Fluffy Couscous

I am constantly looking for ways to change up our regular side dishes. Or even better, to change up what we serve things over. Pasta and rice are gimmes when it comes to layering, but they get a bit redundant after a while, so I wanted to give a little plug for another option: couscous.

Couscous is a small pearl-shaped pasta that is treated more like a grain and it makes a great side dish or base for gravies, sauces, stroganoffs, meatballs, curries, you get the picture. It cooks up in about the same time as white rice and has fantastic texture and flavor.

I first started using couscous more often when this Green Curry dish was such a hit. What follows is a basic, delicious method for making couscous – producing a toothsome, fluffy, flavorful dish that is wonderful eaten alone or with a yummy topper (stay tuned to see what delectable topping I chose to pair with this latest batch of couscous).

Fluffy Couscous

Fluffy Couscous

Fluffy Couscous


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring often, until some of the grains are just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl.
  2. Melt the remaining two tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the water and broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Pour the boiling liquid over the toasted couscous and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit until the couscous is tender, about 12 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and fluff the couscous with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from The Best Skillet Recipes

20 Responses to Fluffy Couscous

  1. […] (02/04) Beef and Chickpeas Cooked with Orange (from Cooking Season by Season) and Fluffy Couscous from Mel’s Kitchen […]

  2. mandi says:

    Love couscous… I make it with the onion,garlic, and broth but add mushrooms, and lemon juice. It has awesome flavor!!! I got the recipe off of the back of the first box I ever bought. now i buy it in bulk!!! Its also awesome cold on a salad. I think I’ll go make some now!!!!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Dumb question..but how much does this serve?

    • Mel says:

      Stephanie – it kind of depends on if you are eating it as a side dish or as a main dish with a topping. I’d say if you are eating it with a topping (like a sauce or gravy with meat), it could easily serve 4-5.

  4. megan says:

    I love couscous. I always just cook it the way the container says though, with just water (or chicken broth). This sounds like a great alternative. I love it with stir-fries and such…and it’s so quick compared to rice!

  5. Maria says:

    Couscous is a great grain-love how fluffy yours is:)

  6. Leslie says:

    My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE couscous!

  7. Alicia L. says:

    Love couscous as well. On a TOTALLY side note, I’ve been subscribed to MKC for some time. About 6 weeks ago, I stopped getting updates in my email. Unsure why, but I tried to “re” subscribe, and it’s telling me I’m already subscribed & won’t let me. Any thoughts? Of the various cooking blogs I follow, yours is my FAV!

  8. Beth says:

    Couscous is very underated if you ask me- I love the stuff and makes a nice change from the usual rice and pasta

  9. Sook says:

    coucous is one of my favorite side dishes to cook. your recipe looks so great!

  10. Chelsie says:

    I was just searchiong for a good couscous recipe last night! I looked EVERYWHERE, and found nothing I wanted. I was so excited when I checked your blog today, and it was a cousscous recipe! I will definatly be making this.
    P.S. I LOVE every recipe of yours that I have tried, Thank you SO much for sharing!

  11. Heidi says:

    My kids love it made with chicken broth and lots of garlic. I haven’t made it in a while and it sounds really good 🙂

  12. Minharos says:

    Mmmm. Quinoa is another family favorite. It has a little crunch to it and is really yummy and super healthy.

  13. LanceandMandyBird says:

    I love your blog and if you stop over at mine, I have an award for you! http://mandysrecipebox.blogspot.com/

  14. grace says:

    my favorite part about making and eating couscous is the fluffing phase–what fun! and is that a sprig of cilantro? delicious!

  15. Anonymous says:

    This looks good! Which brand of couscous do you buy and is it near the pasta?


  16. Melanie says:

    Alicia L. – let me look into this and I’ll let you know if I can figure anything out!

  17. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – I buy the RiceSelect brand of couscous and find it near the rice (usually on the top shelf by the arborio rice).

  18. Selfo says:

    I’m surprised more people don’t eat couscous. I prefer it to rice.

  19. Melanie says:

    Alicia L. – are you still having issues with getting the updates via email? If so will you comment back and give me your email address (or email me at mykitchencafe at gmail dot com) and I’ll look on the subscriber list to see if your email appears.

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