Instant Pot Couscous

Instant Pot Couscous is simple to make, flavorful, and so versatile! This delicious Israeli couscous Instant Pot salad recipe can be served hot or cold, making it a perfect side dish or stand-alone light meal. 


  • Perfect for Make Ahead – Pressure cook this pearled couscous Instant Pot salad up to a day or two in advance for easy meal prep. The cooked couscous will absorb the dressing making it even more flavorful.
  • Fast and Easy – Get this dish from the pantry to the table in less than 30 minutes. 
  • Hot or Cold  – This dish can be eaten cold or served hot for a versatile and simple dish. 

How to make Instant Pot Couscous?


  1. 1 bell pepper finely chopped
  2. ¼ cup fresh dill
  3. ¼ cup green olive sliced
  4. ½ cup chickpeas rinsed and drained
  5. salt and pepper to taste
  6. 1 cup pearl couscous
  7. 1 ¼ cups water
  8. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  9. 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half


  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 whole lemon juiced
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil


  • Add the couscous to the instant pot then stir in the water, oil, salt and pepper until well combined.
  • Close and seal the lid and cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes, followed by a 10-minute natural pressure release.
  • While the couscous cooks, mix the dressing by combining lemon juice, oil, vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl or small jar and whisking or shaking until well mixed.
  • Quick release any remaining pressure, pour the couscous into a strainer and rinse it under cold water.
  • Place the instant pot couscous into a salad bowl with the rest of the ingredients, pour in the dressing and stir to combine.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

NOTES For recipe

  • Mix the dressing in a mason jar. 
  • Replace the water with chicken stock or vegetable stock for a richer flavor. 
  • Rinsing couscous under cool water helps to cool it. If you are serving this salad hot, you can skip this step.
  • Storage – keep in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • There are 8 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.
  • Cut cherry tomatoes in half or into quarters if they are exceptionally large. 
  • Rinse and drain chickpeas before adding to the salad. Chickpeas are sometimes labeled as garbanzo beans. 
  • Saute dry couscous in a bit of butter using the Instant pot sauté function before cooking for a nuttier flavor. 
  • Serve this salad warm or cold. 



There are two main types of couscous that are commonly sold in American grocery stores: Instant couscous and pearl (or Israeli) couscous.

Is couscous gluten-free?

No, couscous is made from wheat and is not gluten-free.

How much couscous should I make per person?

One cup of regular couscous makes about 3 cups of cooked couscous. One cup of pearl couscous makes about 2 cups of cooked pearl couscous.

Is couscous healthier than rice?

Couscous and rice are both healthy and delicious carbohydrate options.

How do I reheat leftovers?

In the microwave is best, for two-three minutes until hot. You also don’t actually need to reheat this to eat it and can have it cold with other additions such as a salad.

How do I store leftovers?

Once cooled to room temperature, in a tightly covered container in the fridge for three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

What is the difference between Israeli and pearl couscous?

Pearl couscous is a larger version Moroccan couscous. Israeli couscous is toasted giving it a
rich nutty flavor.

How can I soften hardened couscous?

If the container your couscous is in is not airtight, sometimes it can dry out a little and harden in the fridge. Simply add a tablespoon of water and microwave on high heat for three minutes and leave aside for five minutes without opening, and it should be soft again.

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