Toasted Middle Eastern Couscous

Toasted Middle Eastern Couscous


A simple pasta dish prepared with stock, shallots and fresh chives.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Views: 52,936
  • Success Rating: 91% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing the Couscous

• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2/3 cup shallots
• 2 cups Middle Eastern toasted couscous (also known as pearl couscous)
• 3 1/2 cups stock
• 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
• 1/4 tsp white pepper
• 3 tbsp chives


Finely chop the shallots. Heat a medium-sized fry pan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the shallots and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook the shallots until translucent.

Add the couscous and cook for a minute or so before adding the chicken stock and salt. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and the liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 10 to 12 minutes.

To finish, finely mince the chives and stir into the couscous. Season with freshly-ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

Toasted Middle Eastern Couscous can be served as a side dish to saucier entrées and stews, on its own or as the base for a salad.

(1) Middle Eastern Couscous is very neutral in flavor and will take on the flavor of the liquid used in the recipe. If for example, 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.

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

a) Try folding in chopped or torn basil, diced tomatoes, cracked pepper and chives for a Mediterranean flavor.

b) Add more Middle Eastern flair by adding chopped prunes and turmeric. The turmeric will infuse the couscous with a nice, yellow color.


  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I had some leftovers of the Middle Eastern Couscous to which I added some steamed cauliflower (that had some yummy Parmesan on it), fresh basil and mint, some fresh fava beans that I bought at the market today, some oven dried tomatoes that I made yesterday and to finish it off I added some delicious Goat feta...yum! yum! Simple, quick and satisfying!!!!
  • Jade B
    Jade B
    Not many people use this type of couscous so I was happy to find this recipe. Simply, tasty and easy - this was a different experience for a lot of my guests at dinner.
  • Dee F
    Dee F
    We made this last night for a dinner party and it was so good. I actually got one of my guests to make it. He watched the video, printed out the recipe and then made it in about 10 minutes. It was fun to get my guests involved, it helped me out and he learned a new dish. Super fun, thanks.
  • Lucy F
    Lucy F
    I was wondering what kind of basil would be best for the alternative version of this dish? (Although I'm posting this here, but I always had a question about the different variety of basil and which one should be used for what dish. ) Thank you!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I have not tried basil in this dish but if you are making something more Italian I suppose basil could work. As for what type, I would use one like Genovese basil. As for other types of basil, there are quite a few. Thai basil - Thai cooking, Lemon Basil - dressings, salads, desserts, tea etc. Cinnamon basil - anywhere you might like to add a cinnamon basil flavor. For more information on different types of basil you may want to do an online search as there are many other resources that go into more detail about these sort of things. Cheers!
  • Daniel F
    Daniel F
    Hi, I found some Israely couscous which I wanted to use for this recipe, however, they don't look toasted. Would it make sense to toast is in the oven or even in the pan for a more nutty flavor? Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Sure, you could toast it a bit in the pan before adding the stock. I have not tried it myself, but you could also try toasting a bit in the oven before cooking it. Cheers!

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