Recipes > Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan Couscous


This delicious couscous is flavored with raisins, pistachios, fresh mint and parsley.
  • Serves: 4 to 8
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Views: 77,484
  • Success Rating: 97% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Couscous

Preparing the Couscous
  • 1 1/8 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable bouillon or powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 2 pieces dried orange peel
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/4 whole red onion
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch mint
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


To prepare the couscous, first pour the water into a medium pot. Add the cumin, bouillon, dried orange peel, peeled garlic clove, honey, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and let simmer for a few minutes to infuse. Then remove the garlic and orange peels and discard.

Next, place the dried couscous into a large bowl. Pour the hot, flavored liquid over top and mix together. Cover the couscous tightly with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 to 15 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

In the meantime, finely dice the red onion and finely chop the parsley and mint. Roughly chop the pistachio nuts.

Next, unwrap the couscous and fluff with a fork. Feel the grains and taste them to see that they are no longer crunchy. If they are not quite done, add a bit more hot water and cover again with plastic wrap for a few minutes to soften. Once done, add the chopped herbs, onion, and pistachios and mix together. Add the lemon juice and drizzle the couscous with some quality, extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste. To finish, mix thoroughly to combine all of the ingredients.

This couscous dish goes very well with many meat and vegetable stews. Couscous is very versatile as it is neutral in flavor. It can be flavored any way you like and can be served in place of rice.

Chef's Notes

Couscous is generally served with spicy or fruity meat stews, but is really great with many dishes. Think of it like rice.

Traditionally couscous is cooked in a couscousière which is kind of like a steamer and double boiler in one. To check for doneness, taste the couscous. It should be tender – not al dente or mushy.


  • Francisco A
    Francisco A
    I made this recipe last night, and it was delicious!. It´s so easy and quick to prepare it that i´ll do it again. Thank you so much!
  • Eileen B
    Eileen B
    I’ve made this dish several times for outdoor picnics and potlucks. This dish travels extremely well as it does not have to be re-heated or kept refrigerated. I regularly omit the raisins and orange peel simply because I never seem to have those ingredients handy. However, the dish still turns out mighty tasty and is already a family favorite.
  • Liz S
    Liz S
    Seems you can't go wrong with this recipe. I used everything on the list of ingredients down to the couscous and left out the onions, nuts etc. and it still tasted great. Instead of pouring the liquid into the couscous, I heated everthing in a small non stick pot and added the couscous to the pot. It stayed much hotter even though I always preheated the bowl before. It tasted great with the lamb tangine.
  • Hanna D
    Hanna D
    Couscous is NOT a grain, it is PASTA.
  • Joe G
    Joe G
    We actually made cous cous in the lesson. If you missed it, see topic 4 in this lesson.
  • Piedad cecilia K
    Piedad cecilia K
    Hola a todos. I love couscouss, I ate the most deliciuos salat ,the name is Midle Eastern seven grains salat. made with couscous and many small beans, it was so good that I'm traing to see if somebody, know this recipe and could sent it,I will appreciate. thank you cecilia konda
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    I just did a quick search on the internet and found one called "Moroccan couscous in the Fez Style" (this one is made with Moroccan couscous and seven vegetables). Is this the salad you are talking about? I also found this list of ingredients that some say are for a 7 grain salad...does this sound familiar? Here are the ingredients: yellow lentils wheatberry couscous green mung beans brown rice navy beans spelt black turtle beans red peppers in a light vinaigrette Good luck on your search!
  • Piedad cecilia K
    Piedad cecilia K
    Hi Dawn Thank you very much for your help,the couscous recipe that I'm looking is with grains not with vegetables, the salad is only with couscous not other rice,and had a yellow color,could be with curcuma or curry. Any way, I appreciate very much your answer traing to get the recipe for my. thank you mil gracias cecilia konda
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    You should try to re-create the dish yourself. For that yellow color you could use turmeric, saffron or curry...just depends on if you can remember if the salad tasted like it had any of those in it. It is fun to re-create dishes, I have done it many times and sometimes I even come up with something I like as much or even better. Just start simple and then keep adding and tweaking the dish until you are happy. Some dishes I have had to make a few times to get it close, but that is the fun part...the experimenting. Good luck!
  • Kris G
    Kris G
    Two questions: - The ingredient list says "1/4 whole red onion". Am I reading that right: just one quarter of an onion? It looks like a lot more in the video. - I just noticed that the couscous I bought for making this recipe tomorrow is labelled "pre-cooked". Does that make any difference for this recipe? For example, should less liquid be used for soaking the couscous? Thanks in advance for any answers ;)
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    For the onion, use between 1/4-1/2 cup, or to taste. The measurements don't have to be exact. Packaged couscous has been pre-steamed (pre-cooked) and dried. It absorbs the hot liquid, rehydrates/swells and makes the texture soft and fluffy. Cheers!
  • Jenny G
    Jenny G
    I've made this recipe many times before as a side dish but now that we are vegetarian I thought on adding chickpeas to make it more like a main dish and it was delicious. I also added a little bit of feta cheese =) Thanks for so many delicious recipes!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Indeed quinoa can easily be substituted for the couscous. Quinoa would be similar in texture but really in most cases you can substitute any grain for another one. See the lessons in the cooking school on cooking grains for more information. Once you understand the techniques behind the cooking you begin to learn the recipes are generally just guidelines. Cheers!
  • Rosana P
    Rosana P
    I was not sure if couscous was eaten raw, what I found rather strange... that would be raw flour, right? Kimberley answered the question above and I went right to my pantry to check it out. I don't believe this information is in the package and I didn't see it before. In my defence it is very well hidden, in a forgotten corner. Ok, not that much... I should have seen. ;) Anyway, thank you for the info! Rouxbe's forum is packed with good tips!
  • Trayko T
    Trayko T
    Thank you, Rouxbe, for this and all your beautiful recipes and videos! I've been making this couscous regularly for about 12 years now, and it's always a hit with people when they try it for the first time - it's one of "mine" signature dishes. I've learned how to cook from your website, for which I am eternally grateful. I wish you long health, and may you always keep this treasure of a platform online!

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