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Autumn Pearl Couscous Salad

autumn pearl couscous salad

I have a thing for pearl couscous; I am honestly kind of obsessed with its taste, texture, and overall beauty. Truly looks like pearls that you can eat! This autumn pearl couscous salad is inspired by all these wonderful fall vibes Chicago is currently having. I included flavors reminiscent of Fall in this recipe too like butternut squash, dried cranberries, and pecans.

This Autumn pearl couscous salad is the perfect side dish this time of year with almost anything. I am serving it with salmon tonight but it can go fantastic with steak, chicken, shrimp, or even on its own! I know how much you love my easy salad recipes after all the remakes and positive feedback from my bulgar salad. Therefore, I am so excited to hear what you think of this one once you make it! I forgot to mention, it is so easy too!

Sometimes pearl couscous is difficult to find but not to worry; there are some great replacements. A wonderful gluten free substitute would be quinoa. Orzo is a great pasta that mimics flavor and size of couscous too but if you can get your hands on pearl couscous; that is the best!

I honestly got hooked on pearl couscous when I would frequent Texas De Brazil. They ave a delicious couscous salad with dried cranberries and asparagus. I have been craving it and decided to do an autumn spin on it!

To go along with this delicious salad, I made a zesty vinaigrette! It has olive oil, mustard, honey, and vinegar. You can add as much or as little as you like. I personally love my salads to be well dressed! This vinaigrette will also go fantastic on other salads too so it is definitely one to make and store in your fridge!

autumn pearl couscous salad
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5 from 15 votes

Autumn Pearl Couscous Salad

This is the perfect Fall salad to go with your meals! Think cranberries, squash, and pecans with pearl couscous. It is absolutely delicious.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: autumn salad, couscous, couscous salad, easy salad recipe, fall salad, fall side dish, pearl couscous, salad recipes
Servings: 3 people
Author: Heifa



  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard Dijon works too
  • 2 tbsp Lemon's Juice
  • 2 tbsp Fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Garlic crushed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Couscous Salad

  • 1 cup Pearl Couscous cooked
  • 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/3 cup Pecans
  • 1/4 Red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Kale leaves chopped
  • 1 cup Butternut Squash Pan fried or roasted


  • Combine all the ingredients of the dressing. Shake or stir well. Save extras in an airtight container or jar in the fridge if there are any, Taste and adjust if needed. Some may prefer sweeter or more acidic.
  • Toss the kale first in a spoon of dressing and massage it to make it more tender. Then, add the rest of the salad ingredients with about a 1/3 cup of dressing. How much dressing is up to you! Enjoy this salad cold. It is a great make-ahead meal prep salad to keep in the fridge.


To make this gluten-free, substitute the couscous with quinoa.
To make it vegan, substitute the honey with syrup or agave.
Dressing recipe has been modified slightly from youtube video.

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  1. 5 stars
    We made this recipe for dinner along side some lamb it is perfect! There was only a small bowl of it left for me to have for lunch the next day!

  2. 5 stars
    Ive tried a few recipes from Fufu in the kitchen… her recipes surprise me every-time!
    When she made her autumn salad I had to make it… it was delicious!
    Thank you FUFU!

  3. Wow! I love this recipe. The dressing is so bright ! The flavor combos are delightful and represent the fall so well. I made this salad 4 times already for various events with different family members. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it and I always rave about this website and this recipe I was lucky to get! My family preferred a but less couscous and I Plan to try it with Quinoa for a less caloric option but otherwise 👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾

  4. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING!! Tested it for Thanksgiving and will definitely make it for my whole family! Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Katherine,
      I don’t have much experience using cannelloni beans but I believe it would taste fine in the salad as additional protein.

  5. Can you please clarify what you mean by “1 cup cous cous, cooked” – Does that mean that you measure the 1 cup after the ingredient is cooked and cooled? Usually cous cous is cooked with vegetable stock or something to give it flavor. Do you do that or just use water?

    1. Hi Karen,
      I typically use Bob’s Red Mill Tri-color pearl couscous for this recipe, but any pearl couscous is fine and I cook it according to the package. Typically, it is 1 cup of couscous with 1.5 cups of vegetable stock or water until the couscous is either cooked through or the stock is absorbed. Whatever comes first.

  6. This looks amazing! Wondering about portion sizes- recipe says serves 2, but I’d like to make this as a side for about 12 people. Wondering how big the portion is and if I can get away with not having to sextuple the recipe.

    1. Hi Taylor, great question! To be clear, I meant it is 2 servings as a main meal, but as a side dish it will feed 4-6 people so maybe double or triple the recipe! I hope that is more clear.

  7. Made with but switch the couscous with quinoa and it was a HIT! Everyone loved it! My new go to salad to take to a potluck during the fall season!

    1. Hi Payton,
      Yes, I would! Kale is a tougher green; it wouldn’t wilt as much as lettuce for example but it needs to be massaged beforehand to tenderize as well.

  8. 5 stars
    This was delicious! It’s like Thanksgiving in a bowl. Not the biggest fan of kale so I did parsley instead and really enjoyed it.

    1. Hi Nicky,
      I don’t have much experience working with sourghum but I do hear it is a great substitute for couscous. So, it may work just fine!

  9. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I only had frozen kale, so I sautéed it with garlic/salt/olive oil. I added sautéed mushrooms and half a can of garbanzo beans. Omitted the orange juice. Turned out wonderfully!

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve made this salad a few times now and it’s become my go to for serving guests for a wow factor! I love to add some garlic herb goat cheese with it, too. Thanks so much for creating it!

  11. 5 stars
    This was such a delicious fall salad. I added roasted beets, feta and a bit more kale to it as well. Dressing was perfect!

  12. Hi! Is the one cup of couscous measured before or after cooking? Should I measure out one cup and then cook it or measure after cooking? Thanks!

  13. 5 stars
    Love this! Just made it a 2nd time, for a NYE party side dish. It was delish for another holiday party recently. Both times to compliment a savory meat dish, people loved it! I toast the pecans btw.

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