Easy Couscous Recipe

My easy couscous recipe is a filling side that can accompany so many dishes. I’ll take you through how to cook it in a simple, delicious way and give you lots of ideas for what to pair it with.

Couscous with roasted vegetables and tahini sauce

Lots of us need that trusted go-to carbohydrate side when we’re thinking about what to serve with our mains. For me, couscous has become that dish.

Even more so than rice and pasta in my household, I find you can serve a side of couscous with nearly anything.

My recipe is super simple, only takes a few minutes, and has been paired with countless mains over the years.

Couscous

Ingredients for this Recipe

So, let’s get started with my easy couscous recipe. First, you’ll need the following ingredients:

couscous ingredients
  • Couscous – 1 cup couscous
  • Water – 2 cups of water
  • Butter – 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • Lemon – 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Salt – half tsp salt (sea salt flakes or kosher salt) or more to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Bring the water to a boil and add the salt, butter, and lemon juice to it.

Boiling water and melted butter, lemon juice, and salt

Step 2 – Pour the boiling water (with salt, melted butter, and lemon juice) over the couscous in a heatproof bowl.

Pouring the water-melted butter mix over the couscous

Step 3 – Cover the couscous with a plate and let it stand to steam for at least 5 minutes.

Couscous bowl covered

Step 4 – Fluff it up with a fork. Taste it and add additional salt or lemon juice to taste. Serve it warm.

If you want to warm it up later, you can microwave it for 30-45 seconds.

Fluffing up the couscous

Step 5 – Serve it as is (as a simple side) or topped with roasted vegetable and fresh herbs.

Couscous

What to Serve with Couscous

Honestly, I could sit here writing all day and not come close to answering this question. A side of couscous can be paired with pretty much anything.

Generally I’ll bring a bowl of it to the table, rather than serve it on the plate, so that my family and dinner guests can decide if and how much they want.

Below, I do have some dish suggestions that benefit from a good few spoonfuls of couscous.

Couscous in a large bowl

This is one of my favorite pairings. My roasted veggies with tahini sauce recipe works wonders served on a bed of couscous and even some fresh greens like arugula.

Couscous with roasted peppers, zucchini, and eggplant as well as tahini sauce

You can typically pair couscous with all types of meat, including these crispy chicken tenders.

I often make couscous with fish as well, as with my blackened salmon or honey soy salmon recipes, instead of, say, rice, and a side of roasted veggies or greens.

Couscous can be a great salad topper, too.

I’m pretty sure you get the idea. Bring it to the table, along with greens, salads, bread, and other sides, and let your guests decide how much they want.

At-aGlance Recipe Card

Easy Couscous

Easy Couscous

Yield: 6
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • half tsp salt (sea salt flakes or kosher salt) or more to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil and add the salt, butter, and lemon juice to it.
  2. Pour the boiling water (with salt, melted butter, and lemon juice) over the couscous in a heatproof bowl.
  3. Cover the couscous bowl with a plate and let it stand to steam for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Fluff it up with a fork. Taste it and add additional salt or lemon juice to taste. Serve it warm. If you want to warm it up later, you can microwave it for 30-45 seconds.
  5. Serve it as is (as a simple side) or topped with roasted vegetable, tahini sauce, and/or fresh herbs.

You Might Also Like to Try

Keep my easy couscous recipe on-hand, ready for when you need a quick, hearty side, by saving it to one of your Pinterest boards.

Couscous with roasted veggies and tahini sauce.

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