Recipes > Traditional Moroccan Couscous

Traditional Moroccan Couscous


Simple and quick Moroccan couscous cooked in a flavorful stock.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Views: 87,913
  • Success Rating: 84% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Couscous

Making the Couscous
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 2 cups flavorful stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


To start the couscous, rinse it under cold water and then strain in a sieve to remove some of the excess starch.

Next, combine the stock, salt, pepper and olive oil (or butter), bring to a boil and then pour over the couscous. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let sit for approximately 10 minutes to rehydrate. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Taste to see that it is fully cooked through and seasoned to your liking. Serve immediately or let cool and use as the base to make a salad.

Chef's Notes

If you prefer a softer texture on couscous, increase the liquid by 1/4 cup.

The neutral flavor from this couscous makes it the perfect contrast for saucier dishes, such as your favorite stews.

Couscous is a form of pasta. It softens or cooks through by absorbing hot liquids. It is very neutral in flavor (like pasta) and will take on the flavor of the liquid used in the recipe. For example, if you added straight water, then you would wind up with very bland-tasting couscous. Make sure that the liquid you use is very flavorful (e.g. stock). The liquid should taste so good, you would drink it by itself.

You can use any savory liquid to adjust flavor and/or color. Just make sure to stay within the ratio of liquid to couscous.

Here are a few suggested combinations:

a) try adding a 1/4 tsp of saffron to the stock to infuse saffron flavor and a yellow color into the couscous.

b) try adding 1/2 vegetable stock and 1/2 tomato juice, and then garnish with finely minced green onions.

c) couscous is also great served cold as a salad. Try it with freshly-diced tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, salt and olive oil.

d) sweat or sauté the diced vegetables from the knife skills assignment and fold them into the couscous.


  • Rick A
    Rick A
    Can I make home made couscous with semolina in a food processor like shown in one of your pasta lessons? I don't know much about couscous but from what I gather it's made with semolina flour so I'm thinking it would work to make the same way then dried. Then it could be rinsed and cooked the way it's shown here. Yes?
  • Tony M Rouxbe Staff
    Tony M
    Usually one makes their own couscous if they intend to make a flavoured one, for instance using spinach, beet, tomato, or carrot puree instead of water - it makes the couscous somewhat special. Otherwise, I wouldn't really bother making ordinary couscous. Keep in mind that making your own couscous requires knowing exactly when to stop pulsing to get a nice, even grain. I haven't done it for years, but once you get it, you have it forever. Yes, once well dried, it cooks like shown here.
  • Rick A
    Rick A
    Thanks Tony.
  • Brenda L
    Brenda L
    If the point of this recipe is to learn one can use stock instead of h2o then so be it, but I found it really boring. The first Rouxbe disappointment after countless successes? Not really sure how I would have made it better. Mushrooms? Short stock? Not complaining, really having a blast with Rouxbe! Thank you!
  • Jim C
    Jim C
    Although I agree with you Brenda about having a blast with Rouxbe, I actually found this recipe to be very informative. I had once asked a Moroccan woman, a fellow student in my Spanish class, how to make couscous. Her Spanish was better than mine at the time and I understood her explanation of steaming couscous to be something similar to the way you steam vegetables, with water rising up to it in some type of basket. Needless to say, that lumpy strainer full of useless carbohydrates wound up in the trash. This video is most likely what was explained to me some two years ago and I look forward to using my stock for a new recipe.
  • Mary B
    Mary B
    I also found the lesson very informative and look forward to trying these recipes and expanding their use. Thanks Rouxbe!!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    This couscous is meant to be rather plain. It is meant to ask as a canvass to flavorful other highly flavorful dish, such as this Moroccan Lamb Tagine. Think of it like plain rice, which is also served alongside other flavorful dishes. In these cases, the starch is meant to be the more silent, yet super important component. It is not meant to compete or overpower the main event. Does that make sense? If you are simply looking to make a couscous dish, then you may want to try making this
  • Ron S
    Ron S
    It's a basic dish, almost like a bowl of white rice, even if you use an above-average stock as the basis instead of water. However, if you dress it up it can be very yummy! I roughly followed the instructions of the knife skills course by adding sautéd onions, tomato concassé, minced celery, and crushed garlic. In this form the dish was delicious, filling, and doubtless more healthy.
  • Anne B
    Anne B
    Following advice from a Moroccan friend and after a video I saw on, I always try to steam it after soaking, it tastes and feels so much better. I use a muslin cloth to stop it falling through the colander holes and steam it over the vegetable tagine as it cooks, it comes out so fluffy and light!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Good tip Anne - thanks for taking the time to share it. Cheers, Dawn
  • Sunnie S
    Sunnie S
    The 1:2 ratio of couscous to liquid was giving me runny, wet couscous. So, I adjusted to 1:1 1/2 ratio and it was great! Fluffy and light! Tried all 3 variations (vegetable stock alone, 1/2 vegetable stock + 1/2 tomato juice and saffron + vegetable stock). All were good, but my personal favorite was vegetable stock alone. I enjoyed mine at room temperature with fresh vegetables (yellow onion, tomato, green peppers, green onion and parsley) that I had leftover from the knife skills unit in the Professional Cooks course.

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