Perfect Couscous

Perfect Couscous, prepared in chicken broth and flavored with lemon juice and seasonings, is an excellent alternative to mashed potatoes, pasta, and rice. It’s also a great way to use up your leftover vegetables.

Couscous is a type of pasta that makes a delicious lighter alternative to the standard heavy, sticky rice and pasta sides. Couscous is made from durum wheat grains that are also used to make semolina; it contains gluten.

Couscous is something that’s hard to get wrong, but when it is done right, it’s hard to beat.

Perfect Couscous allows you to: Make any meal a healthy meal.

What exactly is Couscous?

Couscous (pronounced Koos-Koos) is a type of pasta made from semolina flour (crushed durum wheat) which is then steamed in water (stock) until it becomes fluffy. Couscous is a traditional North African dish, also popular in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and West African cuisines. It’s a perfect substitute for rice, which is why so many Mediterranean dishes use Couscous instead of rice.  

How to Make Couscous?

Boil stock and add butter, olive oil, and salt (you can add cayenne pepper for a spicy kick). Add Couscous and turn off the flame. Let it steam for 10 minutes or until fluffy. Add chopped vegetables (diced pepper), mint, lemon juice, and seasonings. Serve Warm!

Image of perfect couscous ingredients.

Different types of Couscous

Couscous is a traditional Middle Eastern semolina made from wheat flour. There are three main types of Couscous you’ll see:

  1. Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan Couscous, the most well-known type, is a large granule about the size of semolina. It’s made from durum wheat, a variety of high in fiber. It’s the quickest one to cook.

  1. Israeli Couscous

Israeli Couscous, aka pearl couscous, is a bit larger and made from semolina made with hard durum wheat, making it more airy and fluffy. It cooks to perfection in about 10 minutes.

  1. Lebanese Couscous

Lebanese Couscous, aka Moghrabieh couscous, is more similar to Israeli Couscous. Still, it’s made with a different variety of durum wheat called semolina durum.

Is Couscous Healthy?

Couscous is one of the best ways to add fiber to your diet. It is the perfect, satisfying and healthy addition to any meal. Couscous is high in protein and carbohydrates, low in fat, helps lower cholesterol, and has no sugar.

One cup serving will provide you with over 60% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of selenium. Selenium is also a powerful antioxidant. It helps fight inflammation and harmful LDL cholesterol levels in your body.

 

Couscous is a low-calorie addition to your meal; the proteins in Couscous keep you full for longer, thereby supporting weight loss goals. It keeps you feeling light and energized at the same time. It is a tasty and healthy alternative to some of the more bland side dishes out there.

Image of perfect couscous recipe plating.

Perfect Couscous

Bring a healthy and flavorful twist to your next meal by adding Perfect Couscous to your menu. Couscous is easy to prepare and is the quickest way to get an instant side dish on the table.
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 7 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine African
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 300 gr couscous
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the salad

  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 red and green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a saucepan bring the chicken stock, salt, butter and oil to a boil.
  • Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Let the couscous rest for 5 minutes.
  • Combine the couscous with the diced bell peppers, mint leaves and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve warm or cold!

Can you substitute chicken broth with water when making Couscous?

The best way to make Couscous is to use chicken or vegetable stock. Chicken stock imparts more flavor to the Couscous, so choose this over vegetable stock if possible. It is also more nutritious. Couscous is pretty easy to make, and you can use water instead of chicken stock but for a flavorful kick, use chicken stock.

Image of perfect couscous butter.

What to serve with Couscous?

It’s a great side dish that’s often served along with lamb, chicken, or beef (or with a vegetarian meal). It can be served plain or with additional ingredients, like herbs and spices, or whatever else you’re serving it with.

  1. Moroccan Lamb Stew – This stew is spicy, delicious, and flavorful. It’s packed with a variety of vegetables that melt in your mouth. You can serve with Couscous or tagine, or both.
  2. Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew – It‘s a great side serving option for vegetarians; it is flavored with coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and ginger. Top with toasted almonds for a crunchy twist.
  3. Lemon Garlic Salmon – This sweet and savory dish is a perfect option for seafood lovers. It is flavored with garlic, lemon, and herbs.
    You can also sauté the Couscous in butter or oil and serve it plain or with fun toppings like sautéed vegetables.
Image with perfect couscous saucepan.

Can you eat cold Couscous?

Couscous is versatile and can be served hot or cold.

Is Couscous Gluten-Free?

Couscous appears to be gluten-free, but it is not. Couscous is pasta made from semolina grains, which is not gluten-free.

What can I add to Couscous for flavor?

Couscous can become a little bland sometimes, and it’s not a bad idea to kick up its taste with a punch of herbs or add seasonings. Try adding fresh mint and zest of organic lemon when combining Couscous with diced bell peppers. Couscous will always be better when made with chicken stock.

Image of perfect couscous recipe plating.

How do you know when Couscous is done?

It generally takes 10 minutes for Couscous to cook. After 10 minutes, you can see if the Couscous is done by lifting a few grains with a fork. If the Couscous is tender and has absorbed the liquid, it’s done. If the Couscous still isn’t delicate, cover and let it steam for a few more minutes.

Should you soak Couscous before cooking?

Some people believe that you should rinse Couscous before cooking, just like you would other grains like rice, but in fact, you do not need to do so. Couscous is not a grain, so you do not need to soak it and wash off any starch to prevent it from getting sticky.

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