This easy one-pot recipe for Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Couscous is delicious on its own or makes a flavorful side dish for Oven Fried Chicken or a nice juicy steak!
Why This Recipe Works
- The aromatic combination of fragrant spices makes it a dish that packs a punch.
- Browning the vegetables instead of just softening them adds an extra depth of flavor.
- Cooking the Couscous in the stock and vegetable mixture allows the tastes to infuse.
Deliciously Simple Couscous
Don’t you just love a quick and easy dish? I know I do! If you’re looking for a delicious side dish in a hurry, this vibrant recipe is unbelievably tasty, and on the table in just 30 minutes!
For a wonderful kick of flavor in this dish, I used Peppadew® Piquante Peppers
If you aren’t familiar with Peppadew®, they are amazing little, crispy Piquante Peppers that have a fantastic sweet heat. I love cooking with them and once you try them, you will too!
What is Couscous?
Couscous is often thought of as a grain, but although it may look like a grain, it’s actually pasta. This includes Israel couscous which is just a larger variety of couscous.
Couscous is a healthy alternative to white or brown rice as a cup of it has both fewer calories and carbohydrates.
How To Cook Couscous
Traditional couscous (white or whole wheat) cooks in a flash! Here’s how to do it:
- Measure a 1:1 ratio of couscous to water.
- Salt the water and bring it to a boil.
- Add the couscous, cover the pot, and remove it from the heat.
- Let it stand for 5 minutes,
- Fluff it with a fork.
For this recipe, the couscous cooks in the stock and the spicy vegetable mixture for the best possible flavor.
How To Make Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Couscous
Heat olive oil and add red onions, bell peppers and carrots.
Cook until tender and browned.
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), chickpeas, and stock.
Stir in the couscous and chopped parsley to the hot stock. Leave to absorb the liquid (off the heat for about 5 minutes), and fluff before serving.
For Perfect Couscous
This may seem like a no-brainer but read the package instructions. Different brands may vary on the proportions of liquid to couscous.
If the instructions don’t match the recipe you’re making – go by the package and adjust the recipe accordingly.
Tips And Variations
- 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.
To avoid bacteria growth, 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.
Yes, it can be re-heated in a microwave or in a skillet with a tablespoon of heated oil.
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Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Couscous
- 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
- 14 oz chickpeas (garbanzo beans) one can, 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 brown and 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, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- 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.
Tips + Notes
- 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.
*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.