Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes

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Pearl couscous (otherwise known as Isreali couscous) tossed with asparagus, tomatoes and lemon juice make a vibrant Spring pasta salad that is perfect for lunch, as a side dish, or even to make as a side dish if you are grilling for Mother's Day this weekend!

Pearl couscous (otherwise known as Isreali couscous) tossed with asparagus, tomatoes and lemon juice make a vibrant Spring pasta salad that is perfect for lunch, as a side dish, or even to make as a side dish if you are grilling for Mother’s Day this weekend!

I’m not usually a fan of the taste of whole wheat pasta, but I don’t mind it when the pasta is a smaller cut like orzo, angel hair and pearl couscous. Yes, for those of you who’ve never tried pearl couscous, it’s basically pasta and I treat as such. I just adore the pearl shaped texture and also found it as the perfect shape for my daughter when started eating solid foods.
This salad can be eaten room temperature or chilled, and leftovers are great the next day for lunch.
Pearl couscous (otherwise known as Isreali couscous) tossed with asparagus, tomatoes and lemon juice make a vibrant Spring pasta salad that is perfect for lunch, as a side dish, or even to make as a side dish if you are grilling for Mother's Day this weekend!
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5 from 2 votes
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Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes

170 Cals 6.5 Protein 30 Carbs 4 Fats
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 5 servings
COURSE: Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
CUISINE: American
Pearl couscous (otherwise known as Isreali couscous) tossed with asparagus, tomatoes and lemon juice make a vibrant Spring pasta salad that is perfect for lunch, as a side dish, or even to make as a side dish if you are grilling for Mother's Day this weekend!


  • 6 oz whole wheat pearl couscous
  • 3/4 lb thin asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1-1/2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper, to taste


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add asparagus and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove with a large slotted spoon and rinse in a colander in the sink under cold water to stop it from cooking.
  • Add the couscous to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  • Chop the asparagus into small 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Drain the couscous and rinse under cold water, place in a large bowl.
  • Add the chopped asparagus, tomatoes, red onion, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper to the bowl.
  • Taste for salt and pepper and serve room temperature or chilled.


Calories: 170kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 6.5g, Fat: 4g, Sodium: 10mg, Fiber: 5g
Keywords: Under 30 Minutes, Vegetarian Meals

Makes 5 1/2 cups.

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  1. Just delicious! Made recipe as it is written. Served as a side for a luncheon. This salad got better each day.
    Easy. Fresh tasting. Pretty too!

  2. So easy and delicious! Tasted even better the next day. Will definitely make it again!

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  5. I had never made cous cous before this recipe and now I love it. this is my favorite summer salad, which I pair with either grilled chicken or 2 drumsticks as a meal-prepped work lunch!

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  10. This is one of my favorites. Starting the 21 day fix. Have you converted your recipes to container sizes for this program before?

  11. Delicious. Realized last minute didn’t have the couscous on hand. Used orzo instead. 

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  15. I made this with basil and herb cous cous. It wasn’t whole grain unfortunately and the flavoring probably added calories but it was delicious!!! And the box was only 5 oz. To make up for it, I also skipped the olive oil as the flavored cous cous had a good texture for adding veggies. This is my new fave lunch!!

  16. There is really nothing to this salad but boy is it tasty! I used all the ingredients listed except olive oil ( I am on WW) and it was still very good. My husband is the master at spicing things up to make them taste better so I asked him to taste it to see what it was missing and he said “Nothing, this is really good!” I felt proud 🙂 I chilled it in the fridge for about an hour and I tasted it before and after the fridge and I do have to say chilling it makes the flavors come out more. Great dish to bring to parties!

  17. Oh my… I made this last night (to go alongside your creamy zucchini soup!) and it is to die for. Incredibly easy to make, and so fresh tasting! I love the lemon flavor and the texture of the couscous. My grocery store only had regular (not whole wheat) but the calorie count appears to be the same. Thanks for another total winner!

  18. This was such a great recipe. It was delicious. Will definitely make it again.

  19. Hi. How far ahead can this be made? 1 day? I'd love to make it for a dinner party but have never used couscous before. I'm not sure how it will handle being prepared ahead of time. Thanks.

