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Chicken Puttanesca with Israeli Couscous

This recipe is: dairy freenut free
Chicken Puttanesca with Israeli Couscous | Chicken Recipe |

What I love about this chicken puttanesca and couscous

Ok. I guess it’s time to confess something. I joined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago. I suppose the decision came when I realized that I wasn’t losing the baby weight on my own, especially without exercising regularly, but I’ve also been noticing that my eating habits have become pretty terrible over the past few years. Mostly because I’ve been choosing carbs over vegetables at almost every meal.

Chicken Puttanesca with Israeli Couscous | Chicken Recipe |

The program has given me motivation to create some new, healthier recipes lately, and this is one of them. It’s a classic carb dish, reimagined. The puttanesca sauce and chicken are the stars of the recipe, while the Israeli couscous provides the much needed wanted carbs.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it

Puttanesa sauce is one of those things that’s always been a mystery to me. I knew what it was, what was in it, but my mind was boggled by how all of its ingredients could work together to create something great. I mean, olives, capers and anchovies sound like a strange combination, to say the least. But, when I saw a recipe for spaghetti puttanesca on Pinterest last week, I was struck with a new sense of adventure and decided to give it a try – in a healthier way.

More one pot recipes: skinny spinach artichoke chicken / Italian sausage & vegetable skillet / roasted pork loin with fennel & apples / Thai shrimp noodle bowl

Chicken Puttanesca with Israeli Couscous | Chicken Recipe |

I made this chicken puttanesca with chicken tenders instead of chicken breast to decrease the cooking time, but you could easily use either (just remember to increase the cooking time for chicken breasts), The tenders make it a really quick meal that’s great for weeknights. If you wanted to fancy things up a bit, you could roast a whole cut up chicken in the oven and make the sauce and couscous separately.

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Chicken Puttanesca with Israeli Couscous

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4


  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/4 large onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup halved kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes


  1. Cook Israeli couscous according to package directions.
  2. Liberally season chicken tenders with salt, pepper and the dried basil.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to medium-high. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, turning once (about 3 – 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness). Remove chicken from pan and tent with foil to keep warm.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining oil and onion. Sauté until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and crushed red peppers and cook until fragrant.
  5. Add remaining ingredients, Israeli couscous and return chicken to pan. Simmer for 5 minutes.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 355
  • Sugar: 5.1 g
  • Sodium: 1337.1 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44 g
  • Fiber: 4.2 g
  • Protein: 29.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.1 mg

Last Updated on April 2, 2022 by Melissa Belanger

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  1. Thanks for sharing! I usually find Israeli cous cous to be boring, but this looks so good! Your blog has really helped spruce up my dinner routine. Your chicken and broccoli is on the rotation all the time, and tonight I’m trying it with snow peas instead. Every time you post a new recipe, I get so excited, and I have a feeling this dish is going to be another winner. Good luck with weight watchers!

  2. I wanted to come back and tell you how much I enjoyed this dish! I am usually only cooking for one or two people so I end up with a lot of leftovers. I’m always trying to come up with ways to re-purpose dinner leftovers for lunch. I put my leftovers from this dish in a sun-dried tomato tortilla wrap and enjoyed it again for lunch the next day. It was perfect for that. Thanks again for sharing such a yummy recipe!

  3. I just love this recipe! Very simple, fast, and delicious! I make it often for my husband and myself.