this herbed couscous recipe is a quick and super tasty side dish that will take your mid-week dinners to a whole other level. It’s made with pearl couscous, garlic, herbs and a little lemon. The best part? It’s ready in about 20 minutes and the pairing possibilities are endless!
This herbed couscous recipe is one of my favorites to make with pearl couscous. It’s fresh and herby, and the hint of lemon in the end brightens all the flavors even more! Finish it with some olive oil, and I swear to you, you’ll be digging into this dish with a big spoon!!
I love this recipe because you can eat it hot, or cold, and it’s a great side dish to bring to gatherings, picnics and barbecue parties!
What is pearl couscous?
Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, are these pasta-like little pearls made from wheat flour and semolina, that aren’t gluten free at all!
I do have a confession to make, tho… As much as I love couscous now, I had never had, or heard of (!) pearl couscous in my life until I was in culinary school a few years ago. It just wasn’t a thing when I was growing up – remember, we Brazilians love our rice!
Since eating it for the first time, pearl couscous, or Israeli couscous as it’s also know, has become part of our weekly meal planning. It’s super delicious, easy to make, and its great to use in salads, or as a side dish. If you don’t use it regularly, I totally recommend!
Tips on how to cook pearl couscous
By itself, pearl couscous can taste pretty bland, sorta like plain cooked pasta. Here are my tips on how to make pearl couscous super delicious!
- Toast the dried pearls in olive oil. You can even add aromatics like onion, garlic or Brazilian sofrito for extra flavor!
- Add the water, or broth to the pan. Typically we use 1 1/4 cups of liquid to each cup of dry pearl couscous – some brands call for 1 1/2 cups of liquid to each cup of dry pearls. Check the package instructions to see the specific recommendations from the brand you’re using.
- Add a bay leaf and some thyme to the cooking liquid to add even MORE flavor!
- Simmer covered for about 10 mins.
- Fluff with a fork, and while you’re at it, you can add some fresh herbs and more olive oil.
Other couscous recipes:
Other quick and easy side dish recipes:
- 1 cup of dry couscous
- 1 garlic clove minced, or a tsp of Brazilian Sofrito
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- salt to taste
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 tbsp of roughly minced parsley
- heat up one tbsp of the olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium to high heat
- sautée onion until transparent, about 2-3 mins
- add garlic and sautée until frangrant, about 1 minute
- add dry couscous and stir
- add salt, stir
- add water* thyme and bay leaf
- bring it to a boil then reduce to a slow simmer
- cover and let it simmer until all the water has been absorbed (about 10 mins)
- after all liquid has been absorbed, remove the thyme sprig and the bay leaf and discard
- add remaining tbsp of olive oil, the parsley and the lemon zest, stir to combine