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Adding flavor elements to couscous

I am diabetic and found a source for whole wheat couscous. I watch the Food Network some and see them add things like cilantro and toasted pine nuts to their couscous dish. What are some other additive combinations that you use? Since I should not eat white potatoes anymore, I'd really like a variety of couscous dishes to serve. TIA, Molly

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  1. I add sliced green onions, minced Italian-flat-leaf parsley, small dice of peeled/seeded cucumbers, canned-diced well drained fire roasted tomatoes, toss with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I sometimes add some diced leftover chicken, sometimes use homemade chicken broth as part of the liquid used for the couscous. Hope you get a lot of good ideas; enjoy your couscous.

    1. I like adding garlic (I love it, so more is better), finely chopped basil, and olive oil. Grate in a little Parmesan if you'd like. I usually toss in a vegetable, either broccoli or spinach.

      I use this as a base and it works with various proteins. I use tuna (if using tuna in olive oil, skip/reduce any oil when cooking), chicken, or my favorite - garbanzo beans.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Vanilla Caramel

        Diced roasted vegetables like zuchini or eggplant.

      2. crumbled feta and chopped kalamata olives

        2 Replies
        1. re: Infomaniac

          Add grilled or broiled cherry tomatoes (even lame winter ones) to this and it's extra good.

          1. re: sholli

            WOW....nice call
            I broiled some cherry tomatoes and made some Couscous tonight after seeing this post this morning.

        2. We own this book:


          Might be worth your getting or getting from your local library - chock-full of ideas!

          Couscous is so versatile that I think you should think about subbing it anywhere you'd use white rice/noodles/etc. So think of flavors that appeal and then add those. Are dried fruits off limits? Small amts. chopped, with nuts and scallions and a little olive oil and s&p is very good. Also try jazzing things up with flavored vinegars - very low sugar, high flavor (I'm digging fig vinegar right now).

          Good luck!


          1. I like scallions, pine nuts, and golden raisins.

            1 Reply
            1. re: glacier206

              I add the above plus cooked petit peas and chopped carrot and a dressing of olive oil, OJ and curry powder.

            2. pesto, sundried tomatoes, raisins or other dried fruit, slivers of vegetables

              1. cardamon and/or cinnamon
                sauteed shallots

                2 Replies
                1. re: thew

                  along with some curry powder :)

                2. Coarsley chopped grilled veggies such as purple onion, bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, portabello mushroom. Shredded grilled chix breast, golden raisins, oil cured olives, cilantro, pine nuts, garlic, lots of good olive oil and fresh lemon juice all work well.

                  1. Flaked almonds, finely chopped preserved lemons, chopped parsley or coriander, chopped dried apricots or prunes, chickpeas. MIx and match as you will.

                    1. -onions, celery, carrots, all chopped and cooked; some roasted garlic; some cumin and coriander to taste. cook it in veggie broth. can also add in cooked lentils if desired.

                      -tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, pickled cocktail onions, currants, basil, dash of olive oil, dash of honey, dash of lime juice

                      - for sweet, try diced cooked apples, cinnamon, stevia, and vanilla

                      -make a dressing from apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, cumin, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. chop bell peppers, tomatoes, parsley, feta, and chilled cooked shrimp. mix into cooked couscous along with dressing.

                      1. For something different, use olive oil, cinnamon, currants, and zested lemon peel.
                        kinda Moroccan in flavor, and good with lamb.

                        1. lots of my favs mentioned, I also like adding edamame and corn, chopped peppers, legumes of all types.

                          can you have quinoa? like cous cous, it too can develope by adding things to it. I sometimes just add cous cous or quinoa to my chopped salad.

                          1. Wow! These are wonderful; so helpful. I hope there'll be lots more, too. Thanks everyone!

                            1. I like cooking it in either chicken or veggie broth and adding sauteed mushrooms, shallots or onions (depending if i have shallots on hand), mushrooms and spinach. Sauteed red peppers, roasted tomatoes and squash are good seasonal additions for me. I vary my spices per my mood (spicy, hot, somewhat tangy). If I'm cooking this as my main, I add in either tofu, chicken or some sort of shellfish.

                              Sometimes I simply add in scallions, mushrooms, water chestnuts with a soy/ginger/nam prik pao (or if I'm lazy only sriracha) and eat for breakfast.

                              Occasionally I make a couscous pilaf.

                              Couscous to me is like rice or quinoa.

                              1. I saute together garlic, onion, mushrooms, then brown the cous cous in the olive oil before adding in chicken broth or onion soup or beef soup until it's done (almsot like a risotto)