Salmon Couscous Salad with Feta Dressing

5 from 21 votes
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Salmon Couscous Salad with cucumbers, herbs, and Feta Dressing. This Mediterranean-inspired salad is nutritious and filling – perfect for easy make-ahead lunches.Salmon couscous salad with feta dressing assembled on a gold serving plate

Much like my 10 Minute Chickpea Tuna Salad, this salmon salad makes weekday meal prep a breeze.

Grain salads are a staple over here, and one of my favorite categories of recipes to develop. The versatility is endless, and they always boast the best mashup of textures and flavors.

This salmon salad is a light, yet filling lineup of flaked salmon, couscous, fresh veggies and herbs, tossed in the most dynamite feta dressing. The dressing itself is double-batch worthy, and one you’ll want to keep on hand.

The salmon is seasoned with my favorite spice blend: Za’atar. This Middle Eastern spice blend typically includes dried herbs, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. The flavor is woodsy, floral, and delightfully nutty. 

How to Make Salmon Couscous Salad

This salad is creamy, crunchy, filling, and oh-so fresh. You’ll love having it on hand for quick + easy snacks and meals.

It’s also easy to switch up using chicken or tuna, if you prefer.

The Ingredientsrecipe ingredients in separate bowls with labels

  • Salmon: You need 1 (12-oz.) fillet of salmon, which can be wild-caught or sustainably farmed. Salmon is an excellent source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Za’atar: A Middle Eastern spice blend that typically includes dried herbs, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. The flavor is woodsy, floral, and delightfully nutty. 
  • Couscous: A quick-cooking grain that adds heft to the salad, while still keeping it light. You may know couscous best for its star role in tabbouleh salad. For a gluten free alternative, use quinoa instead. 
  • Cucumber: I prefer using English cucumbers, which have a softer, more edible skin. You can also use Persian cucumbers, which are smaller, but function much the same. 
  • Red Onion: Shallots will also work here!
  • Herbs: This salmon salad is super herbaceous which 1 full cup of parsley and a hefty amount of fresh dill. The herbs really bring the flavor to life.
  • Feta Dressing: A mix of crumbled feta, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and honey creates the most dynamite dressing. Feel free to double the batch and keep extra on hand to liven up salads throughout the week.

The Directions

Step 1: Cook Couscous

In a medium saucepan, bring water, olive oil, and salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. Let the couscous steam for 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the couscous and break up any clumps. Transfer to a large bowl to slightly cool.Cooked couscous in a medium saucepan

Step 2: Prepare Salmon

You can prepare the salmon one of two ways: under the broiler or on the stovetop:

  • How to Broil Salmon: Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place fillet, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Rub with olive oil, and season with za’atar and salt. Broil to desired degree of doneness, 8 to 10 minutes. 
  • How to Sauté Salmon: Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Rub salmon with olive oil, and season with za’atar and salt. Place salmon, skin side-down, in pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until the flesh turns from translucent to opaque all the way up the sides. Gently flip salmon (usually a fish spatula, ideally), turn off heat, and cook for another 3 minutes, or until fully cooked.

Once the salmon is cooked, let rest for about 5 minutes before using a fork to flake into pieces. Cooked salmon fillet flaked into pieces on a plate

  • How Do I Know When My Salmon is Done?

    • The easiest way to check if your salmon is done is to gently press down on the top of the fillet with a fork or your finger. If the flesh of the salmon easily flakes, or separates along the white lines that run across the fillet, it’s done.
    • Alternatively, you can use a food thermometer and check that the salmon temperature registers at 125-130ºF. 

Step 3: Mix Feta Dressing

In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Stir in feta cheese.Feta dressing being mixed in a pink bowl

Step 4: Assemble Salmon Salad

To the bowl with cooled couscous, add cucumber, red onion, parsley, and dill; toss to combine. Fold in flaked salmon and pour dressing overtop; gently stir to combine. Garnish with extra crumbled feta and/or herbs, if desired. Couscous and herbs being mixed with flaked salmon in a clear mixing bowl

How to Store Salmon Salad

  • To Store. Refrigerate salad in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days. Drizzle with extra olive oil before serving to help moisten the grains.

More Healthy Salmon Recipes to Try

Honey-Harissa Baked Salmon with Dill Rice

5 Ingredient Curried Maple-Mustard Salmon

Salmon Burgers with Lemon-Caper Spread

Firecracker Salmon BowlsAssembled salmon salad with feta dressing on a serving platter

If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 21 votes

Salmon Couscous Salad with Feta Dressing

Salmon Couscous Salad with cucumbers, herbs, and Feta Dressing. This Mediterranean-inspired salad is nutritious and filling - perfect for easy make-ahead lunches.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 5

Equipment

  • Medium Saucepan with Lid
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup uncooked couscous (sub quinoa if making gluten free)
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (12-oz.) fillet salmon, skin-on
  • 2 tsp. za'atar spice
  • 1/2 English cucumber, sliced into coins and then quartered
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup minced red onion

Feta Dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
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Instructions 

  • Prepare Couscous: In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups water, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover with a lid, and remove from heat. Let the couscous steam for 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the couscous and break up any clumps. Transfer to a large bowl to slightly cool.
  • Cook Salmon: Pat salmon dry with a paper towel. Rub with 2 tsp. olive oil, and season with za'atar spice and 1/2 tsp. salt. You can cook salmon one of two ways: under the broiler or on the stovetop:
    Broil Salmon: Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place fillet, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil to desired degree of doneness, 8 to 10 minutes.
    Sauté Salmon: Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Place salmon, skin side-down, in pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until the flesh turns from translucent to opaque all the way up the sides. Gently flip salmon (usually a fish spatula, ideally), turn off heat, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until fully cooked.
    Once the salmon is cooked, let rest for about 5 minutes before using a fork to flake into small pieces.
  • Prepare Feta Dressing: In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Stir in feta cheese.
  • Assemble Salad: To the bowl with cooled couscous, add cucumber, parsley, dill, and red onion; toss well. Add flaked salmon and dressing; gently stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Garnish with extra crumbled feta and/or herbs, if desired.

Notes

To Store. Refrigerate salad in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days. Drizzle with extra olive oil before serving to help moisten the grains, if needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Sodium: 790mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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5 from 21 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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22 Comments

  1. Mary Lowder says:

    5 stars
    This has become my go-to potluck dish. It gets better with a good rest in the refrigerator, dressed, and tastes best at room temperature. So that makes a great dish for transporting. Za’atar is such a yummy spice. I find myself buying it in larger and larger jars. I use regular cucs and lots of fresh dill

  2. Eva says:

    I made this last night- added asparagus & cherry tomatoes to the salad portion as I had some I needed to use. It was just lovely. This will be in our regular rotation!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, my friend!

  3. Elah says:

    5 stars
    This is one of the most DELICIOUS salads I have ever eaten! 😍😋
    Thank you 🫶🏽

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      So happy you enjoy this one, my friend! Thank you for leaving a review!

  4. Jen Zo says:

    5 stars
    Eating the leftovers as we speak and thought I’d leave a review. The perfect, light, bright meal I needed after all the heavy holiday eating. Held up well (dressed) over night. Absolute YUM. Make this recipe!!

  5. Annie says:

    5 stars
    Love the flavors in this one