Couscous is one of those ingredients underestimated and underutilized in the kitchen. Despite its versatility and varied use in many preparations, it does not have the rightful place it deserves.

In addition, couscous is easy to cook in little time. It is the perfect ingredient to create gourmet dishes fast and easily.

Let me tell you a bit about this incredible ingredient.

What is couscous?

Couscous is small round-shaped pasta made from durum wheat semolina. It has a neutral flavor and firm texture when cooked.

It is a traditional food in Africa where couscous is an essential part of many meals. It is the national dish in Morocco and the most common staple in Tunisia.

There are many types of this tiny pasta. The most popular are Moroccan couscous, Israeli couscous (pearl couscous), and Lebanese couscous. Each of them differentiates in its size.

Moroccan couscous is the smallest, Israeli couscous has a medium size, and Lebanese couscous is the biggest.

They can be used interchangeably with each other in any recipe. The cooking time is the aspect to pay attention to while using it.

Moroccan couscous usually takes about 10 minutes to cook, pearl couscous 15 minutes, and Lebanese couscous up to 20 minutes.

The three types are equally used in African regions. The most popular and easy to find in other countries is pearl couscous. To know more about this one, visit and you’ll find complete information about its history, use and some recipes.

Couscous preparations

There is no limit to the combinations of ingredients to pair with couscous. Its blank flavor allows for blending with various meats, vegetables, and herbs.

Stews, bowls, salads, stuffing soups, or side dishes are the typical preparations where couscous is used as the core ingredient.

Here are 5 different ways to use it:

  • Couscous chicken soup: It is the best comfort food. It includes ginger, celery, carrots, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, and lemon.
  • Couscous salad with cilantro vinaigrette: It is a fresh salad with peaches, tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, dried cherries, and chickpeas seasoned with vinaigrette of cilantro and lime juice.
  • Moroccan couscous with vegetable stew: A simple dish with carrots, butternut squash, onion, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, pitted prunes, cinnamon, and cilantro.
  • Couscous stuffed peppers: It is a vegetarian dish full of flavor including cherry tomatoes, shallots, olives, and basil, cooked in vegetable broth and topped with feta cheese.
  • Lemon couscous: It is a simple couscous side dish made of garlic, lemon, and topped with parsley.

Two gourmet couscous recipes

Couscous is a versatile ingredient to create simple dishes and gourmet preparations that will surprise your guests.

Here are two gourmet dishes with this great ingredient:

Eggplant and chickpeas with minted couscous

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic.
  • 2 tablespoons of tagine spice blend.
  • 2 cut eggplants.
  • 2 ½  cups of water.
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • 1 cup of peeled tomatoes.
  • 1 cup of canned chickpeas.

Minted couscous

  • 1 ½ cups of couscous.
  • ¼ cup of currants.
  • Lemon juice.
  • ½ cup of butter.
  • ½ cup of mint leaves.
  • ¼ cup of toasted flaked almonds.


  • In a saucepan, pour vegetable oil and heat at a high temperature.
  • Add onion, garlic, and tagine spice blend, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Incorporate eggplant pieces, water, salt, and black pepper.
  • Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Stir very well.
  • Continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
  • In a pot, add couscous, 1 ½ cup of water, and currants. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Incorporate butter and fluff with a fork.
  • Incorporate mint leaves, toasted almonds, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Mix very well.
  • Serve the cooked eggplants, mint couscous, and yogurt.

Roast cauliflower with almonds, Israeli couscous, and Za’atar

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • ¼ cup of olive oil.
  • 1 cup of Israeli couscous.
  • 1 cut cauliflower.
  • ½ cup of water.
  • Salt to taste.
  • ¼ cup of butter.
  • 2 tablespoons of za’atar.
  • ½ cup of raw almonds.


  1. In a saucepan, pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook at high temperature.
  2. Add Israeli couscous and toast for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour water and salt and cook until boiling.
  4. Reduce heat and cook until couscous is tender.
  5. In a frying pan, pour the remaining olive oil and heat at a high temperature.
  6. Add cauliflower pieces, butter, za’atar, and salt.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes and incorporate cooked couscous and almonds.
  8. Serve immediately with extra almonds at the top.