Spiced Israeli Couscous

 

If you’ve never heard of Israeli couscous,  it’s basically just little balls of pasta.  Sounds weird, I know, but I promise it’s must-try!  Couscous appears to be a grain itself, but like pasta, it is actually made from semolina or wheat flour.  Regular couscous has smaller grains and a softer texture, while Israeli couscous has larger grains and a chewier texture.

 

 

There’s something about this spiced Israeli couscous that makes me crave it every day.  It’s pretty much the reason I could never give up carbs.  The combination of spices provides a savory and complex flavor profile that compliments the chewy texture and toasty flavor of the couscous.  

 

I seriously eat this side with everything: salmon, chicken, salads, you name it.  It’s sooo versatile!  And the best part?  It’s so easy to make, I can do it at my laziest.  It requires only 20 minutes 9 ingredients.  Okay okay, I’m done fangirling over my own cooking... let’s get to the recipe.  

 

FAQ:

 

Do I need to toast the couscous?

This is really a personal preference.  I personally think that toasting your couscous on the stovetop really elevates its flavor, but if you’re short on time, feel free to skip this step.

 

Some Israeli couscous is actually pre-toasted when you buy it.  Take a look at your couscous when you take it out of its packaging.  If it already has golden brown spots, it’s probably toasted already and you can skip the toasting step.

 

If you do choose to skip the toasting step, just mix the couscous with olive oil as the first step.  Olive oil will prevent the grains of couscous from sticking to the pan and to one another, so you don’t want to skip out on it.

 

I’m a vegetarian/vegan.  Can I replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth or water?

Again, this is a total preference thing.  I love the umami flavor chicken broth provides this dish, but if you’re a vegetarian, vegetable broth works great too!  You can replace the broth with water if you don’t have any broth on hand, but I don’t recommend it.  You will lose some of the savory flavor that makes this recipe so great, and the couscous will definitely be blander.  

 

I’m in a rush.  Can I replace the chopped onion with onion powder?

Yes!  Fresh onion adds an extra element of texture to this dish which is why I use it instead of onion powder, but ¼ teaspoon of onion powder will give you a similar flavor.  It’s not a make-or-break factor.

 

Does the couscous need to be Israeli couscous?  Can I use regular couscous?

I love the chewy texture of Israeli couscous, but if it’s not your thing, regular couscous also works with this recipe.  If you’re using a different variation of couscous, just check the cooking instructions on its packaging because the couscous-to-broth ratio may be different.

 

Spiced Israeli Couscous Recipe


 Prep Time:
10 minutes
 Cook Time:
10 minutes
 Total Time:
20 minutes
 Serves:
3 people

 


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, and paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional: parsley, for garnish
Directions:
  1. Toast your couscous.  Place your couscous and olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Stir for 3-5 minutes or until there are visible golden-brown spots.
  2. Add your spices and onion to the pot with the couscous and stir for an additional minute so that the spices become fragrant.
  3. Add your broth to the pot, bring to a simmer, and cover.  Let cook for 8-10 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the broth and there appears to be no liquid left.
  4. Garnish with parsley if using, serve, and enjoy!
 

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If you’ve never heard of Israeli couscous,  it’s basically just little balls of pasta.  Sounds weird, I know, but I promise it’s must-try!  Couscous appears to be a grain itself, but like pasta, it is actually made from semolina or wheat flour.  Regular couscous has smaller grains and a softer texture, while Israeli couscous has larger grains and a chewier texture.

 

 

There’s something about this spiced Israeli couscous that makes me crave it every day.  It’s pretty much the reason I could never give up carbs.  The combination of spices provides a savory and complex flavor profile that compliments the chewy texture and toasty flavor of the couscous.  

 

I seriously eat this side with everything: salmon, chicken, salads, you name it.  It’s sooo versatile!  And the best part?  It’s so easy to make, I can do it at my laziest.  It requires only 20 minutes 9 ingredients.  Okay okay, I’m done fangirling over my own cooking... let’s get to the recipe.  

 

FAQ:

 

Do I need to toast the couscous?

This is really a personal preference.  I personally think that toasting your couscous on the stovetop really elevates its flavor, but if you’re short on time, feel free to skip this step.

 

Some Israeli couscous is actually pre-toasted when you buy it.  Take a look at your couscous when you take it out of its packaging.  If it already has golden brown spots, it’s probably toasted already and you can skip the toasting step.

 

If you do choose to skip the toasting step, just mix the couscous with olive oil as the first step.  Olive oil will prevent the grains of couscous from sticking to the pan and to one another, so you don’t want to skip out on it.

 

I’m a vegetarian/vegan.  Can I replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth or water?

Again, this is a total preference thing.  I love the umami flavor chicken broth provides this dish, but if you’re a vegetarian, vegetable broth works great too!  You can replace the broth with water if you don’t have any broth on hand, but I don’t recommend it.  You will lose some of the savory flavor that makes this recipe so great, and the couscous will definitely be blander.  

 

I’m in a rush.  Can I replace the chopped onion with onion powder?

Yes!  Fresh onion adds an extra element of texture to this dish which is why I use it instead of onion powder, but ¼ teaspoon of onion powder will give you a similar flavor.  It’s not a make-or-break factor.

 

Does the couscous need to be Israeli couscous?  Can I use regular couscous?

I love the chewy texture of Israeli couscous, but if it’s not your thing, regular couscous also works with this recipe.  If you’re using a different variation of couscous, just check the cooking instructions on its packaging because the couscous-to-broth ratio may be different.

 

Spiced Israeli Couscous Recipe


 Prep Time:
10 minutes
 Cook Time:
10 minutes
 Total Time:
20 minutes
 Serves:
3 people

 


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, and paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional: parsley, for garnish
Directions:
  1. Toast your couscous.  Place your couscous and olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Stir for 3-5 minutes or until there are visible golden-brown spots.
  2. Add your spices and onion to the pot with the couscous and stir for an additional minute so that the spices become fragrant.
  3. Add your broth to the pot, bring to a simmer, and cover.  Let cook for 8-10 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the broth and there appears to be no liquid left.
  4. Garnish with parsley if using, serve, and enjoy!
 

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