Easy Lemon Couscous

Plain couscous in wooden bowl

Joy Skipper / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 6 to 8 portions
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
115 Calories
1g Fat
22g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 171mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 152mg 3%
*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.)

Lemon couscous is one of the easiest and most flavorful couscous recipes. While some people are nervous about trying new things in the kitchen, this recipe should be undertaken fearlessly as it has only five ingredients and is so simple to make.  

Couscous is similar to pasta in taste, but with a mild nuttiness to it. It has become a popular North American staple, as is very versatile to use. This recipe uses instant couscous which only takes a few minutes to prepare. 

This is the perfect side dish for many meals. Pair it up with everything from chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, vegetables, or tofu. You can even chop up the protein and veggies if you want, and just mix it all together after the couscous is prepared and enjoy as a one bowl meal. 


  • 1 (32-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

  • 2 cups instant couscous

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium sauce pot, bring the chicken broth, lemon juice, and lemon zest to a boil.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine couscous and salt.

  4. Pour boiling broth over couscous and allow to sit, covered for 10 minutes, or until the broth is absorbed.

  5. Fluff couscous with a fork and serve immediately.


  • Remember to fluff your couscous up with a fork to break up any clumps and make it light and airy.
  • Make up your own chicken broth to use in the recipe rather than using the canned version.
  • The recipe can easily be cut in half to make a lesser amount. Just save the remaining chicken broth to use in another meal.

Recipe Variations

  • Garnish it with some parsley or basil for additional color and flavor. 
  • Sprinkle some feta cheese on top. 
  • Place some sliced almonds or pine nuts on top for added crunch and texture.
  • If you're a garlic lover, don't hesitate to throw in a bit of sauteed fresh garlic.

How to Store

  • Any leftover couscous can be placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat in the microwave, simply add a tablespoon or two of water with it. 

What is Couscous?

Couscous, pronounced "KOOS-koos", is a simple dish made from durum wheat, making it related to pasta. It originated in North Africa and has become popular in many other countries. There are three types of couscous—Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese—the main difference between these varieties is the size of the grain.