Making light, flavorful, fluffy couscous is quick and easy with a few tips, tricks, and simple step-by-step instructions!
Cooking couscous is not rocket science, but every package you buy seems to have different ingredient ratios listed in the directions. And the truth is, some ratios simply yield better results than others.
Furthermore, if you're anything like me, you like transferring your pantry staples to nice, tidy, labeled containers...and you subsequently throw away the directions. Then, when it's time to cook some couscous, you just may find yourself consulting Google every time! Welllll, today's post is for YOU (and me). 😉
What is Couscous?
Couscous is a popular, quick-cooking side dish staple that hails from North Africa and is essentially crushed wheat semolina. That's right...those itsy-bitsy pieces are actually a pasta rather than a grain! Today's post focuses on the variety of couscous that has the smallest grains -- often referred to as just "couscous" or sometimes "Moroccan couscous" (as opposed to Israeli or Lebanese couscous).
Most of the regular couscous that we find in the U. S. of A. is precooked. This make it "instant," meaning it only needs to steam in a hot bath for a few minutes to become light and fluffy. When possible, look for whole grain couscous, which is going to be healthier and pack an extra punch of fiber.
What Are the Ingredients?
Cooking couscous involves just a handful of ingredients.
- Couscous. Obviously.
- Liquid. I prefer using a low-sodium broth or stock here (as opposed to plain water) for extra flavor. The type of broth or stock you use (chicken, beef, vegetable) can be chosen to complement the final dish that the couscous is going into or being served with. If you don't have (or prefer not to use) broth, you may use water instead.
- Fat. This is optional but recommended. You can opt for butter or extra-virgin olive oil. I usually use a combination of the two.
- Salt. I prefer sea salt. An initial amount is given, but you can always tweak to taste, of course. If you use regular (instead of low-sodium) broth, you may want to consider using slightly less salt.
How to Cook Couscous
The steps are as simple and straightforward as the ingredients!
- Bring your liquid to a boil.
- Stir in the fat and the salt until dissolved.
- Stir in the couscous and immediately remove from the heat.
- Tightly cover with a lid and allow to steam for 5 to 6 minutes. Do not lift the lid to peek or you risk ending up with crunchy couscous!
- Once the time has elapsed, your couscous will look packed down when you lift the lid.
So use a fork to scrape the surface, gently break up the clumps, and fluff the couscous into fluffy flufferousness.
Ta-daaaaaa!!! Congratulations! You are now a couscous-making PRO.
Now go whip up a Moroccan feast to accompany your yummy pot of couscous!
Or better yet, turn it into an amazing, colorful, bursting-with-flavor Summer Couscous Salad! 🙂 Enjoy, friends!
More Simple Side Dishes
- Homemade One-Pot Mac & Cheese
- Marinated Tomatoes
- Easy Spanish Rice
- 2-Ingredient Baked Parmesan Yellow Squash
How to Cook Couscous
- 1 ¼ cups low-sodium broth or stock (chicken, beef, vegetable) OR water
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil OR butter OR a combination of the two
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup couscous
- In a medium pot set over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the oil (or butter) and salt until dissolved. Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat, and immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow to steam for 5 to 6 minutes. Use a fork to scrape the surface, gently break up clumps, and fluff. Serve immediately.