This delicious pearl couscous salad with roasted pumpkin is the perfect fall salad. Easy to make and can be used for either lunch or dinner.

pearl couscous salad with roasted pumpkin

Pearl couscous salad with roasted pumpkin

Growing up I was convinced that pumpkin was something you couldn’t eat. Those big weird and orange things which people used to cut out faces for Halloween. That didn’t seem to be a thing you could really eat right? In those days I had a friend whose parents had a farm and they also had a patch where they grew pumpkins or actually the decorative ones which I’m pretty sure you can’t eat. So I figured all similar pumpkin-like products where the same.

In those days I still lived with my parents and we never ever would have had a pumpkin in the house. Not so weird considering my mothers hatred for cooking. She mostly stuck to safe potatoes, vegetables and a piece of meat.

Something weird like pumpkin would not make it into the kitchen. And thinking back on what we díd eat I don’t get much further as the cauliflower (with one of those disgusting white sauces), green beans, chicory, green peas, carrot, brussels sprouts, kale and macaroni. 

Roasted pumpkin with pearl couscous

When did I find out that you could eat pumpkin? If not mistaken I once was visiting a friend and her mom made us pumpkin soup. No, I didn’t like it at all… Sweet soup… Yuck.. But over the course of time I spend lots of time reading blogs and especially in the US you saw lots of pumpkin pie and that was intriguing to say the least.

To make a long story short: I can’t imagine an autumn or winter without pumpkin. I love pumpkin! I use it a lot in desserts and other sweet dishes but also such as here in a roasted form in this salad. The recipe is adapted a little from a recipe by Jamie Oliver. I added pearl couscous to give it a bit more body and changed the dressing but otherwise it’s the same. 

Making the pearl couscous salad

Making this roast pumpkin salad is super easy to do. You cook the pearl couscous according to package instructions. You can definitely use another type of couscous if you prefer or leave the couscous out and go for quinoa instead for a gluten free option. Once cooked you drain the couscous and add to a large bowl. 

You need about half a pumpkin to roast in the oven, but this obviously depends on the size of your pumpkin but take about 200 g roasted pumpkin per person and you’re good to go. Remember that roasting it will decrease the volume and weight significantly. 400 g pumpkin will end up being 200 grams once roasted.

​Divide the diced pumpkin in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Cooking times vary per type of pumpkin. I used a regular pumpkin for this recipe. Butternut squash is about the same time as well.

After roasting also the hazelnuts and the pumpkin seeds you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Pearl couscous salad with roasted pumpkin

Toss pearl couscous, roasted pumpkin, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds together in a bowl. Now make the dressing in a small bowl. For that you need extra virgin olive oil, balsamico vinegar, lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper. I add the arugula and the crumbled feta at the last minute.

Saving it

Keeping the arugula out will also mean it is easily saved for next day. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge. Also adding some fresh herbs is a great idea, but do that last minute. Right before serving. Fresh mint works really well here

You can finish the salad by adding a little drizzle of olive oil over the top just before serving.

Additions and variations

As usual we also check what additions and variations you can add to this easy recipe for a pearl couscous salad. If you’re a fan of onion you can add a small red onion to the salad as well. Do make sure to cut it into small pieces or alternatively briefly pickle the onion in a bit of vinegar to take the edge off. 

Spring onion is also a great addition and roasted pine nuts is also delicious. 

Instead of the pearl couscous you can also change this to rice or quinoa for a gluten free alternative. Or if you’re a pasta fan it would also be good with orzo for instance (I love orzo!). not everyone is a fan of fruit in their food but if you are you can add some seasonal ingredients like pear or apple to the salad. Or change the nuts into walnuts or any other nuts you like. 

Check here for some other recipes with pumpkin or if you’re a fan of delicious salad why not check out the below:

Roasted pumpkin with pearl couscous

Pearl couscous salad with roasted pumpkin

5 from 1 vote

Perfect for the fall season and a delicious and quick lunch or light dinner
Decorative clock showing preparation time
Prep time 10 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes

2 people


  • 100 gram pearl couscous
  • 1/2 pumpkin roasted in the oven
  • 50 gram feta
  • 50 gram hazelnuts
  • 50 gram pumpkin seeds/ sunflower seeds
  • arugula


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • juice of  1/2 citroen
  • salt
  • pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F) and roast the pumpkin cubes for about 20 minutes.
  • Cook the pearl couscous according to the package instructions, drain and leave to cool.
  • Roast the hazelnuts and the seeds in a dry pan.
  • Put some of the rocket on a plate and add some pieces of pumpkin. Sprinkle some of the pearl couscous over de top and the half of the roasted seeds and nuts.
  • Make the dressing by combining the ingredients  and stir well. Drizzle some over the salad or give separately

Nutrition Information per portion

Calories: 832kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 32g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 1636mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 29059IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 249mg | Iron: 7mg


The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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Simone van den Berg

Food blogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Likes to create healthy and easy recipes for daily use, but also loves the occasional sweet dish. Lives in the Netherlands with her two cats; Humphrey and Buffy. Profession: Food photographer, food blogger, recipe developer and nutritionist