Mediterranean Shrimp and Couscous Salad

A 20-minute grain salad that's impressive and even easier than you'd expect.

Mediterranean Shrimp and Couscous Salad
Photo: Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist Christine Keely
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

A great main dish for lunch, dinner, or a potluck, this light and refreshing shrimp salad will become your summer go-to. Pearls of Isreali couscous make an excellent salad base as they absorb the dressing and add texture. Tons of fresh parsley and dill pack in the flavor, while the crumbled feta adds tang. Skewered shrimp are also a breeze to grill, cooking in minutes and are easy to flip and transfer off hot grill grates when on a skewer.

If you can't find Isreali couscous at the grocery store, swap in orzo or another whole grain. In fact, this salad is easy to customize to your tastes; sub in your favorite herbs, use grilled chicken instead of shrimp, or add additional veggies if you'd like. This pasta salad tastes great served cold or at room temperature, and the flavors only intensify if prepared a day in advance.


  • 2 cups uncooked Israeli couscous 

  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest plus 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon) 

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated

  • ¼ tsp. black pepper  

  • ¼ cup, plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided 

  • 1 ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided 

  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined 

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika 

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish 

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish 

  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup) 


  1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high. Add couscous, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain couscous, and rinse with cool water.

  2. Stir together lemon zest and juice, garlic, pepper, 1/4 cup of the oil, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of the salt in a large bowl. Stir into cooked couscous; set aside.

  3. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Sprinkle shrimp with paprika and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 500°F). Drizzle shrimp with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and place shrimp skewers on oiled grates; grill, covered, until charred and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

  4. Stir parsley and dill into couscous mixture. Remove skewers from shrimp, and arrange shrimp over couscous. Top with feta cheese. Garnish with additional parsley and dill, if desired.

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