Israeli Couscous and Lentils
There are many reasons why I love this recipe and think you will, too. For starters, it’s a dump-everything-in recipe that requires no hands-on cooking. I think that’s reason enough, but I have more reasons to share. Second, it’s hearty enough to feel like a main dish thanks to the protein-packed lentils, but still feels light and refreshing, in part due to the grassy flavor of fresh dill. And finally, this recipe yields a lot of food, so it’s an ideal weekly-meal-prep-with-individual-containers situation. Or if you’re feeling generous, you can bring it to a potluck, summer picnic, or barbecue.

I use French green lentils in this salad (and most lentil-based salads) because they hold their shape during cooking. Typically, there is no need to soak lentils, but soaking them here reduces the cook time to just 3 minutes, allowing you to cook the lentils at the same time as the Israeli couscous.

This is one of those dishes that gets better the next day, as the lentils and couscous will have had a chance to thoroughly absorb the flavors of the vinaigrette and herbs.
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
  • 1cup French green lentilsPuy
  • 1 medium yellow oniondiced
  • 2 redyellow, or orange bell peppers, diced
  • 2 carrotsdiced
  • 6 garlic clovesminced
  • 1cup Israeli or pearl couscous
  • 3 1/2cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2leaves bay
  • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 1/2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1cup fresh dillfinely chopped
  • 1cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsleyfinely chopped
  • 15 pitted green olivessliced
  • 1pint cherry tomatoeshalved or quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Soak the lentils in water to cover for 8 hours or overnight. Drain the lentils.
  2. Place the soaked and drained lentils, onion, bell peppers, carrots, garlic, couscous, vegetable broth, salt, pepper to taste, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs in the Instant Pot and stir well to combine.
  3. Secure the lid and set the Pressure Release to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook setting at high pressure and set the cook time to 3 minutes.
  4. Once the 3-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow an natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  5. Open the pot and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  6. Transfer the couscous-lentil mixture to a large bowl and allow to come to room temperature.
  7. To the couscous-lentil mixture, add the extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, dill, parsley, olives, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as needed, or a splash more vinegar for acidity.