How to cook couscous in a instant pot or pressure cooker? You won’t believe how easy it is to make this couscous salad with Greek flavors.  Its perfect to take on picnics or as a light lunch recipe.

“Couscous: the food is so nice, they named it twice!” ~ From the 2008 movie “Pineapple Express”

This recipe is ready in 10 minutes!

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to make a recipe this quickly!

I don’t know why I don’t make it often, but, I am about to change that.  I am going to make this often because I will never be bored! I can ad a plethora of ingredients with the couscous, changing its flavor each time.

Front view of a white bowl filled with greek couscous sald. Pita bread on the side, olives and lemon rinds in the back
A big bowl of this Greek couscous salad is exactly what you need today.

How to make couscous in instant pot

  1. In the pressure cooker or instant pot, add water, couscous and salt
  2. Mix well and close the lid
  3. For instant pot, choose “pressure cook” option
  4. Set the time to 5 minutes. Make sure “keep warm” is off
  5. Once it’s done cooking, wait for the pressure cooker to open
  6. Transfer couscous to a glass bowl and use a fork to mix it.
Looking for Couscous recipes for meal prep? This easy couscous salad recipe is the perfect light lunch, side dish or take it to a picnic! Vegan Couscous Salad, couscous salad, healthy couscous recipes, easy couscous recipes, Vegetarian Couscous Salad, Mediterranean Salad #vegan #vegetarian #couscous #mealprep #healthy #comfortfood #greek #mediterraneandiet
A close-up look at the best couscous salad recipe

Why pressure cook couscous?

Traditionally, you just need to add hot water to couscous and you are done! No hassle and no need to pull out your pressure cooker.

However, I find it so much easier to cook it in a pressure cooker.

  • First, I don’t have to wait for water to boil!
  • Then, I have to wait for a few minute of soak time before I can use it in a recipe.
  • The couscous come out fluffy and moist. You won’t get this quality from just soaking them
  • The steam makes the couscous light and fluffy

So, the next time you want a quick dinner, cook the Near East couscous instant pot style and you won’t regret it!

Closeup view of a white bowl filled with greek couscous sald. Pita bread on the side, olives and lemon rinds in the back
Can you believe that this couscous recipe will take about 7-10 minutes to make?

For me, it seems more of a hassle to NOT cook it in a pressure cooker.

You will see that cooking couscous in the instant pot couldn’t be easier! It takes 2 ingredients and 5 minutes to make them. You can make a whole batch of it as part of your meal prep.  I made 3 cups of this couscous salad and saved it for the whole week. 

Then, put it into different recipes to make your life easier. I added 1 cup of (affiliate link) Near East Couscous into the pressure cooker. To that, I added 2 cups + 2 Tbsp of water.

I love sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe and in so many recipes. Check out my guide to sun-dried tomatoes and you will be eating it everyday.

Ask me a question

Can couscous be frozen

Couscous is one of those ingredients that can be frozen when cooked and uncooked. You don’t need to freeze an uncooked version. However, if you live in a hot climate, I would suggest you freeze them because they I have seen tiny bugs inside these couscous when left outside in the hot weather.
When couscous is cooked, you should definitely refrigerate it. If you plan to eat them over the course of the month, freeze them in single portions so you can use only what you need.

Is couscous a rice or pasta?

Couscous is part of the pasta family. Its close to spaghetti than rice which means that you cook it in the same way. Couscous cooks much faster than pasta with very little effort. Just add hot water to it and you are good to go.

Can you soak couscous

Yes, couscous is traditionally soaked in warm water for a few minutes. Out of the package, couscous is very dry. Water hydrates it and makes it edible.

How long should couscous be soaked

For one cup of couscous, soak it in warm water for 10 minutes. Then, use a fork to stir the couscous. It will give the couscous a very fluffy texture.

Overhead view of a white bowl filled with greek couscous sald. Pita bread on the side, olives and lemon rinds in the back
Put your favorite Mediterranean ingredients into the cooked couscous salad!

What’s the difference between Israeli, Moroccan and Lebanese couscous?

