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Moroccan Couscous Recipe: A Flavorful Journey

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Scrumptious homemade Moroccan Couscous

Moroccan couscous is a delicious and versatile dish that you can whip up in just 15 minutes. Whether you’re making it from scratch or using pre-made couscous, this dish brings together a blend of warm spices, fresh vegetables, and sometimes even dried fruits like golden raisins or almonds. The result is a fantastic side or main dish that pairs well with proteins like chicken, lamb, or a variety of roasted vegetables.

You’ll love how easy it is to make. With just a few basic ingredients like couscous, olive oil, and broth, you can create a flavorful base. Adding items like bell peppers, chickpeas, and zucchini can elevate the dish and add vibrant colors and textures. Don’t forget to fluff the couscous with a fork to get that perfect, light texture!

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

To make Moroccan couscous, you’ll need these basic ingredients:


  • Couscous: 2 cups. Use precooked couscous for ease.
  • Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons. You can use vegetable oil if needed.
  • Butter: 2 tablespoons. Margarine is a suitable substitute.
  • Chicken or Vegetable Broth: 2 cups. Water can be used in a pinch.
  • Onion: 1 large, chopped. Shallots can work too.
  • Garlic Cloves: 2, minced. Garlic powder can be used (1/4 teaspoon per clove).
  • Carrot: 1 large, sliced. Parsnip can be a substitute.
  • Bell Pepper: 1, chopped. Any color will do.
  • Zucchini: 1, sliced. Yellow squash is an option.
  • Tomato: 1 large, chopped. Canned (diced) tomatoes can be used.
  • Chickpeas: 1 can (15 oz), drained. You can also use cooked lentils.
  • Raisins: 1/2 cup. Currants or chopped dried apricots can work.
  • Parsley: 1/4 cup, chopped. Cilantro can be a substitute.
  • Lemon Juice: From 1 lemon. Lime juice can be used instead.
  • Toasted Pine Nuts: 1/4 cup. Slivered almonds or chopped walnuts are good alternatives.


  • Cumin: 1 teaspoon. Coriander powder can be a substitute.
  • Cinnamon: 1/2 teaspoon. Nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon) can also work.
  • Ginger: 1/2 teaspoon. Fresh grated can be substituted (1 tablespoon).
  • Turmeric: 1/2 teaspoon. Curry powder can be used in smaller quantities.

This simple set of ingredients and spices ensures that your Moroccan couscous is both flavorful and authentic. Enjoy customizing it to suit your taste!


  1. Prep the Ingredients:

    • Gather your ingredients: couscous, olive oil, water or broth, salt, and your choice of seasonings.
  2. Cooking Liquid:

    • Bring water or broth to a boil in a medium pot. You can add olive oil and salt for flavor.
  3. Cooking the Couscous:

    • Remove the pot from heat.
    • Stir in the couscous.
    • Cover the pot and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Fluffing the Couscous:

    • Use a fork to fluff up the couscous. This helps to separate the grains.
  5. Adding Flavor:

    • Mix in your preferred ingredients like raisins, parsley, lemon juice, or toasted pine nuts. Stir well to combine.
  6. Serving:

    • Garnish your couscous with additional herbs or nuts if desired.
    • Serve hot and enjoy!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

For perfect Moroccan couscous, use fresh ingredients like parsley, lemon juice, and high-quality olive oil.

Fluff the couscous with a fork after it has sat to keep it light and airy.

Add some raisins or toasted pine nuts for a sweet and nutty flavor.

Season to taste by adjusting salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

When making a large batch, stirring in broth can enhance its flavor.

Cover the couscous to allow it to steam fully.

If you like more texture, lightly toast the couscous in olive oil before boiling.

To store leftovers, let couscous cool completely before placing it in an airtight container.

You can store couscous in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To reheat, add a splash of water or broth and microwave for a minute, then fluff again.

For longer storage, freeze the couscous in portions.

When ready to eat, thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat as usual.

Remember to always taste and adjust the seasoning before serving for the best results.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions


  1. With Vegetables: Add carrots, zucchini, and bell peppers for a colorful and nutritious touch. Simply steam or roast the vegetables and mix them into the couscous.

  2. Sweet Style: Mix in dried fruits like raisins, apricots, and dates. Toasted almonds or pistachios can also add a nice crunch.

  3. Spicy Kick: For a spicier flavor, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or some chopped chilies. This pairs well with the mild, fluffy couscous.

  4. Herb Infusion: Fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, and mint bring a fresh and vibrant taste. Chop them finely and mix them in before serving.

Serving Suggestions

  1. Main Dish: Serve couscous as a main dish by adding a protein like chicken, lamb, or chickpeas. The protein can be grilled or roasted, and then mixed in or served on top.

  2. Side Dish: Couscous makes a great side dish for roasted meats or fish. It’s quick to prepare and complements many different flavors.

  3. Salad Base: Use couscous as a base for a hearty salad. Combine it with mixed greens, chopped veggies, feta cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice.

  4. Accompaniments: Add a dollop of yogurt or a side of hummus to enrich the flavors. These creamy additions balance out the spices and textures.


  • Fresh Lemon Juice: A squeeze of lemon adds a zesty flavor that brightens the dish.
  • Toasted Nuts: Sprinkling toasted nuts on top creates a delightful crunch.
  • Spices: Finish with a dash of ground cumin or cinnamon for an aromatic touch.
Benjamin Happy Muncher

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.