14 In Main Courses/ Salads/ Sides

Lentils and Pearl Couscous with Mint

Lentils and Pearl Couscous with Mint

I’m a sucker for one-bowl meals. If I’m going to take the time to cook, why bother making multiple items?

Luckily, this dish is perfectly versatile. It could work as a side to accompany a meal off the grill, or to bring to a summer cookout. It would be delicious served with a variety of summer salads, perhaps to bring on a picnic.

But for me, with a bit of crumbled feta and a side of toast, it’s a light weeknight dinner.

And while it might look unassuming, the flavor combination is perfectly fresh and delicious. It’s simple, but with a bit of complexity from the mint and zesty lemon. And the salty feta was a great compliment to the Mediterranean flavors.

So whether you are a one-bowl proponent or not, this is a wonderful summer salad to add to the repertoire!

What’s your favorite one-bowl meal?

A few of our recent favorites are:
Cajun Bulgur Salad
Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa
Buckwheat Pasta with Chickpeas, Tomatoes and Tahini

Many thanks to Gram, my dear late grandmother, for the lovely bowl!

Lentils and Pearl Couscous with Mint
This dish works best with pearl couscous (also called Israeli couscous), which is larger and has a great texture. If desired, you could substitute with regular couscous or another chewy grain.
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • 1 cup pearl couscous (whole wheat, if possible)
  • 1⅓ cup French lentils
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 6 green onions
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint (thinly sliced)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Feta cheese
What To Do
  1. In a saucepan, bring 1¼ cup water to a boil. Add 1 cup pearl couscous; cover and simmer for about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cool water, and set aside.
  2. Add 1⅓ cups lentils and 4 cups water to a saucepan; bring to a boil and simmer with the top tilted for about 20 minutes until the desired tenderness is reached. Drain, rinse under cool water, and set aside.
  3. Chop the tomatoes into bite-sized chunks. Chop 6 green onions. Thinly slice (chiffonade) the mint. Zest the lemon.
  4. Combine couscous, lentils, tomatoes, green onions, mint, and lemon zest with 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Stir to combine. If desired, serve garnished with crumbled feta cheese.
Inspired by Country Living


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  • Reply
    Snippets of Thyme
    August 18, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I too love these bean salads. I made a cranberry bean/black quinoa salad that my daughter repeatedly asks me to make. I was at a Williams-Sonoma cooking class and really enjoyed our samples of it. It looks very similar to your lovely dish.

    • Reply
      August 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

      That sounds delicious! I’ve never had cranberry beans – I’ll have to give them a try!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Love this idea. It looks like a perfect one-pot, light dinner to me!

  • Reply
    Parsley Sage
    August 19, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Oh yea, big thumbs up. Awesome one-bowl meal :) Love the mint! Buzzed

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Lentils make me think of Spain. :) This looks delicious! I would put it on a salad … I love salads with lots of beans and grains.

  • Reply
    Domestic Deepa
    August 20, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Looks delicious! Love feta with lentil salads – great photo too.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I love one bowl meals too! And I love dishes like this.. Sounds like the perfect dinner or lunch (and love that fork!)

    • Reply
      August 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

      Thank you — and I love the fork too! We’ve been starting to collect interesting silverware – always a fun thing to look for at antique shops :)

  • Reply
    August 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I’m a sucker for one bowl meals too! These flavors are great!

  • Reply
    Josie Lee Suská
    August 22, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Great looking dish! I just made something really similar over at Cumin in the Cupboard…but didn’t have feta on hand. I ended up tossing it with some crisp greens to lighten it up, but the pearl couscous is a great idea to reduce the density of those lentils.

    • Reply
      August 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

      Yes, I had made something similar in the past without the couscous and thought it added nicely. Let us know if you give it a try!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I am a huge fan of one bowl meals. This one looks particularly fresh and wholesome. There’s nothing more perfect than finishing off with a sprinkling of feta cheese :-)

    • Reply
      August 22, 2011 at 11:43 am

      I agree! We’re feta fans too, and it worked perfect with this one!

  • Reply
    Lisa Frank
    May 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I made this for dinner last night and served it over fresh spinach with lemon wedges. Oh my, it was so delicious and fresh! To save time, I used one package of Trader Joe’s pre-cooked refrigerated lentils and it all came together in no time. It was so good, in fact, that I found myself craving it at 11pm and had to sneak back to the fridge…how crazy is that?! :) This will be one of my new go-to recipes–thank you!!

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