Israeli couscous with tomato and olive sauté

Total Time
23 min
8 min
15 min
Full of color and flavor, this easy side dish is ready in less than 25 minutes from start to finish. Since Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous, is larger than regular couscous, it adds a wonderfully chewy texture to this salad. The darker brown whole-wheat variety offers up extra fiber and nutrients to this wholesome dish. Grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are available year-round, but if you're at a farmers' market look for yellow, black, and zebra cherry tomatoes—interesting varieties you won't find at the supermarket. You’ll need about half a lemon to provide enough fresh zest and juice for this recipe. Be sure to zest the lemon before juicing it.


Uncooked whole wheat Israeli couscous

1 cup(s)

Olive oil

2 tsp


1 medium, chopped


2 clove(s), minced

Grape tomatoes

2 cup(s), or cherry tomatoes, halved

Table salt

¼ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp


33 gm, pitted kalamatas (1/4 cup), halved


cup(s), chopped fresh

Lemon zest

1 tsp, finely grated

Fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp


  1. Cook couscous according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  3. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes soften, about 6 minutes. Add olives and cook, stirring occasionally, just until heated through, about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer couscous to serving bowl. Add tomato mixture, 1/4 cup of basil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with remaining basil. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  5. Per serving: about 2/3 cup