22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

Perfect Couscous

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

Couscous is made from tiny steamed balls of semolina flour. Though we think of it as a grain, it’s actually a type of pasta.


Couscous is a North African dish made from tiny steamed balls of semolina flour. Though we think of it and cook it as a grain, it is actually a type of pasta. Traditional couscous is steamed in a special double-chambered cooking vessel called a couscousière. It is a multi-step, time-consuming process. However, in the States, the instant variety of couscous is much more prevalent. Because it is partially pre-cooked, it cooks in just 5 minutes, making it one of the easiest, fastest, most versatile side dishes you can make — much quicker than rice or mashed potatoes. The cooking instructions on the back of the box make fine couscous, but this recipe shows how to take it up a notch.

What you’ll need to make couscous


Step-by-step Instructions

To start, bring the cooking liquid (preferably a flavorful chicken or vegetable broth) to a boil in a medium pot. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a pat of butter, and a little salt.


Next, add the couscous. (I use 1-3/4 cups liquid to 1-1/2 cups couscous.)


Take the pan off the heat, cover, and let the couscous steam for 5 minutes.


When you lift the lid, the grains will appear flat in an even layer. Use a fork to fluff it up and break up the clumps for light and fluffy couscous.


You may also like

Perfect Couscous

Couscous is made from tiny steamed balls of semolina flour. Though we think of it as a grain, it’s actually a type of pasta.

Servings: 4 - 6
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes


  • 1¾ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ cups (10 oz) couscous


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water (or broth), salt, butter, and oil to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover tightly with a lid, and remove from heat. Let the couscous steam for 5 minutes. Use a fork to fluff the couscous and break up any clumps. Serve warm.
  2. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The couscous can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, reheat it in the microwave until hot.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 226
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 37g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Sodium: 220mg
  • Cholesterol: 5mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:


  • Unfortunately, I like others was left with soupy, burnt couscous. Not sure what went wrong as I followed the recipe to the letter. I must be missing an important step. Perhaps only works with a particular brand of couscous.

    • — UnluckyChef on August 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe! Although you’d think it would be simple, I’d never been very successful making couscous — it would come out dry and tasteless. Now I know that a little butter and olive oil goes a long way. Will always use this recipe now!

    • — Bonnie on July 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Couscous did not turn out fluffy. Couscous did not turn out edible.

    • — John on July 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • In a hurry, I just read the recipe, not the whole post. It did not say “instant” couscous. This method did not work at all with the couscous I used. I am in Canada and most of the couscous in my local grocery stores is not instant. I am sure it works well, but you may want to update your recipe so it does not simply say “couscous” on the ingredient list

    • — Elaine on May 31, 2023
    • Reply
  • Fantastic! Simple and perfect and most importantly, delicious couscous. Thanks so much!

    • — Kelley M on March 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is a brilliant recipe! Thanks a lot Jenn ❤️

    • — Bridget Gates on February 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Perfect is the correct word to describe the results from using this method. Upon occasion I treat the couscous as if I’m making a rice pilaf and saute a bit of onion, garlic and a bay leaf in the fat mixture before adding the stock. I will never make couscous the traditional way again – this gives better results.

    • — Liz on February 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is the perfect couscous! My go to recipe every time and always comes out perfect. Thank you

    • — Emma on January 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • Wow! It really is THE perfect couscous!

    • — Lyndie on November 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Yeah worked well and gonna try a salad next thanx again

    • — Lee frederic on November 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Cooking cous-cous previously has always been a really hit-or-miss type of dish for me. But I’ve made this recipe several times now and it has turned out perfectly every time! And the flavour is great – it can be eaten as it is, or it also creates a beautiful base to build on with other flavours and ingredients. I won’t be cooking cous-cous any other way from now on! Thank you for a fabulous recipe 🙂

    • — Lauren on August 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Proper cous cous is steamed, not cooked with boiling water. This is a lazy short cut and not how it is prepared in North Africa. If you want light, fluffy cous cous, you have to steam it three times for work minutes each.

    • — CH on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • You can keep cooking the primitive time-consuming method; the rest of us who have better things to do with our time much prefer this quick method. There is more than one way to cook. If you already know how to cook couscous why are you even looking at other recipes?

      • — Alby on October 7, 2022
      • Reply
      • Well said Alby, well said.

        • — Kimmieboo on November 7, 2022
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Greetings from Ireland. I would just like to say that I love and have made this recipe many times. It always turns out perfect for me. I make as per your recipe and add whatever I have and appeals on the day. Today however I did something different… and I’m guessing you may not be impressed with me🤦‍♀️….. but I feel I should share it, as it may help those who said your recipe didn’t work for them. I don’t know why but today I decided to use the microwave! I measured couscous in a bowl. To a microwave dish, I added a chicken stock cube to hot water and mixed in with a fork. I then added salt and stirred. I added the butter and mixed until it dissolved. Finally I added the extra virgin olive oil and stirred to combine. I then covered the dish with a lid and heated in microwave for a 1 1/2 minutes to boil. Microwaves differ so you may need to do for shorter/longer time, in any event keep an eye on it! I then added it to my couscous, gave it a very quick gentle stir, covered bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes I gently fluffed couscous with fork and what happened……today I again had the most perfect couscous👏! I hope that might help if stove top doesn’t work for you. Thank you Jenn for all your wonderful recipes and apologies 😁. Mary.

    • — Mary, Dublin. on April 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • 😁

      • — Richard Smith on April 19, 2022
      • Reply
  • Excellent!

    • — mikermeals on March 19, 2022
    • Reply
  • The couscous turned out perfect. To make it cruelty-free I used the Better Than Boullion Mushroom Flavored concentrate, to sweeten naturally I added a bit added raisins which are also antioxidant powerhouses, served along side Beyond Sausage Breakfast Patties.

    • — Gloria on January 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • BTB mushroom base contains dairy products.

      • — V on May 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • I followed the recipe and the finished product was scrumptious. Thank you!
    Next time I will add a little curry powder with the raisins.

    • — Nona on December 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • This comes out perfect every time we make it.

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.