5 from 2 votes

Light & Refreshing Cucumber Apricot Couscous Salad

 July 17, 2023

Say hello to the summertime salad of your dreams! My Light & Refreshing Cucumber Apricot Couscous Salad is the ultimate summertime salad, filled with crunchy Persian cucumbers, fresh mint, sweet (and in season) apricots, all atop a bed of Israeli couscous, which is basically pasta. 😉 Plus, it’s all topped off with a cumin vinaigrette that is so delicious, I could drink it. If you’re looking for your new favorite summertime salad recipe, look no further because this is it!

A large bowl of the cucumber apricot salad, sitting on a countertop, with serving spoons sitting inside of the bowl

Friends, the summertime for me is all about salads, and that also includes pasta salads. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love a pasta salad, because it’s the best of both worlds. It has all of the delights of eating pasta, with the nutritional benefits of a salad. And when I find a good pasta salad recipe (like this one) I could truly eat it every day and be totally happy.

In fact, I love this recipe so much, that if I could add just one recipe to my cookbook, LOVE TO EAT, it would be this one. It’s tender and packed with so many of my favorite ingredients: Persian cucumbers, red onion, apricots, mint, and it’s topped off with a cumin vinaigrette that is truly drinkable. If I ever come out with a second cookbook, you can bet this recipe will be in it.

But cookbooks aside, what truly makes this recipe special is the fact that it uses Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous or giant couscous. Unlike Moroccan couscous, which is much smaller and quicker to cook, Israeli couscous needs to be cooked low and slow. However, it is well worth the wait, because it yields the most tender, pasta-like couscous that is truly delicious. I get mine off of Amazon!

All of the ingredients needed to make this salad, laid out on a countertop
To make this salad, you will need the dressing, alongside Israeli couscous, olive oil, Persian cucumbers, red onion, and apricots.

What You Need to Make This Perfect Couscous Salad

  • Israeli Couscous: Did you know that couscous is actually pasta? It’s true! This recipe calls specifically for Israeli couscous, because it’s much bigger than Moroccan couscous.
  • Olive Oil: Good olive oil is my favorite ingredient to use in salads, because it adds a delicious flavor and a dose of healthy fats. You can also use avocado oil, if you prefer, but I love using olive oil.
  • Persian Cucumbers: Persian cucumbers are small and crunchy, making them perfect for salads. You can also use English cucumbers, if you prefer, but I love Persian cucumbers.
  • Red Onion: Sliced red onion is essential to any salad recipe, if you ask me!
  • Apricots: Summertime is peak apricot season, and I can’t get enough of them! They’re sweet, they’re juicy, and when they’re in season, they’re absolutely perfect. My favorite apricots are from Peaches LA, and they’re definitely worth the splurge.
A baking sheet lined with the toasted almonds, sitting next to a cutting board with all of the chopped veggies on it
Prepare your couscous. Then, spread your sliced almonds out on a baking sheet and place them under the broiler for just 1-2 minutes, on high.
  • Mint: A few sprigs of fresh mint add a delicious touch to this salad.
  • Sliced Almonds: I love when salads are fully of crunchy bits, and sliced almonds make for the perfect crunchy bits for this salad! We’ll be placing them under the broiler so they get perfectly toasted and delicious.
  • Red or White Wine Vinegar: You can use either red or white vinegar for this recipe. Both work just as well.
  • Honey: To add the perfect balance of sweetness to this dressing, we will be using honey. Why? Because honey adds sweetness without the extra sugars, making it a healthy alternative to use in this dressing!
  • Cumin: Cumin is one of my favorite seasonings, and I use it in almost everything. It adds the perfect amount of spice that perfectly compliments any recipe.
  • Garlic: I recommend using a fresh garlic clove in your salad dressing. Why? Because it adds the freshest and best flavor!
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper: A little salt and pepper makes for the perfect addition to any salad recipe!

How to Make This Perfect Summertime Salad

To make this salad, start by preparing the couscous: add your couscous, water, and olive oil to a small pot and heat on the stove over medium-high heat. Stir your couscous and bring it to a gentle boil. Then, once the couscous mixture is boiling, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. This should take approximately 14 minutes.

A small bowl, filled with a single serving of the cucumber apricot salad

While the couscous is cooking, wash and chop the cucumbers, red onion, apricots, and mint. Set them aside once done. Next, spread your sliced almonds out on a baking sheet and place them under the broiler for just 1-2 minutes, on high. Watch them carefully, as they can burn very quickly! Once they’re toasted, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool completely.

Then, prepare the dressing by adding all of your dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisking to combine. Finally, once your couscous is done, assemble your salad by adding the couscous to a large bowl, alongside the rest of your ingredients, and toss in the dressing. Serve immediately or store any leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to one week. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A large bowl of the cucumber apricot salad, sitting on a countertop, with serving spoons sitting inside of the bowl
Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free/Vegan

Light & Refreshing Cucumber Apricot Couscous Salad

5 from 2 votes
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
SERVES 4 Servings
Print It Pin It
Say hello to the summertime salad of your dreams! My Light & Refreshing Cucumber Apricot Couscous Salad is the ultimate summertime salad, filled with crunchy Persian cucumbers, fresh mint, sweet (and in season) apricots, all atop a bed of Israeli couscous, which is basically pasta. 😉 Plus, it's all topped off with a cumin vinaigrette that is so delicious, I could drink it. If you're looking for your new favorite summertime salad recipe, look no further because this is it!

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 Cup Israeli Couscous this is also known as pearl couscous or giant couscous
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Persian Cucumbers chopped
  • ½ Red Onion finely diced
  • 4 Apricots chopped
  • 1 Bunch Mint chopped
  • ½ Cup Sliced Almonds toasted

For the Dressing:

  • Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red or White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 Cloves Garlic mashed
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  • To make this salad, start by preparing the couscous: add your couscous, water, and olive oil to a small pot and heat on the stove over medium-high heat.
  • Stir your couscous and bring it to a gentle boil.
  • Then, once the couscous mixture is boiling, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. This should take approximately 14 minutes.
  • While the couscous is cooking, wash and chop the cucumbers, red onion, apricots, and mint. Set them aside once done.
  • Next, spread your sliced almonds out on a baking sheet and place them under the broiler for just 1-2 minutes, on high. Watch them carefully, as they can burn very quickly! Once they're toasted, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool completely.
  • Then, prepare the dressing by adding all of your dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisking to combine.
  • Finally, once your couscous is done, assemble your salad by adding the couscous to a large bowl, alongside the rest of your ingredients, and toss in the dressing.
  • Serve immediately or store any leftovers in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to one week. Enjoy!

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m am currently working full time and in school full time for my masters- I have been working my way through all your salads, since the keep so well for meal prep. This was the star this week!! Keep the salads coming, please.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this wonderful salad a few days ago! A great combination of flavors and the mint with apricot really takes this salad to a new level of deliciousness. I substituted the red onion with pickled white onions I had recently made. Thank you, I’ll be sharing this recipe!

    • I am so thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you so much for making them and for leaving such a kind review!

  3. This salad was amazing! The flavors are perfect!! I used mango instead of apricot b/c that’s what I had but dang girl!!! 5 stars🤩

    • That sounds delicious, Cammy! I am so thrilled you enjoyed this recipe so much. Thank you for your review!