Make Ahead

Your Favorite Ways to Use Leftover Couscous

February 21, 2015

There are so many great conversations on the Hotline—it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge—and to keep the conversation going.

Today: Turn leftovers into bestovers—couscous works for any meal of the day.

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It’s always leftover season if you’re a Food52er, but it's important to come up with new ideas for using them in order not to get bored. Luckily, one of our favorite things to dream up is bestovers.

This time, fitsxarts wrote into the Hotline asking for suggestions for your favorite ways to use up extra couscous. You demonstrated that couscous is an amazing canvas for all sorts of goodies, from hearty main dishes to lovely accompaniments. Here’s what you came up with:

Go the breakfast route

  • Drbabs suggests warming leftover couscous with milk and enjoying it instead of oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Maedl turns couscous into a comforting egg-laden dish -- perfect for breakfast, or anytime: “Fry it in olive oil, maybe with some chopped onions. Beat two eggs, pour them over the couscous, and fry until done.”

Use it as an accompaniment

  • LE BEC FIN has these words of wisdom: “Because it is so neutral, and it absorbs sauces so well, it makes a great bed for almost any stew or entrée with sauce.”
  • Nancy says to use couscous as a base for: "slow cooked onions, almonds, cinnamon, and sugar." She explains that this is part of a beef stew spread served by North African Jews at Rosh Hashanah, noting: "Add some beef and you've got a new main dish. Roasted squash slices optional, but nice.”

Turn it into a meal

  • Panfusine pairs couscous with budget-friendly frozen peas: "Temper some mustard seeds, add cumin, toss in some minced ginger root and maybe a diced serrano pepper (if you like heat), along with some diced onions and frozen peas. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and the peas get soft. Season with salt and some garam masala and fold in the couscous. Sprinkle with some water, cover the couscous, and cook on low for about five minutes until the flavors combine. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm with a wedge of lime."
  • Meaghan F suggests using it to stuff roasted vegetables.
  • ChezHenry turns a couscous recipe from Jerusalem into a Not Recipe dish: “Mix in one cup of tomato sauce to every two cups of couscous. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, then press the mixture into the pan, flattening it out. When browned, flip onto a plate to serve, browned side up.”

What's your favorite use for leftover couscous? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation over on the Hotline!

Second photo by Food Blogga, all other photos by James Ransom 

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Mei Chin

Written by: Mei Chin

Let's have dinner sometime. There will be champagne and ice cream for sure; everything else is up in the air.

1 Comment

Amanda {. February 21, 2015
I often have Lemon-Oregano pearled couscous leftover from my favorite Salmon recipe. I like using it the next day for a little late-morning brunch topped with a fried or poached egg. If I have any tomato confit leftover from the Salmon, I'll top it with a spoonful of that as well. Love couscous!