Couscous Recipe

Keep serving the best dishes to your family, starting with the perfect Couscous!

Have you ever heard of Couscous? It’s a popular African delicacy made of steamed balls of semolina flour. Don’t be fooled, these may look like grains, but they are actually a kind of pasta.

Its name came from the Arabic word “kuskus” which also means “to pound.” This is usually prepared like rice, but in this recipe, we will turn it into an extra-special dish. You will surely love every bit of the Couscous.

healthy couscous recipe

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You can pair Couscous with your favorite healthy recipes for a satisfying meal. Before you know it, this will be a regular part of your diet. With this recipe, the Couscous will certainly have an incredible quality you won’t forget!

How to Make the Perfect Couscous

If you’ve wanted to try African recipes, then this is one of the easiest yet tastiest recipes to start with. The Yummielicious Couscous recipe is complete with all the toppings you can imagine!

Let me show you how we can take ordinary it to the next level.

Ingredients

Here’s everything that goes into a good Couscous recipe:

Couscous

Did you know that Couscous is a staple food in Algeria, Libya, and Morocco?

It may look like a grain, but it is actually a kind of pasta. The couscous is made of semolina. Moreover, it is made by steaming tiny balls of semolina flour. Once you cook it, you’ll realize how good it feels and tastes.

When it comes to flavor, it tastes nutty with a touch of sweetness. With seasonings, vegetables, and toppings, you can instantly upgrade the couscous. Properly cooked couscous also has a loose and fluffy texture.

Health Benefits of Couscous

  • Couscous can help prevent different types of cancer.
  • According to BBC Good Food, couscous is also rich in fiber for digestion and energy.
  • The selenium from couscous can boost your immunity.
  • Organic Facts mentioned that each cup of couscous has 200 calories – it can be a good weight-loss food.
  • It can also strengthen your bones and muscles.

You can best enjoy couscous with soups, stews, and roasted vegetables. It can absorb flavors well. Hence, you can cook it with water or liquid stock with your herbs and spices.

Smoked mackerel

One of the best pairings for couscous is smoked mackerel.

It has a mild flavor that can become more tasteful with the seasoning. The mackerel also has a chewy and soft texture to complement the couscous. Even leftover smoked mackerel can be great for the dish.

Adding mackerel to your diet can be good for your heart, bones, immunity, brain, and overall nutrition. I suggest using it for your meals for a balanced diet. Make the most out of mackerel with the following recipes:

homemade couscous
Bell peppers

Couscous is always better with delicious and fragrant bell peppers.

In this recipe, you will need red, orange, and green bell peppers for diverse flavors. The green bell peppers have a mildly bitter and grassy taste, whereas the orange and red bell peppers taste sweet and fruity.

Aside from flavor, these also give more color to the dish. Bell peppers are popular ingredients for African recipes. I use them to make Dodo Gizzard Stick Meat, Jollof Rice, and Chicken Fried Bulgur!

Kale and spinach

Make the Couscous healthier by adding leafy greens like kale and spinach. The kale has a strong earthy and nutty taste, while the spinach has a sweet and robust flavor – both fantastic for couscous.

Spinach and kale can also add more color to the dish to make it more appetizing. They will certainly give the recipe a touch of refreshing quality.

Seasoning

There are lots of herbs and spices you can use for the couscous. I suggest adding mixed herbs, sea salt, curry powder, turmeric, paprika, chicken stock cube, scotch bonnet, and liquid stock.

You will also need onions and garlic for a distinct flavor and aroma in the dish. These will add a pungent, spicy, and peppery taste for a burst of flavor.

Coconut oil

Give the dish an African touch by using coconut oil to saute and stir-fry the couscous. It adds a unique flavor and fragrance for an extraordinary quality.

couscous

These ingredients will surely make the Couscous a lot better. They add color, flavor, and aroma to help you serve the best meals to everyone!

