You’ll love this hearty, simple Israeli Couscous Recipe that combines cinnamon, lemon, dried cranberries, roasted onions, fresh basil, and roasted pine nuts. This recipe makes a beautiful side dish for an autumn or winter dinner. Add to a green salad for a beautiful combination. The beauty of this couscous is that you can make a vegetarian version if you like, and the recipe is flexible.
This pasta dish looks and tastes complex but the amazing thing about it is that it’s simple to make. Add your favorite items to replace the pine nuts, cranberries, etc.
I was first introduced to Israeli Couscous when a friend made it for a neighborhood gathering. I immediately fell in love with it and had to have the recipe. Well, this is now one of my favorite side dish recipes of all time. It has the right amount of sweetness and is savory all wrapped up in one dish.
Here are some other side dish recipes you might enjoy:
Israeli Couscous Recipe
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Some of you might be asking, What is Israeli Couscous? Well, let’s get some of your questions answered before making this delicious dish.
What is Israeli Couscous?
Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous are small balls of toasted semolina flour. It’s like pasta but has some added health benefits.
Is Israeli Couscous better than pasta?
Couscous is often considered a healthy alternative to pasta since it’s made from whole-wheat flour. Other types of pasta are typically more refined. It also contains quite good levels of protein and fiber with little fat and no salt. Nutritionally, couscous contains some calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, as well as some of the B vitamins and vitamin E.
How long does it take to make Israeli Couscous?
When boiling the couscous it takes about 15 minutes.
Israeli Couscous Recipe
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ½ onion chopped finely
- 1½ cup Israeli couscous
- 1 dry bay leaf can use fresh
- 1¾ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup dried cranberries chopped
- black pepper to taste
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add pine nuts and stir until golden brown. When pine nuts are toasted, transfer them to a bowl.
- Try and keep the melted butter in the pan and saute onions until golden and slightly caramelized.
- Add couscous, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and stir often until couscous browns slightly. If the pan is too dry, add another tablespoon of butter.
- Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender. Cook couscous for about 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in pine nuts, dried cranberries, and lemon juice. Once couscous cools, add fresh basil.
- Season with pepper to taste.
If you don’t know where to buy Israeli couscous, here is a link to a lot of brands of this giant couscous!
Well, I hope you like this Israeli couscous recipe as much as we do! I will probably add it to our holiday menu since the cranberries make is a perfect dish for Thanksgiving.
Enjoy this recipe and get creative with the ingredients.