Pearled Couscous Salad With Wilted Kale, Garlic And Crushed Red Pepper

The next time you’re deciding between rice and pasta, opt for pearl couscous instead! It’s an easy and affordable option that brightens up any dinner table. I prefer pearl couscous to regular couscous because the larger “pearls” (actually balls of toasted semolina) create a more rewarding bite. I used tri-color couscous for this recipe (mostly because I thought it was pretty), but you can use regular pearl couscous if you want.

The best part about this salad is that it’s simple to prepare yet boasts the gourmet essence of garlic, oregano, and basil. A simple red wine vinaigrette blends all the flavors together. Serve the salad as side dish for grilled and roasted meats, fish and poultry, or turn it into a vegetarian main dish by adding grilled tofu and toasted almonds or walnuts.

Recipe: Pearled Couscous Salad With Wilted Kale, Garlic And Crushed Red Pepper

Serves 4 Pearled Couscous Salad With Wilted Kale, Garlic And Crushed Red Pepper

15 min Prep Time

30 min Cook Time

45 min Total Time


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup tri-color pearled couscous, also called pearl couscous, Israeli couscous and maftoul
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 4 cups thinly sliced kale
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes.


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and garlic and cook until the couscous smells nutty and toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, until the couscous is tender. Fold in the kale and stir until wilted.
  2. Transfer the couscous mixture to a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Add the mixture to the couscous and toss to coat. Fold in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled with crushed red pepper flakes sprinkled over top.


Want to prep in advance? This salad can be prepped ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days.