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Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes

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Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes makes a vibrant Spring pasta salad, perfect to bring to a potluck or to serve as a BBQ side dish.

Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad
Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad

Pearl couscous (otherwise known as Isreali couscous) is essentially perfectly round pasta with a delightful chewiness that’s ideal as a base for salads like this one! Here I tossed it with asparagus, tomatoes and lemon juice to make a vibrant Spring pasta salad that is perfect as a main dish or even to make as a side dish if you are grilling for Mother’s Day this weekend! Serve this with a Whole Roasted Chicken, Grilled Salmon Kabobs or Grilled Bourbon Chicken.

Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad

I’m not usually a fan of the taste of whole wheat pasta, but I don’t mind it at all when the pasta is a smaller. Orzo and pearl couscous are all delicious in pasta salads. When I use whole wheat I cook it a few minutes longer than I would if I eat it warm. I just adore it’s pearl shaped texture and also found it to be the perfect shape for my daughter when she started eating solid foods, years ago.

What to serve with Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad

Any protein would be great, here’s a few suggestions:

Meal Prep

This couscous salad can be eaten room temperature or chilled, and leftovers are great the next day for lunch. Refrigerate up to 3 days.

Lemon dressing for couscous saladLemon Asparagus Couscous Salad


Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes

4.86 from 14 votes
Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes makes a vibrant Spring pasta salad, perfect to bring to a potluck or to serve as a BBQ side dish.
Course: Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad
Prep: 5 mins
Total: 30 mins
Yield: 5 servings
Serving Size: 1 generous cup


  • 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.
    steamed aspagus
  • 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.

Last Step:

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Makes 5 1/2 cups.


Serving: 1 generous cup, Calories: 170 kcal, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Protein: 6.5 g, Fat: 4 g, Sodium: 10 mg, Fiber: 5 g


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66 comments on “Lemon Asparagus Couscous Salad with Tomatoes”

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  4. 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!!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. Avatar photo
    Michelle Prieto

    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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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!

    1. I would try chopped red pepper and if you don’t want the crunch, you could use roasted red pepper — either done yourself in the broiler or taken [and rinsed] from a jar. That would add color and the red pepper would work well with both the couscous and the asparagus. In fact, I might try that myself.

  9. 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.

  10. Avatar photo
    Michelle Ricken

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Avatar photo
    Brian and Becky

    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!

  14. 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!