Fresh basil and couscous with sweet corn salad


This loaded green couscous salad is amazing! It comes together fast…and a fresh basil dressing will get rid of socks.

I know that salad can be disappointing at times, but I promise with all the fervor in my soul that it is worth it.

It quickly and easily became one of my all-time favorite salads. I’ve made it four times in the past several weeks and everyone I’ve been forced to eat has declared it too: the best ever.

There is a lot of things going on. It’s packed with delicious and crazy ingredients, and the fresh basil seasoning is next level. But they come together quickly, and most can be made ahead of time!

A white serving bowl with tongs to ladle a serving of loaded green couscous salad

If you follow Si at A Bountiful Kitchen, you already know that she has impeccable taste in food. She happens to be one of my favorite humans on the planet.

The The origins of this power come from her blog. (She gave me permission to publish my slightly modified novel.)

I’m a huge fan of salads that are filled with a lot of characters. This power has it all.

  • Roman
  • dried cranberries
  • Bacon (Bacon!)
  • Couscous (more on that below)
  • Parmesan cheese slices
  • sweet corn
  • roasted pine nuts
  • And the fresh basil sauce that blows all the other dressings out of the water

White platter with romaine lettuce, crezen, bacon, parmesan and fresh basil sauce

Let’s talk about couscous

Couscous is sometimes referred to as a grain, but it is actually similar to pasta.

Ittie Petit is a small pasta. (Israeli couscous is larger, but this recipe calls for smaller Moroccan couscous.)

The beauty of couscous is that it only takes minutes to cook. It’s thin and light and is the perfect addition to this salad, adding texture, character, and flavor.

I use a can of roasted garlic and couscous olive oil (widely available at many grocery stores). flavor! But you can use regular or bagged couscous. I’ve included a working method in the recipe notes.

My best tip for delicious couscous? Cook it in broth instead of water.

Also, do you see those lovely chunks of Parmesan cheese on top of your salad?

Listen, you can dig into your Parmesan block but it just makes you happy. But, if I can sway you to try cutting thin slices with a vegetable peeler, I’ll feel like my work here is done.

If you’ve never shredded Parm like this before, you’ll feel like a rock star And the Eat a restaurant level salad staring you in the face.

White serving bowl with lettuce, bacon, parmesan, cherries and pine nuts

Crazy Delicious Fresh Basil Sauce

A quick note about this silly sauce:

As if the salad ingredients weren’t flavorful enough on their own, this sauce, delightfully heavy on fresh basil, takes it right over the top.

Creamy and light, it can be prepared several days in advance. Just beware of the risks of doing this: It may be gone before you need it for power. It’s very good!

Fresh basil is very necessary for the seasoning. Dried basil or other fresh herbs will not be tasty. It is worth waiting for the fresh basil!

Mixed with fresh basil leaves, salt and pepperPour fresh basil dressing over green couscous salad

Make it a meal… or not

I have served this many times with Grilled chicken. Either side by side or into cubes and tossed in salad.


But it also makes a great side dish for just about any meal, and it’s the perfect salad to bring to a barbecue, barbecue, or a friend’s house for dinner.

This is definitely one of those recipes that will make your life infinitely better. I am so excited to finally show it to you!

White plate with fork, romaine lettuce, croissants, bacon, parmesan cheese and fresh basil sauce.

1 year ago: Fantastic roasted pork and vegetable salad
two years ago: Baked pancakes
Three years ago: 5-Minute Hot Fudge Sauce {Three Flavors!}
Four years ago: Cuban Sandwiches {Slow Cooker or Instant Pot}
Five years ago: White Caramel Pecan + Dark Chocolate Chip Toffee Bar
Six years ago: Spinach, apple and gouda salad with honey mustard dressing
Seven years ago: Vanilla Funfetti Cake {Egg & Dairy Free}
Eight years ago: Grilled chicken with lemon and coconut with coconut rice
Nine years ago: Black Bottom Pudding Pie
Ten years ago: Whipped pork chops {slow cooker}

8 servings

Preparation time:
30 minutes

Cooking time:
15 minutes

extra time:
1 hour

total time:
1 hour 45 minutes

A white serving bowl filled with salad ingredients to prepare the fresh basil couscous salad


Fresh basil dressing:

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (see note)

  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons chopped leeks or green onions

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • pinch of black pepper


  • 5.8 ounce box roasted garlic and olive oil couscous (see note)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth

  • 12-15 cups chopped romaine lettuce (see note)

  • 6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled or chopped

  • 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (thaw frozen corn before use)

  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (see note)

  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts


  1. For dressing: Blend all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until needed. Dressing can be made several days in advance (flavor improves over time).
  2. for power: Make the couscous by putting the chicken broth and olive oil over low heat in a saucepan on the stove. Stir in the couscous and the seasoning box (if using the roasted garlic variety). Cover the pot and leave it for 5-7 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature before using.
  3. In a large serving bowl, add romaine lettuce, refrigerated couscous, cranberries, bacon, cheese, corn, and pine nuts.
  4. Drizzle with the sauce and stir to combine (or serve the dressing on the side).


May: The mayonnaise helps bind the bandage so it doesn’t come off (and therefore not too thin). I often use 1/2 cup mayonnaise, but sometimes I use 1/4 cup mayonnaise + 1/4 cup sour cream.

couscous: If you can’t find roasted garlic couscous or don’t want to use it from a box, you can use loose or packaged (small) Moroccan couscous without any seasoning. Use about 3/4 cup. Bring 1/4 cup chicken broth to a simmer, then add the couscous + 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir, cover and leave for 5 minutes. Turn the couscous in and let it cool completely before using it.

Romaine: You’ll need about 3-4 romaine hearts (like the ones at Costco) or 2 or 2 large romaine heads.

Parmesan: I like to use a vegetable peeler and peel off pieces of Parmesan cheese but it can also be freshly grated (use the large holes of a box grater).

Pine: I use This easy microwave method To toast the pine nuts for this salad.

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Description source: Quoted from Si at galore kitchen (dressing in half and changing ingredients that reduce mayonnaise, substituted few salad ingredients)

Posted on June 7, 2021 by Mel

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