    • I'm not an expert but I made it Tuesday night and had some today and it was delicious! It should be good for a few days at the least, esp if you use the pearled couscous since it's bigger and won't crumble.

  20. What would be a substitution for tomatoes? I sometimes have an allergic reaction to too much acidity…and I'm a little weary of tomato's and lemon juice in the same dish. Any suggestions? I do love the colorfulness of this dish with the tomatoes though!

  21. Very tasty! I also added the zest from my lemons, and I loved the intense citrus flavor. This is precisely the type of thing I like to make ahead and take to work for lunch…filling, healthy, and tastes great. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  22. Is there anything I can use instead of asparagus? And what about adding some cilantro.

  23. Hi Gina: Is the 6oz of Pearled Couscous before or after it is cooked.

  24. Can this be made the night before or does it need to be made the day of? I've never really cooked with couscous, so I don't want it to turn.

  25. just made this to take for lunch tomorrow! and its delish! I also used the garlic herb kind of couscous and it works with the rest of the ingredients.

  26. Is it ok to make ahead with dressing added or should I wait on dr easing

  27. Mnham!

    O Caldeirão e a Colher de Pau

  28. Made this for a side dish last night. Everybody loved it. Very light and refreshing. Will be making weekly for the summer months. Thanks for the great recipe Gina.

  29. Made this for dinner, but I substituted orzo pasta for the couscous since I couldn't find any. It was still light, fresh, and so delicious!

  30. Made this yesterday for Mother's Day luncheon. Everyone loved it. Only variation, I used a Tri-Color Pear Couscous – it made a lovely presentation. I made a lot so I could have leftovers for lunch today & adding a bit of Feta. Thanks for a great recipe!

  31. This was Great! Thanks so much.

  32. this looks great

  33. How much Quinoa have you/would you use. Surely not 6 ounces. Coucous is much heavier.

  34. This was really good. MH is not a fan of couscous or quinoa (texture issue) but he enjoyed this. Lol. Next time I will try it with farro.

  35. I am actually making this for a Mothers Day party at a friends house, but will be using quinoa in place of couscous since a few people maintain gluten-free diets. I think it will be delicious!

  36. Gina,

    My boyfriend despises onions of all varieties, including shallots and chives… Is there anything else that you could recommend which would be similar to use in recipes such as this- or is the only option just to always completely omit one ingredient?


    • My mother is the same way with onions. My hubby doesn't like cilantro or tomatoes. It's unfathomable, but I just try and make a little bit their way and then add the good stuff for me. OR put it aside in a separate bowl for individual servings. Oh bother!

    • I'm not a fan of onions either. I either use a fine grater and grate the onions in(because I don't like to find pieces) or I sub crushed garlic in most recipes.

  37. Sounds delicious!


  38. this looks like corn would work as well – fresh off the cobb. Yum!

  39. Looks soooo good!

  40. Pretty and yummy bowl of deliciousness!

  41. I forgot to mention I also buy a 3 lb bag of Roland Farro from Amazon – much cheaper than TJ's or WF

  42. I bought the Osem Israeli couscous on Amazon – very reasonable! Can't wait to make this recipe!!

  43. yum! I love pearl couscous and this is such a delicious and springy recipe.

  44. I can't eat cous cous due to Celiac disease 🙁 Could I replace the cous couse with quinoa? Would I need to adjust the other ingredients if I did that?

  45. Picking up asparagas tomorrow! Could I use regular whole wheat cous cous? Does it change the points?

  46. This looks fabulous great Spring Summer dish…thank you for sharing it……..with love Janice

  47. Yum! This is definitely what I'm making to bring to our families bbq to celebrate MY first mothers day as a momma 🙂

  48. Hi Gina, I love pearl couscous (and your blog!!) but can't find it in my neighborhood. Can you tell me what stores sell it? Also, will the points be different if I don't use the wheat version?

    • They sell it in my supermarket near the rice, but the whole wheat version I get at Wild By Nature which is more of an organic upscale supermarket, like a whole foods. If not, you can use whole wheat orzo, the brand is Rice Selects.

    • I went to a Middle Eastern grocery store and asked them to point out what I needed. Look at their spices while you are in there–probably fresher and you get more for your buck.

  49. lovely lovely spring salad!


  50. This looks like a perfect spring/summer salad! Can't wait to make it!