Directions

Here’s how I usually cook Couscous for my family:

  1. Boil liquid stock in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the couscous with a spatula and turn off the heat.
  3. Cover and leave it to soak for several minutes.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan.
  5. Sautee the chopped onion, garlic, and scotch bonnet over medium fire.
  6. Then, season it mixed herbs, curry powder, paprika, turmeric, sea salt, and ground chicken stock cube. 
  7. Add the smoked mackerel chunks.
  8. Toss in the kale and let it cook for a minute.
  9. Then, add the bell peppers.
  10. Mix in the couscous.
  11. Add the spinach and let it simmer for two minutes. 
  12. Give the couscous a final stir and put the contents on a plate to serve!
couscous recipe

And just like that, you can have a gastronomical experience of cooking and savoring this delicious and healthy Couscous! 

Tips

Couscous

Buying couscous
  • Couscous is usually stored in the grain section of grocery stores.
  • It can also be found in the international food aisle at grocery stores.
  • There are three types of couscous: Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese. You can use whichever variant you prefer.
  • Moroccan is the smallest couscous, so it cooks faster than the Israeli and Lebanese variants.
Storing couscous
  • Uncooked couscous can be stored in a container to be placed in your pantry, cupboard, or kitchen.
  • Couscous can last up to three to six months, depending on its quality. 
  • Once cooked, keep the couscous in the fridge or freeze.

Mackerel

Buying mackerel
  • In buying whole fresh mackerel, opt for ones that are firm to the touch with glossy skin and clear eyes.
  • You can also try canned mackerel.
healthy couscous
Storing mackerel
  • Don’t let mackerel sit at room temperature for longer than two hours.
  • For better storage, wrap its original packaging in cling film, freezer bag, or aluminum foil.
  • It can last up to two days in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer. 
  • If the mackerel has already been cooked, then it can last up to four days in the fridge and four months in the freezer. 
Smoking mackerel
  1. Put the mackerel on aluminum foil.
  2. Season it with butter and lemon juice.
  3. Then, wrap the mackerel in the foil to seal the flavors in. 
  4. Place it on a baking tray in a preheated oven to bake for ten minutes.
  5. Once baked, transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool. 
homemade couscous recipe

Liquid Stock

Making liquid stock

While liquid stock products are readily available, you can still use homemade liquid stock for a healthier option. Don’t throw away your leftover chicken, beef, or vegetables because these can be used to make liquid stock.

  1. Put the ingredients in a pot and season it with your preferred herbs and spices. 
  2. Then, pour the water into the pot.
  3. Let it boil for at least four hours while partially covered.
  4. You can skim the broth for any foam or impurities. 
  5. Once done, remove it from the heat.
  6. Filter the liquid stock using a sieve
Storing liquid stock
  • Let it cool in the pot before transferring it into a container or several small containers.
  • It can last up to five days in the fridge and up to nine months in the freezer. 

Couscous Variations

Couscous is vegan-friendly, but it is not gluten-free. For a gluten-free alternative, you may opt for quinoa or millet instead. These alternatives have a longer cooking time, so it’s best to follow their cooking instructions. 

This is a versatile dish where you can add any ingredient that suits your diet or preferences. You can even use chickpeas, nuts, parsley, vinegar, chives, tomatoes, artichokes, and more!

healthy couscous recipe
  • Frying pan: Cook the Couscous in a frying pan for a perfect blending of flavors. 
  • Pot: Soak the couscous in liquid stock in a pot.
  • Spatula: Mix everything with a spatula.

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How to Serve Couscous

In just 30 minutes, you can cook and relish the perfect Couscous at home!

You can enjoy Couscous for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. It’s also great for weekends and celebrations to give something new for the guests to try. Serve it on a plate and pair it with any of the following dishes:

Meanwhile, you can pair the rich flavors of the couscous with the refreshing quality and revitalizing properties of these drinks and juices:

More Main DIshes

Storage Tips

  • At room temperature: Eat the Couscous within two hours.

