If you’re looking for a sauce to go with your couscous, look no further.
Couscous is an amazing grain that’s super versatile and easy to cook.
It’s also incredibly delicious on its own—but just in case you want a little something extra, we’ve got you covered.
So, what sauce goes with couscous?
The best sauce for couscous is a simple vinaigrette. It can be made with any type of vinegar, such as white wine or balsamic, and you can add garlic and herbs to it if you’d like. This will go well with any kind of couscous—traditional, whole-wheat, or even Israeli—and it’s also great for other grains like quinoa or rice.
Keep scrolling for more ideas!
11 Sauces that Go Well with Couscous
One of the most popular ways to eat couscous is with a tagine, which is a dish made up of meat and vegetables cooked in a clay pot that’s sealed with dough or other materials.
However, many people prefer to eat their couscous with a sauce on top.
These 11 sauces are our favorites and make great accompaniments to couscous:
1. A Simple Vinaigrette
Couscous is one of the most versatile grains out there, so we love to pair it with a simple vinaigrette.
We’ve tried a number of different combinations, including lemon juice and olive oil, but our favorite is simply olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The lemon juice adds some brightness to the dish, while the balsamic vinegar adds a sweet flavor that makes a great pairing with savory foods like couscous or chickpeas.
This sauce also goes well with dried fruit, like raisins or dates.
2. Lebanese Garlic Sauce
Lebanese garlic sauce is one of the most popular sauces to serve with couscous.
It’s easy to make: just mix together minced garlic cloves and vegetable oil until they form a paste, then add lemon juice (or wine vinegar) and water to thin out the mixture into a sauce-like consistency.
The lemon juice adds brightness to the sauce while mellowing out the strong flavor of raw garlic cloves—making this dish perfect for those who don’t like spicy foods!
3. 3-Ingredient Lemon Honey Sauce
This is one of the most popular sauces to go with couscous.
The lemon juice and honey make it sweet and tangy, while the spices add some complexity.
This sauce is quick and easy to make, and it’s also quite versatile—you can serve it over couscous, rice, or even chicken breast (if you’re craving something a bit more substantial).
4. Pomegranate sauce
This sauce has a unique taste that pairs well with couscous.
It’s great for people who like something savory and tangy in their food, but don’t want anything too overpowering on their plate.
The pomegranate flavor is subtle enough that it doesn’t distract from other flavors, but strong enough that it still stands out as its own distinct taste when combined with couscous!
5. Cilantro sauce
Cilantro sauce is great because it provides an acidic flavor and a refreshing crunch.
The cilantro sauce does not need to be cooked, so it can be prepared in advance and added at the last minute before serving.
It also has a milder taste than other sauces, which makes it a good choice if you are serving guests who don’t like spicy foods.
6. Tomato sauce
Tomato sauce is another great choice because it adds another layer of flavor to the dish without being too overpowering.
If you don’t like spicy foods, this may be your best bet because tomato sauce usually has some heat associated with it; however, if you want something that is not as spicy but still maintains its flavor profile, try mixing some basil into your tomato sauce before serving on top of couscous!
7. White Onion Sauce
This sauce is a personal favorite of many people who eat couscous.
The basic ingredients are onions, olive oil, and white wine vinegar.
The key to this sauce is making sure that the onions are cooked until they’re very soft but not browned—otherwise they’ll taste bitter.
You can also add other things like garlic or herbs like parsley to the sauce if you want!
8. Tahini sauce
Tahini sauce will give your meal an extra boost of flavor.
The tahini is made from sesame seeds and stirred into water with lemon juice, garlic and salt until it becomes thick and creamy.
This sauce is also perfect for dipping pita bread in!
Harissa is a spicy paste that’s made with hot peppers, garlic, and other spices.
It’s a popular accompaniment to couscous because it has just the right amount of heat and flavor.
- To make your own harissa, combine one cup of dried hot peppers (such as chiles de arbol), two cloves of minced garlic, and two tablespoons of olive oil in a small food processor.
- Pulse until you have a smooth paste.
- Add one tablespoon of tomato paste and pulse again until combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three months.
