How to Cook Couscous

Published Date
June 21st 2022
Average: 5 (2 votes)
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Couscous is a quick and easily prepared ingredient that can be created into side dishes, soups, stews, salads, or used to stuff meat or vegetables. Couscous is made by combining semolina flour with water and rolled into either small pellets, called Moroccan couscous, or pea-sized pearls called Israeli couscous. Couscous was initially used in Arab countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, and Egypt and pairs well with dried fruit, pistachios, pine nuts, lemon, dates, fresh mint, and parsley. 

Here are two examples of How to Cook Couscous utilizing both Moroccan and Israeli styles of couscous. One is a recipe or a simple salad garnished with tart pomegranates, cucumbers, fresh herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice. The other uses bell peppers stuffed with couscous mixed with cracked peppercorns, parsley, basil, red onion, and tomatoes and baked in the oven.   

Try adding couscous instead of rice in these trending recipes from Classic Bakes, Trinidadian Goat Curry, Guyanese Style Fried Rice or Curry Oxtail. 


Note: The nutrition values reflect only the cooked couscous. 


What is the ratio of water to couscous?

The ratio for regular couscous is 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of couscous. For Israeli couscous, 1 1/4 cups of water to 1 cup of couscous. 

Is couscous healthier than rice?

The nutrition values comparing couscous to rice are virtually the same. They're both high in carbohydrates and contain around 200 calories per cup. The main differences are that couscous contains gluten, whereas rice is a naturally gluten-free grain. Couscous also contains higher amounts of vitamins and protein than rice. 

How do you know when couscous is ready?

Couscous cooks within 15 minutes for regular couscous, all you need is to add couscous to boiling water, turn off the heat, and cover with a lid while it continues to steam in the pot. Then, fluff it up with a fork, and it's ready. 

Is eating couscous everyday healthy?

Couscous is relatively high in carbohydrates. A diversity of ingredients is needed to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Stick to consuming couscous once or twice per week and not every day.  
Author: Jennifer Dodd
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins


How to Cook Moroccan Couscous
How to Cook Israeli Couscous
Moroccan Couscous Salad
Israeli Couscous Stuffed Bell Peppers


How to Cook Moroccan Couscous
Add the water and sea salt to a small pot, brining it up to a boil on the stovetop
Add the couscous into the pot of water stirring with a fork. Turn off the heat covering the pot with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes. 
After ten minutes, remove the lid and using a fork, fluff the couscous. 
How to Cook Israeli Couscous
Add the water and sea salt to a small pot, bringing it to a boil on the stovetop. 
Add the couscous into the pot of water, stirring with a fork, reduce the heat to a simmer & cook for 2 minutes. 
Turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid letting it rest for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork. 
Moroccan Couscous Salad
Add the couscous, cucumber, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper to a mixing bowl
Mix the ingredients and arrange the salad into bowls or a large bowl for that family-style touch. Garnish with fresh pomegranates & serve chilled.  
Israeli Couscous Stuffed Bell Peppers
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a pastry brush, coat the peppers with 1/2 of the olive oil, salt & pepper. 
Place the peppers skin side down into a baking dish, add the peppers into the oven and roast for 10 minutes. 
Mix the Israeli couscous with the remaining olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, herbs, red onion & tomatoes in a mixing bowl.  
Once the peppers have roasted in the oven for 10 minutes, remove them from the oven. 
Spoon the couscous mixture evenly into each pepper cavity, and place the dish back into the oven for 15 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and serve as a side dish or a vegan entrée. 

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How to Cook Couscous, Pearl, Israeli, Best, Easy, Vegetable, Simple, Traditional

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