Greek Couscous Salad

Mmm! Grain salads.

Grain salads are seriously some of my favorite recipe. Toss some fiber-filled grain with a ton of veggies, some tasty dressing, and I am a happy camper!

Mix It Up!

The best part about this salad, or any grain salad, is that they are SO easy to make your own. You can personalize this recipe based on your taste preferences or nutrition needs. After all, a renal diet is different for everyone.

Don’t love cucumber? Swap it for some green bell pepper.

Don’t have couscous on hand? Swap it for quinoa.

You get the idea.

How to Serve Greek Couscous Salad

All By Itself

This recipe can be a wonderful low protein entrée all by itself! This low protein option is great for people with advanced kidney disease who need to follow a very low protein diet. I recommend increasing the portion to 2 cups to make sure you get enough energy.

Plant Based Meal

If you need some extra protein, top it with your favorite kind! For a plant based protein option, add a can of low sodium garbanzo or other type of bean.

Or, top it with some baked or pan-fried tofu. Boiled lentils would also be a tasty addition.

With Animal Protein

Or, top this salad with some grilled shrimp, salmon or chicken. Yum!

Happy Eating!


Greek Couscous Salad

Fresh cucumber, tomato and herbs tossed with pearl couscous, feta cheese and a lemony garlicky vinaigrette
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: pearl couscous salad
Servings: 8 cup
Calories: 301kcal


  • 1 1/2 cup Israeli pearl couscous
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 large cucumber chopped
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives halved
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbled


  • Cook the couscous. In a medium saucepot, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Add couscous and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered for about 10 minutes, until couscous is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff cooked couscous with a fork. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile, make dressing. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, oregano, pepper and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Combine cooked and cooled couscous with dressing and remaining ingredients. Mix and enjoy!


Nutrition Facts (per 1 cup): 262 calories, 12g fat, 3g saturated fat, 8mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 15g carbohydrate, 0g added sugar, 8g protein, 207mg sodium, 88mg calcium, 335mg potassium, 133mg phosphorus, 13mg oxalate

16 thoughts on “Greek Couscous Salad”

  1. Hi Melanie, good to know that orzo can be substituted although I never had couscous before. I’m also wondering if bulgar wheat can also be substituted. Love having salad meals so thank you for this recipe.

  2. Nice recipe; it would be helpful if you included carbs on your nutrition breakdown for completeness, since those of us to watch our macros would want to know how to balance this- and given that the cous cous is not whole wheat, it would be good to know this for this and all your very reasonable recipes.! TY for all you do for the community.

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, FAND

      I actually DO include carbohydrate amounts in the recipes – but this recipe was missing the information. It has been updated!

  3. I’m going to try this. I should have about 50mg of protein based on my weight so if I double this as you mention, is that too much protein at one time?

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Not necessarily! It really just depends on what else you eat during the rest of the day. There isn’t a limit on how much protein you should eat at one sitting – just your daily total!

  4. Thank you for all the recipes. What I need to know could Orzo be used instead of couscous I do not care for couscous and how would do to the nutritional value

  5. Love this recipe! Can you share the best type of water to drink with kidney disease? If a home has a water softener, the water is “softened” with salt. Is this water bad to drink for people with kidney issues?

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Teri! Thank you! I love this recipe as well. Honestly, plain old tap water is completely fine for most people with kidney disease. Even if your water is softened, the amount of sodium that gets added is minimal. BUT, if your water is VERY hard, a decent amount of sodium may be added – the harder your water, the most sodium gets added. I actually wrote this article about hard water and kidney stones, but it should help explain how much sodium gets added to your water and how to check for it!

  6. Hi Melanie, I love that I found this website! My father has been battling complications with his kidneys for the last year. I just found out that he is supposed to be in a renal diet and I have no idea what that means. I love the look of this salad, but it calls for tomatoes…I thought that was one of the foods he should avoid??

    1. Melanie Betz MS, RD, CSR, CSG

      Hi Kristin! Thank you so much! It is REALLY important to know that a “renal diet” is really different for everyone. Tomatoes are sometimes put on “no” lists for kidney health, because they have a bit more potassium in them than other fruits/veggies. BUT, not everyone needs to limit potassium (for some, potassium is even very good!), and even if you do, it is all about portion size. Here is my overview article of what a renal diet is and how it is different that might help!

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