10. Yogurt Garlic Sauce
This sauce is great for those who prefer milder flavors than harissa provides.
- You can make it by combining one cup plain Greek yogurt with two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, one teaspoon minced garlic, and salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon).
- Stir well until thoroughly combined, then serve on top of cooked couscous.
11. Tomatillo Salsa Verde
This is a great sauce to use because it has just enough acidity and spice to cut through the starchy texture of the grain without overpowering it.
It also has a lot of flavor, so you don’t have to add a lot of spices or herbs to give your dish some kick.
How to Pick the Right Sauce to Serve with Your Couscous
If you’ve ever tried to pick the right sauce to serve with couscous, you know that it can be a challenge.
There are so many delicious options!
To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve created this list of three factors to consider when choosing your sauce:
1. How Much Time Do I Have?
If you’re short on time, you’ll want to choose a sauce that’s quick and easy to make.
That might mean going for something like pesto or salsa instead of making your own tomato sauce from scratch.
2. How Much Moisture Do I Need?
If the couscous is going to be served alongside a saucy main course or another dish that’s already very moist, you might want to go for a drier sauce like a vinaigrette or even just olive oil and lemon juice instead.
This will help keep the grains from getting soggy in their own juices as they sit out on the plate during dinner.
3. How Much Flavor Do I Need?
If you’re looking for something bold and flavorful, then maybe go with something like a spicy tomato sauce or chunky salsa verde.
If you want something more mellow, try something like hummus or roasted pepper spread—you’ll get all the taste without having too much going on at once.
What Salad Dressing Goes with Couscous?
If you’re planning on serving couscous as a side dish, you may be wondering what salad dressing goes with couscous.
You could go the traditional route and pair it with a light lemony vinaigrette, which would perfectly complement the grain’s nutty flavor and slight crunch.
However, if you like to get creative with your choices of salad dressing for couscous, then this could be a great opportunity for you to experiment!
Try mixing in some tahini or olive oil for an extra creamy texture; adding chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro; or even drizzling some honey over the top after it’s been cooked—the possibilities are endless!
What can I add to couscous for Flavor
When it comes to adding flavor to couscous, there are many options.
- You can start by sautéing vegetables such as onions, bell peppers, and garlic in olive oil before adding them to the couscous. Adding a variety of herbs and spices such as cumin, coriander, paprika, thyme, and oregano can also give the couscous a boost of flavor.
- You can also add some fresh chopped parsley, mint, or cilantro for a bright and herby flavor. If you’re looking for a more complex flavor, try adding some dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, or raisins to the couscous.
- Finally, adding some nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts, can add both flavor and texture.
How do you fluff up couscous?
The best way to fluff up couscous is to first prepare it according to the package instructions. Once the couscous has finished cooking, fluff it with a fork.
To do this, use a large fork to break up any clumps and gently stir the couscous to separate the grains. You can also use a spoon to move the couscous around, just be careful not to mash or break the grains.
After fluffing, the couscous should be light and fluffy. To add more flavor, try adding some herbs and spices, or tossing the couscous in a bit of olive oil or butter.
What can I add to couscous to make it less dry?
One of the best ways to make couscous less dry is to add extra liquid. You can add vegetable or chicken broth, water, juice, or even white wine.
If you’re using broth, use about a cup for every cup of couscous you have. If you’re using water, start with about a tablespoon for every cup of couscous. You can adjust to your own taste, adding more liquid if needed.
Once you’ve added the liquid, let the couscous sit for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork. This helps the liquid to absorb into the couscous.
You can also add some fat to your couscous to give it more flavor and texture. Try adding butter, olive oil, or even toasted nuts or seeds. This will help keep the couscous moist and give it some depth of flavor.
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11 Sauces that Go Well with Couscous
- A Simple Vinaigrette
- Lebanese Garlic Sauce
- Lemon Honey Sauce
- Pomegranate sauce
- Cilantro sauce
- Tomato sauce
- White Onion Sauce
- Tahini sauce
- Yogurt Garlic Sauce
- Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- Pick any sauce/dressing from this list to use with your meal.
- Prepare the rest of your dish.
- Be ready to munch in no time!
Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.