Lemon Parmesan Israeli Couscous

March 6, 2011

When I was in college, one of the most wonderful things about going home was knowing that my mom would have a wonderful meal waiting for my arrival. After driving four hours, usually at night after class, there was nothing better than sitting down to a big bowl of hot beef stew with her famous buttermilk biscuits.

So when my mom let me know she was going to visit me this weekend to work on wedding crafts, I knew I needed to return the favor and get to cooking something for dinner. For weeks now, I’ve had a box of Israeli (aka ‘pearl) couscous from Trader Joe’s in my pantry and thought this would be the perfect excuse to experiment with a new-to-me ingredient.

I’ve eaten Israeli couscous a number of times and fell in love with the chewy, dense texture that’s a cross between brown rice and pasta. Thankfully, my mom likes to cook and eat simply, so I kept it beautifully basic. A little garlic, paprika, cooked in low-sodium vegetable broth to enhance the flavor, then topped with grated Parmesan cheese, lemon and olive oil.

Lemon Parmesan Israeli Couscous

*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 clove garlic, chopped
*1/2 tsp. paprika
*1 1/3 cups Israeli (pearl) couscous
*2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
*1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*1/2 a lemonย 
*Additional olive oil

*Bring the broth to boiling in a small sauce pan.
*Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic, paprika and the couscous. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until cous cous is slightly browned and the garlic is fragrant.
*Add in the boiling broth to the couscous mixture. Cover and simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until couscous and chewy and tender and almost all the broth is absorbed.
*Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

Happy cooking!

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  • Reply Natalie March 7, 2011 at 1:00 am

    oooh I've never tried the bigger (Israeli) couscous but I've been meaning to! this looks so good!

  • Reply Marilyn March 7, 2011 at 1:15 am

    The couscous was amazing (as was the rest of the meal). I'm so blessed to have you as my daughter.


  • Reply Lauren at Keep It Sweet March 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I've had Isreali couscous in restaurants but never cooked with it. Definitely looks like a perfect simple dish.

  • Reply helennaturally March 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I have never tried the Isreali couscous. I love your flavor combinations ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply souperior March 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Such a delicious idea! I love Israeli couscous but always use it as a salad ingredient, I can see that this would be yummy (and so different!)

  • Reply DessertForTwo March 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    This looks so simple, elegant and delicious! I can't wait to work it into my weeknight dinner rotation!

    Great photo, too ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Deanna May 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    how many servings did this make?

  • Reply Madison Mayberry May 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Deanna –

    It made enough for about four side-dish sized servings.


  • Reply Amy Nadeau November 28, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I’ve made this recipe a few times now and I love it so does everyone I make it for! Great recipe. Keep it up!

  • Reply Alia Sagara August 29, 2013 at 12:50 am

    Serious comfort food! I’ve made this a couple times now and it is delicious!

    • Reply Madison Mayberry August 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you, Alia, for the feedback! So happy that you have been enjoying this recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply LulaCat November 17, 2014 at 2:39 am

    I love this recipe. Thank you for posting it. I use it with the Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains blend and it is awesome!

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