Perfect Israeli Couscous

Bowl of couscous salad
Dennis Lane Photography / Getty Images
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
332 Calories
8g Fat
54g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4-6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 332
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 690mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 19%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 12g
Calcium 80mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Israeli Couscous is a delightfully soft, satisfying, healthy pasta grain that is a delicious substitute for your average pasta and rice. Some cooks boil it and then strain it like pasta, others simmer it in water as one would pasta or small couscous, but after trying all of these, this is the best way I've found to enjoy it! The act of lightly toasting the couscous first adds flavor and keeps the texture from being mushy.

Feel free to substitute the mushrooms with another vegetable of your choice--sauteed or steamed broccoli or spinach have been wonderful additions to my family's Israeli couscous dishes, as has the occasional sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Add tofu--seared, steamed, baked or fried--to keep this meal vegan, or add grilled fish or another healthy protein to add a little bit of heartiness.

Note: This recipe as written is suitable for dairy-free and vegan diets, but as with any recipe intended for persons with dietary restrictions or allergies, make sure to read the ingredients labels on all ingredients to make sure that there are no hidden dairy-derived ingredients or other allergens that apply to you.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cups Israeli Couscous
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms (halved)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Prepare the couscous. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Add the vegetable stock, bring the mixture to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid is evaporated and the couscous is tender. Set aside.

  2. While the couscous simmers, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and white wine and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add the dried thyme, fresh parsley, and salt, stirring to combine, and cook for about 3-4 minutes more, or until most of the moisture of the mushrooms has evaporated.

  3. Add the cooked Israeli couscous to the mushroom mixture tossing well to combine. Portion onto plates and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.