This vegetarian recipe for Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Couscous is delicious on its own or makes a lovely accompaniment to a tagine and any other Moroccan style dish.
Introducing my favorite couscous dish! I’ve posted quite a few couscous recipes over the years and I genuinely love them all, but this recipe is officially my favorite.
This is the most ridiculously simple, side for a mid-week meal that is unbelievably tasty, wonderfully light, and on the table in just 30 minutes.
Couscous is my go-to weeknight staple. It’s super versatile and only needs hot water or stock to make it.
Why This Recipe Works
- The aromatic combination of fragrant spices makes it a dish that’s packed full of flavor.
- It’s a vibrant, healthy dish that’s full of nutritious vegetables and protein-rich chickpeas, making it perfect for a vegetarian meal.
- It’s a one-pot dish that’s simple to prepare.
- It’s a recipe that tastes just as good cold as it does hot making it a truly versatile dish.
Evolving this recipe into the perfect dish:
I’ve been making this dish for a long time and over the years, it’s evolved into a one-pot recipe, but I never updated this post to reflect the changes. I thought it was about time I did!
I used to cook the vegetables, set them aside and cook the couscous in another pot. Then I mixed it together at the end. All that was totally unnecessary. It works even better as a simple one-pan dish.
I can eat a big heaping bowl of this as a meal, but it’s fantastic on the side of a Moroccan Tagine . This recipe is a family favorite and I hope it becomes your go-to couscous recipe, too!
Here’s how to make it:
Heat olive oil and add red onions.
Followed by bell pepper.
Add diced carrot.
Cook until soft.
Add the garlic and cook another minute.
Mix in the salt & pepper, paprika, ground coriander, turmeric, celery salt, cumin ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir-fry until fragrant (about a minute).
Add the frozen peas and cook briefly.
Add the piquante peppers (I use Peppadew) and chickpeas.
Pour in the stock.
Stir in the couscous to the hot stock.
Leave to absorb the liquid (off the heat for about 5 minutes).
Fluff before serving.
Serve and enjoy every last bite.
This dish packs up great for lunches, picnics, day trips and so much more.
Bring this delicious dish along to your next potluck—it’s vegan, dairy free, and nut free too so if you have allergies to worry about, this is a good choice many can enjoy.
- This recipe calls for instant couscous. Instant couscous is cooked by covering it with water and leaving it to sit for 5 minutes.
- Read the package instructions for your couscous. If the directions and measurements, do not match my instructions, just adjust the liquid measurement according to the amount of couscous in the recipe, add the spices and follow then follow the package instructions. Once cooked, add the vegetables and mix to combine.
- Short on time? To speed up the cooking of the onions, peppers, and carrots, add a little water (about a quarter cup) as it cooks to have them sweat instead of sauteing. This really speeds things up. Just be sure to cook out the water before moving onto the next step.
- For a healthier option, use whole-grain couscous. It will give you a boost in dietary fiber.
- For a bit of sweetness, try adding raisins or sultanas. They’re both common in Moroccan cooking.
- Mix it up with any of your favorite vegetables or beans.
- For an added crunch and texture, add sliced almonds at the end.
- Add cooked chicken to make this a complete meal for non-vegetarians.
What is couscous?
Although couscous has the appearance of a grain, it’s actually tiny pasta. You may also notice Israeli couscous at the supermarket. This kind of couscous has larger granules and cooks differently than the smaller variety.
How do you safely store leftover couscous?
To avoid food poisoning, once cooked allow the couscous to cool for at least an hour before refrigerating, but don’t allow it to sit at room temperature longer than two hours. Store in an airtight container. Once stored in the fridge, leftovers should be eaten within three days.
Can couscous be re-heated?
Pasta and grains, such as couscous and Bulgar wheat, can be eaten hot or cold. There are a few precautions you should take when storing and reheating.
I just adore this recipe and would love to know what you think if you try it. 🙂 And I’d love to know what YOUR couscous secrets are too!
Do you have a secret ingredient or technique for your favorite couscous? Please share in the comments section below!
Watch the video showing how to make this recipe at the top of the post on PC and on mobile, under the recipe card.
★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!★
Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Couscous
Throw together a deliciously spiced and super healthy dish in no time flat. This recipe is great as a side dish or vegetarian meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped
- 1 carrot chopped into cubes
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- cayenne pepper optional, to taste
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 14oz can chickpeas drained
- 6 Peppadew Piquante peppers chopped, mild or hot
- 1½ cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- A good handful fresh parsley chopped
- 1 cup instant couscous
- In a medium-size skillet heat the oil over medium heat.
Add red onion, yellow pepper, and carrot sauté 10-15 minutes or until all the vegetables are your desired tenderness
- Add the garlic, sauté another minute.
Mix in the salt & pepper, paprika, ground coriander, turmeric, celery salt, cumin ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir fry until fragrant (about a minute).
Add the frozen peas and cook briefly. Stir in the piquante peppers and chickpeas. Followed by the stock.
Add the chopped parsley and stir in the couscous. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff and serve.
This recipe calls for instant couscous. Instant couscous is cooked by covering it with water and leaving it to sit for 5 minutes. Read the package instructions for your couscous. If the directions and measurements, do not match my instructions, just adjust the liquid measurement accordingly (to the amount of couscous in the recipe), add the spices and follow then follow the package instructions.
*This is a sponsored content written by me on behalf of Peppadew®. The opinions and text are all mine.*
Update Notes: This post was originally published on: Aug 6, 2018, but was republished with step by step instructions, new photos, tips, FAQs and a video in August of 2018.