This recipe is delicious, easy, and simple to make. Tomato Basil Couscous Salad comes together in 15 minutes or less!
My Tomato Basil Couscous Salad is a great way to liven up any meal. Simple to make and full of flavor, your family will love it!
Let’s get right into it. What is couscous? Is it rice? A pasta? A grain? I get this question a lot from novice cooks. Long story short: it is a pasta of sorts.
Couscous is tiny granules of semolina made from durum wheat rolled in flour. When you bite into it, you get a very distinct texture from all those little pieces of al dente pasta. Pretty neat, isn’t it?
As it is cooking, it absorbs the water and plumps up. Some simply soak it in hot water, some steam it, and some have their own methods of getting it to the table.
One of the cons of couscous is that it is pretty bland. Some might say, flavorless. The good news is, I think of it more like a blank canvas waiting to be painted by you, the cook. Tomato Basil Couscous Salad is a perfect example.
Ditch the water altogether. I prefer to use chicken stock or a broth of some sort as my base. It adds a good base layer of flavor to the couscous and then allows you to add an infinite number of add-ins once it is fully cooked.
I make mine by bringing my stock or broth to a boil. Add a bit of olive oil and butter to for richness. Take the pot off the heat, add in your couscous, cover and let it sit for 5 minutes or so.
When you uncover the pot, simply fluff it with a fork and then gently fold in your extras. If you don’t want to follow this recipe, grab any leftover veggies or meats with complimenting flavors and fold them in.
My Tomato Basil Couscous Salad came to me while I was making my Parmesan Chicken. I wanted a side dish that had a bit of heft but didn’t want a heavy pasta.
Next came the raid through the fridge and pantry for things that would be tasty together. I had couscous, basil, some garlic, pine nuts, and sun-dried tomatoes. Easy enough!
And for those of you who have not cooked with couscous before, fear not. You do not need to rinse it as you would rice before cooking it and it is a very, very forgiving dish. Plus, it is fast and easy and we all love a good time saver.
While it is a short extra step, I highly recommend taking the time to toast your pine nuts before adding to the mixture. The natural oils and flavors are so much more robust and delicious with a light toasting.
If you loved this Tomato Basil Couscous Salad recipe, check out these other easy side dish ideas:
- Lonesome Dove Burnt Carrots
- Copycat P.F. Changs Spicy Green Beans
- Red Wine Vinegar Broccolini
- Cast Iron Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon
Tomato Basil Couscous Salad Recipe
- 1 heaping cup couscous
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
- In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth and olive oil to a low boil.
- As soon as the water comes to a low boil, remove from heat and add couscous. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid and fluff with a fork. Add basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and pine nuts. Fluff again. Cover for an additional 3 minutes.
- Serve warm and enjoy your Tomato Basil Couscous Salad!
Couscous is so light and fluffy! I love the Italian flavors you added!
Couple of months ago I purchased a bag of couscous. I still haven’t done anything with it. I think I fear I just wont like it.
This looks really good. I have actually never tried Couscous before.
Wow. I will have to try this. I have not heard of it.
It’s been a while since I had couscous. Thanks for the recipe!
I’ve never tried Couscous before but I keep hearing about it, so I guess it’s time to head to the store and grab some huh? Thanks for sharing!
I have never heard of couscous. Sounds like something I would like to try. 🙂
I love couscous, but it’s hard to get my kids to eat it. Maybe it’s the consistency? I would love this recipe though!
I liked reading the recipe. Even more I liked your definition of what couscous is and how it is made.
Couscous is the best! I love that stuff. I’m going to give this recipe a try.
I’ve never attempted to make couscous before. It looks and sounds really good!
This sounds delicious. I’d love to give it a try on my family for dinner one night soon.
I just had pine nut couscous for dinner this week. My family loved it.
I love couscous, and it would be so amazing with sundried tomatoes and spinach as well. What a great recipe 🙂
Great recipe i have wanted to find a good couscous recipe to try. Thanks for sharing.
i like couscous but hate the clean up. I like adding cheese and lots of pepper to mine
This sounds really good. Bookmarking for sure!
I’e never tried couscous but it looks simple enough. I will have to try making this, I’m always looking for new recipes.
I absolutely love couscous. My son loves it too, so we eat it fairly often. I’ve never considered adding pine nuts to ours. (I usually add spinach and garlic.)
I have never had couscous before and I am not entirely sure I know what it is. It sounds good, though.