Chicken Apple Sausage Couscous

As mentioned earlier this week, the rapidly-devoured and much-loved chicken apple sausage makes another appearance.

This time, in a completely different environment of ingredients, the chicken apple sausage (yes, you can sub just about any type of precooked sausage or kielbasa) is browned with an aromatic variety of onions, garlic and delectable spices. Tossed with whole wheat couscous, plumped-up dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts, this mostly-skillet meal is packed, and I mean packed, with incredible flavor.

When I saw the recipe posted on my friend, Lana’s family blog (hey, Lana!), it called to me. We love couscous but I struggle to find different ways to serve it. We love chicken apple sausage (a recent find on our part!). We love toasted pine nuts. Like, reeeaally love toasted pine nuts. And we love the cumin/coriander/curry mix. So I guess it should come as no surprise that we loved this meal.

Healthy, filling and utterly fantastic in it’s yumminess, this should go into your meal rotation ASAP. I know the combination of ingredients may strike many of you as unusual and there are lots of you who aren’t sure your taste buds will welcome such a diversion of textures and ingredients, but throw those mainstream, plain, and dare I say boring prejudices to the wayside! If my four young boys and hot-dog-loving husband can ooh and aah over this meal, I promise, you will, too. Money back guaranteed! Er…or something like that.

What To ServeNaan or Soft Wrap Bread
Fresh Cranberry Chutney
Simple green salad

One Year Ago: Chili Rubbed Pork with Apricot Glaze
Two Years Ago: My Favorite Boston Clam Chowder
Three Years Ago: Cookie Dough Truffles

Chicken Apple Sausage Couscous

Yield: Serves 4-6

Chicken Apple Sausage Couscous

Note: I like to use Trader Joe's whole wheat couscous. When I cook it, I use chicken broth instead of water to give it a boost in flavor.


  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces precooked sweet apple chicken sausages, or other type sausage/kielbasa, cut in 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dry whole wheat couscous


  1. Start the couscous cooking according to the package directions. I like to cook the couscous in chicken broth to give it a boost in flavor.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet (12-inch), toast the pine nuts over medium-low to medium heat, tossing frequently, until they are golden. Remove the pine nuts to a small bowl and return the skillet to medium heat.
  3. Heat the olive oil until rippling and hot. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and brown lightly, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of the chicken broth to the skillet with the salt, pepper, thyme, cumin, coriander and curry powder. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the onion is very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated and/or absorbed. It should still be slightly wet but not soupy.
  4. Add the cranberries and the remaining chicken broth (2/3 cup) to the skillet. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the cranberries are heated through and softened a bit. Stir in the cooked couscous and let the entire mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed but the couscous is not dry. It should still have some tender moisture to it but not be saturated with broth.
  5. Stir in the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from a recipe posted on my friend Lana S.’s family blog

21 Responses to Chicken Apple Sausage Couscous

  1. Sam Frei says:

    Wow! So glad you put this on your dinner menu this week! I probably would have just glanced over it while scrolling through the recipe list, but since it was listed on your menu I gave it a second glance. And it was wonderful! I am not a curry fan, but this was light and wonderful! Kind of like mediterranean jambalaya. Thanks for sharing this, it was so yummy!

  2. Sophie says:

    Tasty! Mine came out a little salty — I might use a little less than 1/2 tsp. next time. Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. Amy says:

    I know this recipe was posted forever ago – I just wanted to say that I made it tonight for dinner and it was so delicious. I make a meal from your blog probably 5-6 times a week. And have so many “go to” recipes from you. So thank you :). You are lovingly referred to in our home as mama’s friend Mel!

  4. Amanda says:

    Great food! I tried it the first time at my sister-in-law’s house and absolutely loved it! Quinoa never tasted so good!

  5. Multimeg says:

    This wins the one-dish Thanksgiving dinner award. Delicious! Oh, and I successfully subbed quinoa for couscous.

  6. […] from Mel’s Cafe Kitchen.  You can find the printable there.  I doubled all the spices, except salt and pepper, and diced […]

  7. Andrea says:

    This has been added to my regular dinner rotation. The whole family loves it, and it is so quick to put together! Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  8. Joy says:

    Loved it. Yummy. But then again I love stuffing which is what this completely tastes like.

  9. Emily H. says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was so good! I couldn’t find whole wheat couscous, so I used plain and it turned out great. I also used hardwood smoked chicken sausage since my store didn’t carry chicken apple sausage. My husband and kids said it is a definite “make again”.

  10. Jenny says:

    I found your page because i bought apple chicken sausage and didn’t know what to do with it! 🙂 I will be making it tonight. I have one question though..did you serve it with anything else? Like a side?

  11. Sandee says:

    i was skeptical about the curry, but i went ahead and bought some. forgot to get pinon nuts though (you can buy those on the side of the road around these parts and i still forgot). the chicken sausage was johnsonville and didnt realize til i got home that i bought italian instead of apple. despit all the setbacks, we had this tonight. my kids commented that they liked the “meat, rice and raisins” lol. husband gave me the go-ahead to put this on the “repeat list.” thanks mel!

  12. Lisa says:

    Hi Mel,
    Thanks for this recipe – made it tonight – absolutely amazing flavor. Our whole family loved it!

  13. grace says:

    i’m on a total sausage kick right now–i’m slipping it into everything! i’m partial to pork, but chicken apple sounds like a nice variety.

  14. Nancy says:

    Looks yummy-what brand of curry powder do you use? I have heard that some are better than others. I don’t have any and want to buy some that will taste good for sure! Also, the brand of chicken sausage? (you may have mentioned this before somewhere….)

    • Mel says:

      Hi Nancy – I’ve been very happy with the Spice Islands brand of curry powder. They have the red curry powder and a yellow hot Madras curry powder. I’d suggest starting with the red and branching out to the hot curry powder later if you want to try a variation. I have bought the Johnsonville brand of chicken apple sausages but other commenters have suggested that Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club and Costco have great brands as well.

  15. Lana says:

    Nice! I made the blog. 🙂 I came here today to grab the link to your pumpkin bars because I made them for my daughter’s activity days treat, and all the moms were dying. So, I opened up your page and this post was here! 🙂 You described the cooking process much more thoroughly and precisely than I did, so well done. I’m glad you guys liked it. It’s so good. 🙂

  16. Heather Bell says:

    I have something similar to this on my site. It is one of our favorites! Never thought of using couscous though. What about quinoa too?

  17. Liss says:

    You have had the most amazing sounding recipes lately! Can’t wait to finish this move so I can cook again!

  18. Kim in MD says:

    We love couscous in our house, and I am always trying to find new ways to serve it. This looks amazing! I love that it’s basically a one skillet meal. I can’t wait to try this, Melanie…thanks! 🙂

  19. I was about to say that I like the TJ’s whole wheat cous cous and then I saw that you use it, too. It really is great and I look for different ways to use it, too so this is an awesome recipe to find. Lots of flavor here…this would be a great meal to cook up and have for lunches…I bet this would be yummy cold, too!

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