MAKE AHEAD

In the fridge: Store it in a container to last up to five days in the fridge.

In the freezer: Put it in a container or a freezer bag and place it in the freezer to last up to four months.

couscous recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Is couscous a grain or a pasta?

While couscous takes on the appearance and form of rice or grains, it is actually a pasta variant. Couscous has a light and fluffy texture, making it easy to incorporate and cook with other ingredients. 

It also contains fewer calories, carbohydrates, and fats compared to pasta. However, it has less protein than pasta, so incorporate protein-rich ingredients to compensate. 

healthy couscous

What is couscous made from?

Couscous is made by grinding durum wheat or semolina. It is then moistened and mixed with wheat flour to make small balls. These tiny balls of pasta are then left to dry for several hours before they’re cooked through a quick steaming process.

Is couscous healthy for you?

Yes, couscous is healthy for you. It has lots of vitamins and minerals that can prevent cancer, improve digestion, boost immunity, and promote weight loss. The couscous is surely going to be life-changing.

What is couscous like?

On its own, couscous has a nutty and sweet flavor. It is further improved with herbs, spices, and aromatics. I also suggest cooking it with liquid stock for tasteful results. When it comes to texture, it’s loose and fluffy – easy to eat!

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31
homemade couscous

The Perfect Couscous

5 from 1 vote
Make your dinner time extra special with this healthy couscous recipe. This can easily be your family’s new favorite recipe. From the color to its flavor, this Couscous is truly a culinary treasure!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3
Course Main Course
Cuisine African, North African
Calories 549kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup wheat couscous
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion (small-sized)
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • ½ scotch bonnet (chopped)
  • Handful curly kale (chopped)
  • Handful baby spinach (chopped)
  • ¼ red bell pepper (medium-sized)
  • ¼ orange bell pepper
  • ¼ green bell pepper
  • ½ tsp mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • A pinch paprika
  • 1 stock cube (option)
  • 1 cup liquid stock (250 ml)

Instructions
 

  • Cook the couscous. 
    To prepare your couscous, pour the liquid stock in a pot over medium heat. You are free to use any liquid stock of your choice. Bring the liquid stock to a boil. Then, add the couscous.
    After adding the couscous, turn off the heat then mix the couscous into the liquid stock thoroughly. Cover it with a lid and set it aside for 5 to 7 minutes for the couscous to absorb the liquid stock 
  • Sautee the onion and garlic with the seasonings. 
    Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Sautee the chopped onion, garlic, and scotch bonnet (use less if you prefer your food less spicy). 
    Then, gradually add the mixed herbs, curry powder, paprika, turmeric, sea salt, and ground chicken stock cube. 
  • Add in the smoked mackerel. 
    Before mixing the smoked mackerel in, make sure that it has been deboned and but to your preferred size. Ensure that it is well incorporated into the seasoning. 
  • Toss in the leafy greens, bell peppers, and couscous. 
    First, add the kale to the pan and let it cook for a minute. Then, pour in the vibrantly colored fresh bell peppers to infuse the mixture with flavor and aroma. 
    Next, add the couscous and mix thoroughly to coat it with the seasonings. Lastly, put in the chopped spinach and let it simmer for 2 minutes. 

Video

Notes

  • To preserve couscous, store it in an airtight container or sealable bag.
  • It is high in gluten to consume in moderation.
  • To check if the couscous has gone bad, check the expiry date on the packaging, and check for signs of bugs, rancid taste, or foul smell.
  • You are free to use any liquid stock of your choice.
  • Couscous is a common allergen. Hence, it is not recommended for people with Oral Allergy Syndrome or those sensitive to wheat and grass pollen.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 (of 3)Calories: 549kcalCarbohydrates: 107gProtein: 20gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 40mgPotassium: 279mgFiber: 12gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 964IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 5mg
Keyword couscous recipe, couscous salad, delicious couscous, easy couscous, Moroccan couscous, pasta recipe

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