh sweet corn definitely go together, right? (TRUST! THEY DO.)

You could describe this salad as confusing and delicious and can't-stop-thinking-about-it all rolled into one.

Here's who will especially enjoy this summer dream of a salad:

  • Lazy summer people - and I say this with a lot of love because I GET YOU
  • Healthy-ish people, where you at
  • People who like sweet-leaning salads (think goddess curry chicken salad and similar)
  • People who like to NOT turn on the oven right now
  • People who like anything-you-have-on-hand recipes
  • People who eat juicy nectarines like their life depends on it

If any of these apply to you, you are in for a treat.

A confusing, delicious, can't-stop-thinking-about-it Couscous Summer Salad treat.

Ingredients for couscous summer salad in bowls.

Okay, admittedly, we are working with a high number of chopped ingredients here, which does involve a small but worth-it time commitment.

The good news is that as you chop and sip your lemonade (duh), you will soak your couscous and cherries and spices in some hot broth for a total of, what, like, five minutes?

So... yeah. Lazy summer people unite.

Couscous salad base in a bowl.

Toss, drizzle, taste, drizzle, taste, taste, taste.

And I know it's a short story, but that's really all there is to it.

Couscous summer salad with lemon juice squeezed on top.

This salad is tastefully, texturally, and colorfully busy, which is just the most fun thing right now when all of our produce is so fresh and juicy and crisp.

I think I've made it at least four times in the last two weeks. I couldn't love it more right now.

Couscous summer salad in a bowl.

Dear summer, bringer of Couscous Summer Salads into our lives, WE LOVE YOU!

Couscous summer salad on a plate.
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Couscous summer salad in a bowl.

Couscous Summer Salad

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Couscous Summer Salad! Spiced couscous, juicy nectarines, crunchy cucumber, avocado, chickpeas, cherries, sweet corn, and mint. It's sunshine in a bowl!



Couscous Salad Base:

  • 1 cup couscous (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken or veggie broth, warm
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 pieces of fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 nectarines or peaches, diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup pepitas, sunflower seeds, or something crunchy
  • 2 cups arugula or spinach
  • parsley / mint / basil / any herbs, really
  • lemon juice, honey, olive oil for dressing


  1. Combine couscous, cherries, cumin, coriander, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour warm broth over everything and let stand until the couscous is cooked, about 5 minutes. Let it cool.
  2. Toss everything together and season to taste!


This keeps for about a day as leftovers, although keep in mind that the leftovers will be softer than the day before, obviously. If you want to make this farther in advance for meal prep or something like that, just prep all the elements separately and toss together just before serving.

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: couscous salad, couscous summer salad, summer salad

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our easy summer dinners page. Check it out!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I heard such good things about the awesomeness of Cous Cous. I have to admit that I don’t recall having it a day in life. Now that I see how good it looks in this blog, I may consider it possibly in the near future. Thanks for sharing this Lindsay. 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks wonderful. I don’t enjoy this fine couscous, but I LOVE large, pearl couscous and will give this a try using that. For those who’ve never heard of Pearl Couscous, it’s at Costco, or just Google…YUM!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I made it with pearl couscous since I’m not a fan of the other kind and it was great!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh WOW Lindsay! You have just given me the perfect summer salad, I can’t wait to try it when our Summer arrives, nectarines start showing up here in December. Thanks for another superb recipe.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    whoa, I can safely write that I’ve never seen these ingredients combined before, avocado and nectarines alone is interesting, but mint, chickpeas and cherries? wow, that’s creative, thank you!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    YES to not turning my oven and lazy summer! loving how colorful this salad looks! definitely adding on my to do list.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Making salad recipes can be fun as you can try out different ingredients. Once you know the basic process, you can try various vegetables and spices to give it flavor.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made this for lunch today and it is delicious! I eat gluten-free so I made it with quinoa instead of couscous and I can confirm that quinoa works amazingly well. I especially loved the mint flavor and how it complemented the sweet flavors of the dried fruit and peaches. Thanks for a great recipe!


  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is a good summer salad. There’s a lot of chopping, cutting, rinsing, etc. but once it’s all incorporated it’s really good. I added a swirl of agave nectar instead of honey bc that’s what was right in front of me, omitted the coriander bc I don’t have any on hand, added a swirl of EV Olive oil and lemon juice and I didn’t need to add any more. You can add any herbs really. I added about 10-12 basil leaves and a small handful of parsley and added spinach instead of arugula bc it holds up well. It’s really good! Just wish it would last longer for lunches!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    grilling the corn first would be fantastic. It’ll add time sure, but another pop of taste

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    What do you do with the broth? Not sure what you mean by pour over base ingredients? Cook couscous then pour it over?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi Ellen! Everything in that first “base” list should all be combined in a bowl, including the warm broth. The couscous will cook right in the bowl. I’ve updated the instructions for some more clarity. Hope this helps!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    it looks damm yumy, mouth watering and refreshing. Thnaks for sharing. i will definitely try it.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just made this (replacing the couscous with quinoa) and I AM OBSESSED. Why don’t I put fresh nectarines in all my salads??