Roasted Tomato Olive Couscous

5 from 1 vote

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Ready in 20 minutes, the feature ingredients in this roasted tomato olive couscous are antipasti from the olive bar. Since they are already roasted, marinated and cured, you can chop them and stir them into the pearl couscous, and they add incredible flavor along with crumbled feta and fresh herbs. Serve this as a vegetarian main dish or side dish.

Roasted tomato olive pearl couscous in a bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

You can advantage of the convenience of the olive bar. It doesn’t get any better than store-bought ingredients that have a ton of flavor and are ready to be stirred into something to create a meal. That’s why I like to browse the antipasti at the olive bar during every trip to the grocery. They are basically a refrigerated pantry item.

This is a 20-minute recipe with limited prep work. It doesn’t take long to chop the tomatoes, olives and fresh herbs. Then it’s just a matter of cooking the couscous, quickly sautéing the garlic and stirring it all together. 

You can serve this couscous warm, at room temperature or cold like a salad, so it’s great for leftovers and meal prep. It tastes great each way, so it has built in convenience and flexibility which make for more interesting leftovers when you can serve it different ways.

The Ingredients

Ingredient including tomatoes, olives, pearl couscous, feta, garlic, olive oil, herbs and spices.

This is what you need:

  • Pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous, has plump round grains unlike standard couscous with its tiny grains that you have to fluff with a fork once they finish cooking. If you can’t find pearl couscous, you can use orzo, barley or rice instead. Just follow the instructions on the package to cook it. 
  • Tomatoes: Depending on the selection at your olive bar or on antipasti shelves in the Italian food section, you will see sun-dried tomatoes and/or marinated roasted tomatoes. Either one will work. You can even use a mix of both. Take them out of the jar or container with a fork, so you can let the oil drain off before you chop them. These tomatoes are my go-to when it’s not tomato season.
  • Olives: I love Kalamata olives for their soft and meaty texture as well a their distinct taste. You can use other types of green olives. Just make sure they are high quality.
  • Garlic: I mince two garlic cloves and quickly sauté them with dried seasonings to create a base of flavor.
  • Feta: To finish the couscous, I add crumbled feta cheese. You can substitute with goat cheese or even grated parmesan. For vegans, either leave it out out or substitute with a plant, based, dairy-free cheese.
  • Parsley and chives: I like this combo because the chives give you some mild onion flavor along with herby fresh parsley.
  • Olive oil Use high quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best taste.
  • Red pepper flakes, salt & pepper season the couscous.


  • Roasted tomatoes: If you have homemade roasted tomatoes in your fridge, you can use those instead of the olive bar or jarred ones. Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes are best because they will hold their shape when you stir them into the couscous. I have a post on how to oven roast tomatoes.
  • Additional olive bar ingredients: You don’t have to limit it to just tomatoes and olives. Try artichokes or roasted red peppers too. It’s up to you!

How To Make Roasted Tomato & Olive Couscous

1. Make the couscous. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toast the couscous for a couple minutes until it is golden. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the couscous is tender and most of the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Drain any remaining water.

2. Sauté the garlic and seasonings. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Pearl couscous in a pot. Garlic and seasonings sautéing in a skillet.

3. Add the tomatoes and olives. Give them 2-3 minutes to warm, stirring them with the garlic.

4. Stir in the couscous, feta, parsley and chives. Make sure all the ingredients are fully combined and the tomatoes and olives are evenly mixed throughout the couscous.

Tomatoes and olives sautéing in a skillet. Couscous stirred into tomatoes and olives.


As mentioned, you can serve this as a vegetarian side dish or a main dish. It depends on the serving size and what else you are including in the meal. For greens, try pairing it with a simple arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette.

Leftovers & Storage

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Reheat the couscous in the microwave if you want to eat leftovers warm. Remember they are great cold too. Try stirring in arugula and a splash of vinaigrette to eat them like a salad.

Tomato olive couscous on a plate.

Recipe Tips

Don’t overcook the couscous. If the grains are tender, but there is still water in the pot, go ahead and drain the water.

Taste the dish before serving. When you have all the ingredients combined, you may want to give it another seasoning with salt and/or pepper.

Let leftovers cool to room temperature before storing them. This is something you should always do no matter the recipe.

Recipe FAQs

Is pearl couscous pasta?

Yes. Even though we often refer to them as grains, they are not a whole grain. This type of couscous is pasta made with semolina flour.

Is pearl couscous gluten-free?

No. It contains gluten. You can substitute with rice.

More Couscous Recipes

Lemon Tahini Roasted Vegetable Couscous
Snap Pea Couscous
Roasted Delicata Squash Couscous
Grilled Corn Couscous
Harissa Roasted Cauliflower Couscous
Roasted Vegetable Salad

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Roasted Tomato Olive Couscous

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Ready in 20 minutes, this roasted tomato olive couscous has antipasti ingredients from the olive bar plus crumbled feta cheese, garlic and fresh herbs.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups pearl couscous (Israeli couscous)
  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup roughly chopped marinated roasted tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives


  • For the couscous, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toast the couscous stirring until it is golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the couscous is tender and most of the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
  • While the couscous is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Sauté the tomatoes and olives, give them 2-3 minutes until they are warmed.
  • Stir in the couscous, feta, parsley and chives.
  • Taste and season with addition salt and pepper if needed.


You can use additional olive bar ingredients such as artichoke or roasted red pepper.
If you have homemade roasted cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, they are great in this couscous too.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat the couscous in the microwave. You can also enjoy leftovers cold and stir in baby arugula or spinach with a little vinaigrette.


Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 900mg | Potassium: 576mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 657IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: Italian
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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