Weeknight CookingWhat to CookQuinoa & Other Grains

The Quickest Grain for Your Every Dinner Need

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When I am low on time and inspiration, and high on hunger and grumpiness, I turn to couscous. Cover this golden grain (it's actually a granular pasta made with durum wheat semolina!) with hot water, leave it for a minute, and you've got a fluffy, tender heap just waiting to be your dinner. (Note: If you're using Israeli couscous, you'll have to boil a pot of water—but it still cooks super quickly.) Couscous is the speediest way to dinner—bonus, it's extremely versatile.

Couscous makes an excellent bed for a hearty stew or saucy braise (make one over the weekend, then eat it all week long). It also easily bulks out a salad or turns roasted vegetables, toasted nuts, and some cheese into a full-fledged meal. Add some eggs and whatever leftovers are in your fridge, and voilà—you've got fritters. Is it also delicious with butter, salt, pepper, and microwaved peas? Yes, it is.

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You hardly need a recipe to turn couscous into a meal, but just in case you want one, we've rounded up 16 recipes to celebrate couscous, and hearty stews to put on top of couscous, to add to your weeknight arsenal.

Couscous (Israeli & Non-)

Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Roasted Lemon Salad
Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Roasted Lemon Salad
Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad
Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad
Citrus Olive Couscous

Citrus Olive Couscous by vegetarianirvana

Truffled Israeli Cous Cous with Meyer Lemon and Basil

Truffled Israeli Cous Cous with Meyer Lemon and Basil by ModernSwap

Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions, Preserved Lemon, and Israeli Couscous
Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions, Preserved Lemon, and Israeli Couscous
Couscous with Roasted Fennel and Toasted Almonds

Couscous with Roasted Fennel and Toasted Almonds by Jennifer Ann

Saffron-scented Vegetable Couscous with North African-spiced Halibut

Saffron-scented Vegetable Couscous with North African-spi... by deensiebat

Pearl Couscous with Roasty Roots, Chickpeas, and Pepitas
Pearl Couscous with Roasty Roots, Chickpeas, and Pepitas

Things to Put on top of couscous

Braised Moroccan Chicken and Olives
Braised Moroccan Chicken and Olives
Pork Stew with White Beans and Butternut Squash

Pork Stew with White Beans and Butternut Squash by Merrill Stubbs

Salmon Moqueca

Salmon Moqueca by WinnieAb

One-Pot Chicken Chasseur
One-Pot Chicken Chasseur
Seafood Stew that Reminds Us of Portugal
Seafood Stew that Reminds Us of Portugal
Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce

Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce by ieatthepeach

Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower and Coconut Milk

Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower and Coconut Milk by Alexandra Stafford

Warming Winter Squash Tagine
Warming Winter Squash Tagine

What's your favorite way to put a box of couscous to use? Tell us in the comments!


Tags: couscous, weeknight cooking, grains