This pearl couscous beetroot salad is really easy to make and perfect for those wintery months when we have beetroot in excess. The addition of pepper and salad leaves make the salad so refreshing and the chopped walnuts add a crunchy texture and lots of goodness to the salad. The salad comes with a creamy dressing made of mayonnaise, yogurt, olive oil, vinegar and dill that binds all the ingredients together and makes the salad even more refreshing.
Pearl couscous is otherwise known as israeli couscous or giant couscous and it is a bit bigger than normal couscous that is crushed and very fine. It resembles little round balls and it’s made out of wheat semolina, similar to pasta. It’s great in salads as it’s quite filling, nutty and chewy, but you can find it in other dishes as a replacement of pasta.
Why you should try my recipe
- Very easy to prepare and healthy.
- Perfect for a quick lunch and quite filling.
- You can find substitutions for many of the ingredients.
- Great side dish for your main.
Ingredients & How-to
The ingredients you will need for this pearl couscous and beetroot salad are: beetroots, bell pepper, radishes, green onions, pearl couscous, salad leaves or arugula, walnuts and for the dressing, olive oil, mayonnaise, yogurt, vinegar, dill and salt.
01. I start with the beetroot since it’s going to take some time to cook. I’m using one medium beetroot or a couple of small ones. You could either cut them in big chunks, boil them and then cut them into cubes when they cool down or cut them into cubes from the start and boil them. I usually cut them in big chunks and boil for about 30 minutes or until they are tender but not super soft. If you decide to cut it into cubes in advance, then it should take much less time to boil, so keep an eye on it.
02. Next, I continue with cutting and chopping the rest of the ingredients. I usually have whole walnuts in my pantry, so I take 6-7 and cut them into big chunks with a knife. If you have a bag of chopped walnuts, then that will also work and save you some time. In this case, you could use about ¼ cup of chopped walnuts.
03. I continue with the bell pepper and cut it into cubes after removing any seeds. You could use any color of bell pepper, green, orange, red, whatever you have in your fridge.
04. Then, it’s time for the green onions and the radish. I simply cut the green onions into slices after removing the root part and the radish into thin slices.
05. As for the pearl couscous, I’m adding it to a small pot with water, bring it to boil and leave it to cook for 5-7 minutes according to package instructions. You can do this step towards the end while you wait for the beet to cool down. The pearl couscous is made out of wheat semolina and behaves a lot like pasta. If you cook it well in advance and leave it on the side, then all the little pearls will stick to each other and become one big mass.
06. For the dressing, I mix in a small bowl the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil and salt. Then, I chop finely some dill, around one tablespoon, and add it to the bowl. I mix it all and set it aside.
07. Now that everything is ready, it’s time to put together all the ingredients. In a salad bowl, I add all the chopped vegetables, the salad leaves, walnuts, couscous and drizzle with the dressing. You could use any green salad leaves you like or some arugula (wild rocket) leaves.
- You could substitute the mayonnaise for a vegan one of your choice.
- You could substitute the yogurt with a vegan one, like coconut yogurt.
- You could use walnuts, pecans or cashews.
We usually have this pearl couscous and beetroot salad as a side dish with our main or as a light lunch on its own. It’s quite filling since it has lots of vegetables and the carbs from couscous.
You could store the pearl couscous and beetroot salad in the fridge for the next day but it will get a little bit dry as the couscous will absorb most of the dressing. So, I recommend having it on the same day to fully enjoy it. If you would like to prepare it in advance to save some time then, you could wash and prepare all vegetables and cook the beetroot. Then put everything together in a bowl and the dressing in a separate container. When ready to have the salad, just prepare the couscous, add everything to a bowl and drizzle with the dressing.
How can I make the salad vegan? To make the beetroot and couscous salad vegan, you could replace the mayonnaise with a vegan one and the yogurt with a vegan yogurt like coconut yogurt.
How long does it take for the pearl couscous to cook? You only need 5-7 minutes to cook the pearl couscous. Add some water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Add the couscous and boil for 5-7 minutes, or according to package instructions. Using a fork or a spoon, fluff it up occasionally.
How do I store the beetroot and couscous salad in the fridge? You could store the beetroot and couscous salad in the fridge without the dressing and the couscous for 24 hours in advance. When ready to serve, simply cook the couscous, add it to the bowl and add the dressing.
Watch the video
Pearl Couscous & Beetroot SaladThis pearl couscous and beetroot salad is refreshing from the greens, crunchy from the pepper and walnuts and so filling from the couscous and the beetroot. Full of goodness and vitamins, it will become a favorite salad. It's perfect as a side dish for your main or a light lunch. Enjoy!
- 1 medium size beetroot
- ½ bell pepper
- ¼ cup pearl couscous
- 2-3 green onions
- 1 cup mixed salad leaves or arugula
- 1-2 radishes
- ¼ cup (6-7) walnuts
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon of yogurt
- 1 teaspoon of vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of fresh dill
- Peel the beetroot, cut into big chunks and boil for 30 minutes until soft.
- Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and cut it into small cubes. Clean the green onions and slice them. Same with the radishes, cut them into thin slices.
- Using a chopper or a knife, cut the walnuts into smaller bits but not too fine.
- When the beet is ready, leave it to cool down before cutting it into cubes.
- In another pot, add the pearl couscous and boil for 5-7 minutes or according to package instructions.
- Put everything in a salad bowl, the radishes, peppers, beets, green onions, salad leaves and chopped walnuts.
- For the dressing, mix in a small bowl the mayonnaise, yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, chopped dill and salt.
- Drizzle the salad with the dressing and serve.
- You could use vegan or full fat or light mayonnaise, up to your preference.
- For a dairy free or vegan version, you could substitute the mayonnaise with a vegan one of your choice and the yogurt with coconut yogurt.
- If you are allergic to walnuts, you could replace them with pecans or cashews.
You could cook the beets in advance and store them in the fridge. Then simply cook the couscous and put everything together in just 10-15 minutes and serve.
Nutrition Info (per serving)
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.