Moroccan couscous is the tiniest of them all! The grain is ground really finely so that it absorbs the most liquid.  That’s what I used in this Couscous salad recipe and it was perfect because it doesn’t get soggy or dry up quickly.  If you prefer a healthier option, they also come in the (affiliate link) whole wheat variety

Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous is slight bigger than than the Moroccan couscous.  They look like tiny pearls which is why they have that name.  They are often used in salad recipes and served as a side of many meat dishes.  My favorite recipe using pearl couscous is my Mediterranean couscous salad and my edamame couscous salad.

Lebanese couscous is slightly coarse in texture and the largest of the three types.  It can almost be confused with the chick pea because they look similar.   Lebanese couscous adds amazing texture to any recipe you add it into because they are very hearty and filling.

Want more vegan Greek recipes? I have a list of so many vegan Greek recipes that you can make any day of the week.

What’s your favorite couscous variety and your favorite recipe?

Front view of a white bowl filled with greek couscous sald. Pita bread on the side, olives and lemon rinds in the back

Couscous Salad

Simple Greek couscous salad made in the pressure cooker!
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine Greek
Servings 4 People
Calories 562 kcal


For cooking the couscous

For the Greek salad


  • In the pressure cooker or instant pot, add water, couscous and salt
  • Mix well and close the lid
  • For instant pot, choose “pressure cook” option
  • Set the time to 5 minutes. Make sure “keep warm” is off
  • Once it’s done cooking, wait for the pressure cooker to open
  • Transfer couscous to glass bowl
  • Add other ingredients, mix well and serve immediately



– Navy beans are also known as white beans, so, pick either one.  I used canned version of both the chickpeas and navy beans.  Keep about 2 Tbsp of the aquafaba that comes with the navy beans to add to the couscous. 
– Use an herb marinated sun-dried tomatoes for best taste results.  You can add more than what the recipe calls for because they really taste delicious.
– Nutritional information is approximate. 


Serving: 1cupCalories: 562kcal
Keyword best way to cook couscous, how to make couscous, how to make couscous in the pressure cooker
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recipe inspiration

The Greek green olives added a delicious natural saltiness and tang to the recipe.  I used plain olives, but, you can also use pimento stuffed olives.  I used up all of my stuffed pimentos when I made my Ropa Vieja, but, I am sure they would be perfect with couscous too.

This couscous salad has equal parts of chick peas and navy beans.  It might be a little too much legumes in one recipe, but, that doesn’t bother me.  I just loved how delicious they tasted in this recipe.  Recently, chick peas made an appearance on my blog when I paired them with barley in this amazing pilaf recipe.

Its been a while since I used navy beans on my blog.  The first time I made them was in this navy beans salad recipe.  I used them in my vegan dumpling soup too (white beans).  Growing up, we used to eat them in toast and I was never a fan of them.  Now, I have a new found appreciation for them.

The star of this couscous salad recipe is not the couscous though.  Its the fresh tarragon because it adds so much aroma and flavor to this recipe. 

If you don’t have fresh tarragon, its ok to run to the store just to get some! Trust me, you won’t regret it.  Fresh tarragon really makes this recipe and brings all the flavors together.

For the dressing, I went with my all time favorite Lemon vinaigrette.  Its quick and easy.  Instead of making it before hand, I added all the ingredients of the dressing directly into the couscous.  It saves time!

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  1. Wait for the pressure cooker to open? I am baffled by this

    Have been cooking with my Instant Pots for about 5 years and have never seen this instruction…

  2. Oh yay! Another Instant Pot recipe to try! Thanks so much for sharing the different types couscous. Sure helps when I’m roaming around the grocery store deciding which to get! This salad is a great side to any main dish!

  3. This was a HUGE hit with my family, they loved the olives and the sun-dried tomatoes so much… and the agave added just the right balance of sweetness! Definitely making this again!

  4. Oh wow!! I want to buy a pressure cooker just to make this dish! The flavor and colors are incredible! I’ve definitely never had couscous like this!

  5. I love couscous! Can you believeI have never put it in a salad though?? You can bet that is changing after seeing this amazing couscous salad recipe!! Thanks for sharing with me!