Rose Colored Couscous, or Israeli Couscous with Beets and Walnuts is a uniquely beautiful and healthy pasta salad!

Even the empty plate was beautiful with this salad.  You’re looking at fresh beet greens and the last few grains of Israeli couscous that have been stained a brilliant fuchsia by roasted beets.  Don’t they look like little berries?

I really like the texture of the large pearls of Israeli style couscous, but you can use regular couscous as well.  Either way they will take on the pretty color from the roasted beets. I add the beets and the lemony vinaigrette while the beets are still warm, and the transformation is almost instantaneous.

This will definitely be a conversation starter at your next gathering.  I found the recipe on a Polish blog, and this salad is an interesting fusion of Polish and Middle Eastern elements.  While Google translate is notoriously imperfect, it was good enough to get me through this simple recipe.

This is a easy, healthy recipe with a big wow factor.

Rose Colored Couscous (Israeli Couscous with Beets and Walnuts)

Yield: serves 5-6 as a side salad


  • 2 cups cooked Israeli couscous (you can use regular couscous)
  • 2 medium beets, roasted (see instructions in the note below)
  • handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • a handful of fresh dill fronds, chopped
  • a handful of good walnuts, roughly chopped
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp za'atar (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon


  1. Chop the beets into a small dice while they are still warm. Toss with the couscous, breaking up any lumps with a fork.
  2. Toss with the herbs and nuts.
  3. Mix the za’atar with the olive oil and lemon juice, and add to the salad. Toss well. Refrigerate for at least an hour or two to allow it to get completely chilled, and for the flavors to mingle. Check the seasonings and serve garnished with a few more nuts and herbs.


To roast the beets, wash them and put them on a dry baking sheet. Roast in a 400F oven until a sharp knife pierces them easily. This might take an hour and a half, or so. When they are cool enough to handle, slip their skins off. Use a serrated vegetable peeler, if necessary.

Za’atar is a common Middle Eastern herb, related to oregano and thyme.  It’s also the name of spice mix made with dried herbs, crushed sesame seeds, and sumac, a dried berry with a tangy, sour flavor.   Za’atar can be hard to find in the US, but you can make your own.  I used this blend:
4 tsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
4 tsp dried marjoram
4 tsp ground sumac
1 tsp sea salt
4 tsp ground cumin

  • Crush everything lightly with a mortar and pestle.
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21 Responses to Rose Colored Couscous ~ Israeli Couscous with Beets and Walnuts

  1. Glenna Williams says:

    I made this today for a ladies bible study brunch. I’m adding the walnuts right before I serve it. I know they will love it. I just hope I can stay out of it so I have enough to serve. It is soooo delicious and one of the prettiest salads I’ve ever made.

    • Sue says:

      I don’t get much feedback on this salad, Glenna, so I’m so glad you took the time to comment, I agree with you, it’s one of the prettiest salads out there, hope the ladies enjoyed it!

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous! It’s amazing how much you can transform a dish with just beet! Thank you for sharing xo

  3. […] Rose Colored Couscous (Israeli Couscous with Beets and Walnuts) is a beautiful and sophisticated dish, but another option would be Couscous-stuffed Red Peppers, or, […]

  4. Rebecca says:

    What a coinkidink! I had that for the first time at the weekend (and for lunch again today) and it was delicious!

  5. this is SO happening for my lunches; SO happening. you just reminded me that i don’t have za’atar right now, so that needs to be fixed pronto.
    gotta love google translate: it makes for some unexpectedly funny afternoons if you’re trying to translate blog recipes, for sure (they said WHAT is in there? REALLY?) :)

  6. Magnolia Verandah says:

    How beautiful does this look.

  7. Chris Scheuer says:

    Oh, this would be so fun for a girls lunch, love it!

  8. Not only is this drop dead gorgeous, it has za’atar, one of my favorite ingredients. Thank you for this!

  9. Kitchen Belleicious says:

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  10. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    why don’t I have this? It is so stunning and so beautiful! Like something from a fairy land. i love it. I love the color and I love the flavor based on the other ingredients. AMAZING

  11. Eileen says:

    OH. I think I need to go get some beets just so I can make this salad! So beautiful and clearly so delicious. And I do have 2/3 of a bunch of dill I need to use…

  12. Kathy says:

    The couscous looks so pretty in pink…very lovely and the salad sounds delicious!

  13. G’day! I have never cooked with Israeli couscous, TRUE!
    Your recipe and dish look STUNNING and I might have to put this on my list to do!
    Cheers! Joanne

  14. I LOVE the color of the couscous. Healthy with all that juice from the roasted beets. Gorgeous photos.

  15. Susan says:

    How beautiful and I am sure, delicious!!

  16. So beautiful, I will try it asap.

  17. Stunning:) Loev it..just have to find the Israeli Couscous.

    Bless Google..but I agree..their translations can lead to huge errors:)

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