Couscous is a cheap and healthy alternative to starchy foods like rice and pasta, and best of all, it’s super easy to prepare. It literally takes a few minutes to “cook”. Simply add boiling water, let it stand for a few minutes, stir and fluff. That’s it.

Couscous can be prepared as a quick side dish with stews, curries and all things saucy. It can also be used as a tasty main.

An added bonus of using couscous is portion management. It is as easy to cook one serving as it is to cook a family-sized bowl. This makes it ideal for singletons and prevents waste. Leftover couscous can also easily be incorporated into an entirely different meal.

So, if you don’t like wasting time in front of the oven, Counting Coins has compiled a list of 5 easy and quick couscous recipes for your convenience:

1. Couscous garden salad

This is as easy as it sounds. You can simply add prepared couscous to a salad to boost its protein content and fill you up.

So just prepare a salad the way you like it, with whatever ingredients you prefer. We suggest tomato, feta, cucumber, green pepper, gherkins and olives. And don’t forget the salad dressing.

Once the prepared couscous has cooled down, add it to the salad, mix, and voila. An entire meal made in a matter of minutes.

If you are uncertain of how to prepare couscous, simply follow the instructions on the packaging.

Couscous garden salad

Couscous garden salad

2. Cheese and veggie couscous fritters

These yummy fritters are tasty, easy to make and very filling.

What you need:

350g couscous
250g mixed frozen veggies
100g cheese, like cheddar or Tussers
1 egg yolk
1 lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve

What to do:

1. Prepare the couscous.
2. Grate and squeeze the lemon. You will need 1 teaspoon of rind and 1 ½ tablespoons of juice.
3. In a bowl, add and mix the veggies, egg yolk, lemon rind and juice, couscous and cheese together. Divide the mixture into 8 portions. Dampen your hands, and form eight patties, roughly 6.5cm wide.
4. Grease a large, non-stick frying pan and place it on the stove at medium heat. Cook the patties for 1 to 2 minutes a side, or until warm and golden.
5. Serve with lemon wedges.

Alternative: You can replace the veggies and cheese with spinach and feta for an entirely different meal.

3. Couscous and wors stew

This is a proudly South African way to enjoy couscous.

What you need:

• 500g packet couscous
• Olive oil
• 2 courgettes
• 1 red pepper
• 1 green pepper
• 2 red onions
• 1 tbsp chopped parsley
• 2 cans of tomatoes
• 1 green chilli (if you like it spicy)
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 pack of wors (or as much as you need)

What to do:

1. Cook the wors until it’s medium to medium well. Leave it to cool and then chop into bite-size bits.
2. Prepare the couscous.
3. Chop up the peppers, onions, courgettes, garlic and chilli. If you don’t like spicy foods, leave out the chilli.
4. Fry the veggies in a dash of olive oil. Once the veggies are nice and soft, add the canned tomatoes and wors.
5. Season the mixture to taste and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Stir in the couscous.
7. Serve and enjoy.

4. Roast veggie couscous

This savoury meal will hit the spot and is super easy to prepare. To add to the flavour, cook the couscous in chicken, beef or vegetable stock. To do this, bring the water and stock to boil in a saucepan. Use this to prepare the couscous.

What you need:

• 1 ½ cups of couscous
• 1 small eggplant
• 1 small zucchini
• 1 small yellow squash
• 1 red pepper
• 1 small red onion, finely chopped
• 3 garlic cloves
• ¼ cup chopped basil leaves
• 1/3 cup feta

What to do:

1. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
2. Prepare the couscous.
3. Chop the eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion and pepper into cubes.
4. Grease a baking tray and spread the vegetables and garlic out on it. Sprinkle it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to spread the oil and seasoning.
5. Bake the veggies for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how soft or crispy you want them.
6. In a large bowl mix the veggies, couscous, feta and basil.
7. Serve with a nice vinaigrette or balsamic dressing and enjoy.

You can also add a bit of feta or a few olives to the finished dish.

Roast veg Couscous

Roast veggie couscous

5. Stir-fried couscous surprise

Much like our awesome leftover stir-fried rice or noodles recipe, anything goes with the stir-fried couscous surprise.

Go through your fridge for leftovers. You can use leftover chicken, beef, mutton or pork and whatever veggies you have. My favourites are mushrooms, green pepper, onion and pineapple.
What you need:
Whatever you like, seriously.

What to do:

1. Prepare the couscous.
2. Chop up your chosen ingredients.
3. Fry the ingredients together in a dash of olive oil and season to taste.
5. Once the veggies soften, ad a cup or two of stock. I prefer chicken, but vegetable, fish or beef stock will work as well. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
6. Add the couscous and let it simmer for a few minutes. The couscous will absorb the broth.
7. Serve up and enjoy.

Stir-fried couscous surprise

Stir-fried couscous surprise

You can play around with variations and create your own couscous dishes. And don’t forget, it’s the perfect side for any saucy meal. Couscous salads or roasted veggie dishes also perfectly complement roasted meats or a braai.

About The Author

Ula Van Zyl

Ula van Zyl is a sub-editor at a major news outlet. She has been a bibliophile since she could recognise the little squiggly things as letters and words. Ula is the person you want to have on your pub quiz team, but is, unfortunately, already committed to a team at present.

One Response

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