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+ servings

Instant Pot Pearl Couscous and Lentil Salad

Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 as main or 8 as a side dish
Calories: 510kcal
Author: Nisha Vora


Couscous and Lentils

  • 1 cup French green Puy lentils, soaked for 1-2 hours*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup pearl or Israeli couscous
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs

To Finish

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 small bunch of fresh dill (about 1 cup), finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh Italian-flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 15 pitted green olives, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper


  • Soak the lentils in water to cover for 1-2 hours. Drain the lentils.
  • Place the soaked and drained lentils, onions, 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.
  • 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.
  • Once the 3-minute timer has completed and beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then switch the Pressure Release knob from Sealing to Venting to release any remaining steam.
  • Open the pot and discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  • Transfer the couscous-lentil mixture to a large bowl and allow to come to room temperature.
  • 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.



* In the recipe in my cookbook, I mention you should soak the lentils for 8 hours before using them, but I’ve found that soaking for just 1-2 hours is sufficient. The soaking step is necessary to soften them up, as they get cooked for just 3 minutes in the Instant Pot, which is the ideal cook time for pearl couscous.