Pearl Couscous Salad with Corn and Bacon – serve this flavor-packed salad hot or cold as a main dish or as a side dish. This salad is perfect as a make-ahead dish.
I love corn and bacon, and salads are the perfect vehicle for these two ingredients. The sweetness of the corn pairs so well with the smoky saltiness of the bacon. I packed tons of flavor and texture in this salad and added a creamy, smoky dressing.
This salad is so versatile. It’s delicious served warm, but you can also serve this cold which makes it a perfect make-ahead recipe. You can meal prep this over the weekend and enjoy for lunch during the week.
- pearl (Israeli) couscous
- sweet bell peppers
- smoked paprika
- fresh lime juice
Tips for preparing
- Pearl couscous resembles small beads of pasta. You can easily substitute orzo if desired.
- Rinse the couscous after draining to prevent the salad from clumping.
- I prefer thick-cut bacon for its meaty texture. Use your favorite variety of bacon.
- I like to cook the bacon in a skillet so I can use some of the bacon drippings to saute the corn. Added flavor! I used frozen corn but fresh corn can be used also. Fresh corn on the cob can be charred on the grill (in place of sauteing) if desired.
- I added red and orange bell peppers to this salad, but any variety of bell peppers that you like can be used.
Can I serve this salad warm?
Yes, I love eating this salad warm. To serve the salad warm, toss with half of the dressing and serve the remaining dressing on the side. Alternatively, to serve the salad cold, toss the salad with half of the dressing. Since the salad will absorb the dressing as it sits, add the remaining dressing before serving.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Absolutely. This salad is a perfect make-ahead and meal prep recipe. When making, toss the salad with half of the dressing. Then, when ready to serve, add the remaining dressing.
Similar salad recipes to try
- Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad
- Greek Orzo Salad
- Greek Chickpea Salad
- Farro Pea and Romano Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
- Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Corn, Bacon, and Avocado
- Corn and Black Bean Salad with Avocado and Cilantro
This versatile salad can be served hot or cold, as a main dish or alongside meat or fish.
- 1 1/2 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous uncooked
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 1/2 cups corn fresh or frozen
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 4 scallions chopped
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 limes, juiced
- black pepper for seasoning to taste
Cook the couscous according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Add to a large mixing bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon until brown and chewy-crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Chop and add to the couscous.
Drain all but 2 teaspoons of the bacon drippings from the skillet. Add the corn and saute over medium heat until slightly charred. Season to taste with black pepper (2-3 twists of the pepper grinder). Add the corn to the mixing bowl.
Add the peppers and scallions and toss to combine.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, smoked paprika, and lime juice. Whisk to combine. Pour half of the dressing over the salad and fold to combine. If serving the salad warm, serve the remaining dressing on the side. If refrigerating the salad for later, toss with the remaining dressing before serving.
Store the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.