You’ll love this easy to make, delicious cranberry orange Israeli couscous and pecan salad, topped with a wonderful homemade orange herb vinaigrette!
Several months ago I discovered “pearl couscous“, or as it is also called “Israeli couscous”. This tiny pasta is called “ptitim” in Israel, and apparently was developed there, back in the 1950’s when rice was scarce. This tiny little pasta is about the size of a pearl, which also helps to explain it’s name.
I had already used this type of couscous in soup, and in another salad. When I found a recipe that closely resembled a salad found at Trader Joes, I saved it to my Pinterest boards. However, I kept “thinking” about making the recipe for a couple weeks, so finally I made my own cranberry orange Israeli couscous!
I made a couple minor changes to the recipe, but found it to be an absolutely EASY and delicious salad to make, in about 15 minutes. Now, we can’t stay out of it (seriously!)… it’s sooo good! Here’s how to make this delicious side dish or salad.
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Toast The Pecans For the Cranberry Orange Israeli Couscous Salad
This step is very easy to do while the couscous is cooking, which will also save you time. Place the chopped pecans (or walnuts) in a dry skillet on medium heat.
Continue to cook and stir occasionally, until you can begin to smell them. Keep an eye on the nuts while they toast, so you don’t burn them! This step usually only takes 3-4 minutes. Remove the pecans from the skillet, and let them cool down.
Cook The Israeli Couscous
To cook the couscous, first bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the couscous to the water, and let it cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the couscous is finished cooking, pour it into a colander and let it drain. Place the drained couscous into a large serving bowl.
Add the chopped green onions and dried cranberries to the couscous. It already looks pretty, with the pop of color, right?
Mix together the ingredients for the orange herb vinaigrette in a small container. I used a measuring cup, and simply blended the vinaigrette with a fork, until fully combined.
Once fully combined, pour the dressing over the warm couscous, green onions and dried cranberries. It is best to add the dressing while the couscous is still warm, because it will absorb more of the dressing. Stir well, to blend the salad and coat everything with the dressing.
Add the chopped pecans or walnuts to the couscous, and stir to combine. OPTIONAL: If you are not going to be serving the cranberry orange Israeli couscous right away, you can wait (if you want) to add the pecans until just before serving, for maximum crunch!
Once all ingredients for the cranberry orange Israeli couscous are blended, cover the salad, and let it chill in the refrigerator. This salad is at it’s very best, flavor-wise, after it has time to chill, and the flavors have really developed.
The Cranberry Orange Israeli Couscous Is Ready To Eat!
When ready to serve, give it a quick stir (to “fluff it up”), then enjoy this amazing tasting side dish or salad! It is absolutely DELICIOUS! We “might” have dipped into it for dinner, lunch, and (*cough, cough*) even breakfast! It is so incredibly GOOD.
There will enough couscous for about 10 servings, so there is plenty to go around! Hooray! Now that we have eaten it all, I guess it’s time to make some more! YUM. Any leftover cranberry orange Israeli couscous salad will keep for several days, if placed in an airtight container, and kept in the fridge.
I really believe you will LOVE this delicious cranberry orange Israeli couscous salad. Once made, it truly was hard to stay out of it! My fork kept wanting just one more taste, and how could I say no to my fork?
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Looking For More Israeli Couscous Recipes?
This versatile “pasta”, called Israeli or “pearl” couscous can be found in a couple other recipes I’ve published on this blog! Be sure to check out these recipes – they are wonderful!
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Recipe Adapted From: http://artisanalfood.blogspot.com/2011/12/israeli-couscous-with-cranberries-and.html
You'll love this easy to make, delicious cranberry orange Israeli couscous and pecan salad, topped with a wonderful homemade orange herb vinaigrette!
- 2 cups Israeli couscous (uncooked)
- 1¼ cups chopped pecans , lightly toasted
- 1¼ cups dried cranberries
- 3 scallions (green onions) , chopped (white and green parts)
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola/grapeseed)
- 1½ Tablespoons white wine vinegar (or champagne vinegar)
- 1 orange (juice and zest)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
Place the chopped pecans (or walnuts) in a dry skillet on medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until you can begin to smell them. Keep an eye on the nuts while they toast, so you don't burn them! This step usually only takes 3-4 minutes (to save time, toast pecans while couscous is cooking). Remove the pecans from the skillet, set aside and let them cool.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add couscous, and let it cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once finished cooking, pour couscous into a colander; let it drain. Place couscous into a large bowl. Add the green onions and cranberries.
Mix together the ingredients for the orange herb vinaigrette in a small container. I used a measuring cup, and simply blended the vinaigrette with a fork, until fully combined. Once combined, pour dressing over warm couscous, green onions and cranberries. Add the dressing while the couscous is still warm, because it will absorb more of the dressing. Stir, to blend the salad.
Add the chopped pecans or walnuts, and stir to combine. Once all ingredients for couscous are blended, cover the salad, and let it chill in the refrigerator. This salad is at it's very best, flavor-wise, after it has time to chill, and the flavors have developed. When ready to serve, give it a quick stir (to "fluff it up"), then enjoy this amazing tasting side dish or salad!
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!