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This easy Spinach Parmesan Couscous is a perfect side dish that can be made in under 10 minutes! Only six ingredients are all you need for this versatile recipe.
Years ago, I used to host a series on my blog called Eating the Alphabet. Each month, I and other bloggers would share recipes that highlighted a different fruit, vegetable, or grain that started with a different letter of the alphabet. And that’s how this Spinach Parmesan Couscous recipe came to be.
This side dish is so simple to make and is ready in just 10 minutes! The original recipe was shared as a guest post on my blog by another blogger. I’ve updated that recipe since then and sharing it here again.
What I love about this easy couscous recipe is its versatility. It would be perfect paired with grilled chicken or seafood. I’ve even been known to just eat the leftovers for a light lunch.
What is Couscous?
If you’ve never heard of couscous, you’re probably not alone! But once you try it, you will want to make it a staple in your side dish rotation.
Although I originally thought couscous was a grain, given it’s rice-like appearance), it is actually a pasta made with semolina and wheat flour.
But it is also low-calorie and a surprisingly good source of protein, fiber and anti-oxidants like selenium and vitamin E.
There are two types of couscous: Moroccan and Israeli. This spinach parmesan couscous uses the Moroccan style which is smaller grains than the Israeli (although we like that too!)
What Ingredients Are Needed To Make This Recipe?
The star ingredient, couscous, can be found in the grain and pasta aisle of your grocery store. It’s usually on one of the upper shelves in my store.
I like to use baby spinach in this recipe because it is usually a bit more tender than regular spinach but you can certainly use what you prefer.
Also, it’s easy to swap out the chicken broth with vegetable broth to make a vegetarian version.
This couscous recipe calls for lemon juice, too, but my family is split on including it so it can definitely be left out if your family does not care for it.
Easy Steps To Make This Recipe
Have you gathered that this recipe is SO EASY to make? It seriously only takes about 10 minutes!
Start by bringing only the broth to a boil. I made the mistake the first time I made couscous treating it like rice and put the liquid and couscous in the pan together and it boiled so fast that I burned it—whoops! Once it is boiling, turn it down immediately and add the couscous (1).
Stir it in to combine then remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes (2).
During that time is when I chop the spinach and measure out the other ingredients. Then it’s easy to stir in all the ingredients (3) and that’s it—you’re done!
Make Ahead Preparation Tips
I usually like to include make ahead tips in all my recipes these days but since this recipe is so quick, I don’t typically do that. Although one thing you can do is chop up the spinach the night or morning before and keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready to put it all together.
If you’re grating the parmesan cheese from a whole block, you can also do that ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator or even freezer (for up to six months).
Is this couscous recipe freezer friendly?
I haven’t tried this but think it could work! You may need to add a bit more liquid when reheating, so it doesn’t dry out. I’ll update this post if I do give it a try!
Looking For Easy Side Dish Recipes?
I’m all about super simple side dishes as I feel like they are often the forgotten part of dinner! Here are a few of our favorites for you to try out too:
Simple Stovetop Brown and Wild Rice Pilaf
Apple Carrot Salad with Raisins
Spinach Parmesan Couscous
- 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter optional
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
To Make the Couscous
- In a medium sauce pan, add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add couscous and if using, butter and salt, stirring in quickly.
- Remove pan from heat and let mixture stand 5 minutes.
Adding Remaining Ingredients
- Return pan to stove and add chopped spinach, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese, heating over lowest heat.
- Cook until spinach wilts slightly and changes color (about 1 minute).
- Serve warm.
This post was originally published in March 2012 but updated in September 2020 with new photos, video, and content.
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