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Why I love this Moroccan couscous recipe
Side dishes can be hard sometimes. For me, they tend to be an afterthought, which means they can get be pretty basic – like roasted broccoli or mashed potatoes.
But, this year, I decided to give side dishes the time of day, and I’ve intentionally been working on more easy, flavorful side dish recipes, like saffron rice, Instant Pot baked beans and kale salad with homemade caesar dressing.
I made this Moroccan couscous to pair with my sweet and spicy shrimp with homemade Moroccan seasoning, but I’ve also served it with my meatball tagine recipe, too. I wanted it to pair well together without overdoing the seasonings, so I just added a hint of cumin and cinnamon with a mix of raisins and toasted nuts.
I used almonds, but you can use any nuts you have on hand (maybe not peanuts, but they might work). I think toasted pine nuts or pistachios would be a great option.
What is couscous?
Before we go any further, I just want to touch on this in case couscous is new to you. Couscous is basically a super tiny pasta made from durum or semolina wheat flour.
It ranges in size from tiny, like I used in this recipe, or a bit larger, like you can see in this pearl couscous recipe.
So, while it’s definitely a pasta, I tend to treat it more like grain (like rice or quinoa) when cooking with it. Mostly because it’s so small.
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
How to make Moroccan couscous
Sauté the savories. Heat a large saucepan to medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic and spices to the pan. Sauté them until the onions are translucent, stirring them as need to prevent burning.
Boil the vegetable broth. When the onions are soft and see-through, add the broth. Cover the pot, increase the heat and bring it to a boil.
Add the couscous. Remove the pot from the heat and add the couscous, salt & pepper to the boiling broth. Return the cover and let the couscous sit, with not heat, until it absorbs all of the liquid.
Garnish and serve. Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the raisins, almonds and parsley before serving.
Frequently asked questions:
Vegetable broth can do a great deal for the flavor of couscous, as can salt. I used that as a base for this recipe and other savory ingredients, like onion, garlic and herbs, to add even more flavor.
No. Unlike grains such as quinoa and rice, you don’t need to rinse couscous before cooking.
A little fat goes a long way in keeping couscous moist. I’ve added two tablespoons of olive oil to this recipe to prevent it from drying out.
Couscous is made from wheat, so it is considered a carb. It does contain some protein, but there are significantly more carbohydrates in each serving.
This would be great with:
More easy side dish recipes:Print
Easy, Moroccan Couscous Recipe
This Moroccan couscous recipe is a simplified, vegan version of the traditional dish, filled with sweet raisins, crunchy almonds and herbs. It might not be authentic, but it makes for an easy, flavorful side dish. Serve it warm with roasted vegetables or your favorite protein.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Moroccan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups couscous
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Heat a large saucepan to medium-high. Add olive oil, onion, garlic and spices. Sauté until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally – about 5 minutes.
- Add broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat stir in couscous. Let sit for 10 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed the broth.
- Stir in raisins, almonds and parsley before serving.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 230
- Sugar: 4.6 g
- Sodium: 356.5 mg
- Fat: 8.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 33.6 g
- Fiber: 3.2 g
- Protein: 6.4 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: dairy free, vegan, easy
Last Updated on November 23, 2021 by Melissa Belanger