22 couscous recipes
Couscous isn't just a side dish. it makes a versatile base for nutritious meals, from roast cauliflower salad to ras el hanout salmon and a comforting harissa chicken broth
Looking for a couscous salad recipe? Want to make the best Moroccan-style couscous? Try our couscous recipes below, or check out our vegetarian salad ideas, quinoa recipes, recipes with semolina, bulgar wheat recipes and recipes with buckwheat. Then discover our fried rice recipes.
What is couscous?
Even though it may look like a grain, couscous is actually a type of pasta. Couscous is made from semolina flour (from durum wheat) mixed with water. There are three different types of couscous, with Lebanese couscous being the largest, followed by Israeli (also known as pearl or giant) couscous and traditional Moroccan couscous as the smallest.
Is couscous healthy?
Couscous is a source of selenium, an antioxidant key to thyroid performance. It also provides plant-based protein – about 7g per 100g – and is a source of fibre. With a higher proportion of vitamins and minerals, it is a healthier alternative to white rice.
Is couscous gluten-free?
Although its grain-like appearance may be deceiving, couscous is not gluten-free as it is made from durum wheat which contains gluten. Coeliacs and those who are gluten-intolerant should avoid eating couscous.
How to cook couscous
Couscous is quick to prepare as it simply has to be hydrated with hot water before being added to your dish of choice. Depending on the brand you use, it may take between five and 10 minutes to be ready – check the pack instructions for timings.
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What is the perfect couscous to water ratio?
The best way to hydrate couscous is with a 1:1 couscous to liquid ratio. You can even use stock rather than just plain water as this will add more initial flavour. Simply fluff it up with a fork at the end to achieve the optimum texture.
Easy couscous recipes
This fresh Middle Eastern-inspired salad features zingy ras el hanout, sumac and mint on a bed of couscous – it’s a filling and flavoursome lunch or veggie side dish.
Couscous is pimped with herbs, almonds, lemon and honey and topped with spiced salmon in this quick and colourful recipe.
Juicy lamb meatballs, cooked in a rich tomato sauce and served with buttery coriander and parsley couscous, makes for an easy, satisfying family dinner.
For a quick and easy supper that promises not to compromise on flavour, give these stuffed peppers with feta and couscous a go.
Spicy couscous is cooked in Indian spices and apricots and topped with chicken, spring onions and almonds. Serve drizzled with natural yogurt stirred through with parsley – this is a winning midweek dinner that's on the table in 20 minutes.
This simple lamb steaks recipe with giant couscous is bursting with fresh, zesty flavours, making the perfect evening meal for two.
Check out our vibrant cauliflower and couscous salad recipe with crispy onions and a punchy zhoug dressing. This easy dish is vegan and low in calories, too.
Peppers are incredible. Their sweet flavour and soft texture when roasted pairs beautifully with Moroccan-style couscous and chickpeas in this classic recipe.
This recipe for lemon chicken and kale stew with couscous is a really easy midweek meal. It is low fat and ready in less than 30 minutes.
Punchy harissa and a vibrant couscous salad in a zesty preserve lemon dressing livens up this easy chicken dish – ideal for an everyday dinner for two.
For a new way with lamb chops, try this speedy recipe with fruity couscous and mint. It's easy to make, but is guaranteed to impress friends and family.
This recipe for Moroccan wings with herb-flavoured couscous comes packed with mint, fragrant coriander, sweet maple and fiery harissa and is sure to liven up any day.
Giant couscous adds a springy texture to this wholesome broth, with chicken, spring greens and a kick of harissa.
This Moroccan-style supper for four of spiced merguez couscous not only tastes delicious, but costs under £3 per person.
Spice up your life with this quick and easy couscous recipe with tomato and fish broth. Harissa gives the dish a wonderfully smoky edge.
Couscous salad with chicken, courgette and an orange and harissa dressing makes a quick meal for any day of the week.
Fish is gently simmered in a tomato and couscous sauce and topped with zesty gremolata for a healthy and filling meal.
Packed with plenty of nutritious veg, this hearty French couscous dish will warm you up on a chilly day.
Check out this easy veggie meze with giant couscous, a simple yet incredibly moreish recipe that's ready in under an hour.
Couscous is joined by peppers, carrots and chickpeas here for an easy supper. Any leftovers will be great for lunch the next day.
This hearty and punchy smoked fish salad, featuring giant couscous, is easy and quick to put together. Bursting with vibrant flavours and textures, it’s perfect for entertaining.
Smoky harissa adds an imaginative spin on this otherwise quick and simple midweek supper.