Lentil and Israeli Couscous Salad with Tomatoes

Lentils, Israeli couscous, and tomatoes make this an easy, filling dish. Leftovers can be turned into the best veggie burgers.

Lentils and Israeli couscous is one of my favorite combinations.  It was an accidental discovery one evening when my original dinner plan, to mix lentils and gnocchi, was foiled by the fact that I didn’t have gnocchi.  

But I did have Israeli couscous.  As much as I enjoy the lentil/gnocchi combination, I now use the lentil/Israeli couscous combination so much more.

lentil and israeli couscous salad

Lentil and Israeli Couscous Salad: A Double Dish

Lentils and Israeli couscous is a hard combination to beat.  It’s hearty and filling, and the earthiness of the lentils pairs well with the chewy, slightly nutty flavor of the couscous. 

In this recipe, the combination of lentils and Israeli couscous serves an extra purpose: the binding capabilities of this combination make it possible for leftovers to form the base of my favorite veggie burger dough.  With a few additional ingredients, this easy recipe becomes a whole other dish.

lentil and israeli couscous salad

Lentil and Israeli Couscous Salad: A Time Saver

The time and money saved from the double dinner aspect of this single recipe have quickly made it one of my favorites.  I love that a few additional ingredients and minimal time are all that’s required to check two dinners off my weekly meal plan.

Another time saving component of this recipe is that no sauce or vinaigrette is required.  The olive oil and juices from the tomatoes are enough to infuse the lentils and Israeli couscous with the perfect amount of moisture and flavor.

lentil israeli couscous salad

Make This Lentil and Israeli Couscous Salad!

Next time you’re looking to cut back on work in the kitchen and on the weekly meal plan, make this recipe.

lentil israeli couscous salad

One Thing

This recipe calls for basil chiffonade.  If you’ve never chiffonaded basil, take a look at my easy photo tutorial below. And visit my Amazon store for my favorite cutting board.

Basil Chiffonade
Stack a few basil leaves of the same size on top of each other.
Basil Chiffonade
Now roll them up…
Basil Chiffonade
Until it looks like you’ve got a basil cigar.
Basil Chiffonade
Now chop that cigar into fine, thin “ribbons.”
Basil Chiffonade
And that’s basil chiffonade.
5 from 7 votes

Lentil and Israeli Couscous Salad with Tomatoes

This lentil and Israeli Couscous Salad is an easy, filling dish.  Leftovers can be turned into the best veggie burgers.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Servings: 5
Print Recipe


For the lentils:

  • 1 cup lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion salt

For the tomatoes:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz tomatoes, halved
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced

For the Israeli couscous:

  • 8 oz Israeli couscous
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt

Everything else:

  • 3 Tbsp basil, chiffonade
  • Parmesan, freshly grated, for serving
  • Toasted cashew pieces, for serving


Cook the lentils

  • Place the rinsed lentils, water, garlic powder, and onion salt in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and bring the lentils to a simmer. Simmer for about 35-40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked through but still have a bite to them.
  • Drain any excess water and stir in the salt. Lentils are done.
  • While the lentils cook, prepare the other recipe components.

Cook the tomatoes

  • Add the olive oil, tomatoes, salt, and garlic to a skillet. Turn the heat to medium, and cook for seven minutes. The tomatoes will begin to soften and release their juices.
  • Now turn the heat down to low, add 1 Tbsp basil, and cook the tomatoes for an additional seven minutes.

Cook the Israeli couscous

  • Add the dry Israeli couscous to the skillet with the tomatoes, and mix it in. Toast the couscous over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the couscous is slightly browned. Be sure to toss the couscous with your spatula occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now pour the water over the couscous and tomatoes, add the salt, and stir to combine.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook the couscous until all the water is absorbed, and the couscous is al dente (cooked through, but with a slight bite), about 10 minutes. Stir the couscous and tomatoes with your spatula occasionally during cooking. Couscous and tomatoes are done.

Bring it all together

  • Add the tomatoes and Israeli couscous to the pot with the lentils. Now add the remaining basil to the pot. Stir everything together, taste, and add more salt, if necessary.

Serve and enjoy

  • Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and toasted cashews sprinkled on top of each individual serving. Enjoy!


This dish is vegetarian.
This dish is vegan if you omit the Parmesan.
Make this dish a meal with a salad like this one.
Leftovers of this dish can be turned into veggie burgers.
© Copyright 2024 Vanguard of Hollywood

10 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    This sounds like an easy and healthy recipe, Shannon! I’m not gonna lie, I’ve had lentils before (many times), and they don’t always do it for me. However, mixing them with couscous is an interesting idea. I feel like previous times have always been lentils by themselves, and they’re just a bit boring. There’s nothing boring about the flavors here!!

    1. Thanks David! The Israeli couscous definitely adds some great texture to the lentils. I think the combination would make you a lentil fan!

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