Instant Pot couscous is the best choice for getting an easy side onto your table. This recipe is both dairy free and vegan and is ready in about 15 minutes so it’s super quick. Use this recipe as a standalone side for dinner or in any scenario where you’d want a bed of pasta to top with your favorite sauce, salad or recipe.
Instant Pot Couscous Ingredients
To make couscous in the Instant Pot you start with 2 tablespoons of ghee (or olive oil or butter), one and a half cups of Israeli pearl couscous, and 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. You also need 1 and 3/4 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth), chopped flat leaf parsley, chopped chives (or minced red onion), lemon juice, dried dill, salt, and pepper.
Gluten Free Couscous
There is gluten free pearl couscous available. This recipe will work with your favorite kind. You will want to avoid using a chickpea gluten free couscous as they don’t cook quite right in the Instant Pot.
My favorite gluten free couscous brands:
How to Make Instant Pot Couscous
Start your couscous by setting the Instant Pot to sauté mode and adding in the ghee (or oil/butter). When it is hot, pour in the couscous and add the minced garlic. Stir it around for about a minute until the garlic begins to become fragrant.
Next, turn the Instant Pot off sauté mode and add the broth, herbs, lemon juice, and spices. Give it a stir and combine it all with the couscous.
Place the lid onto the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to ‘sealing.’ Set the cook time to four minutes on manual high pressure and let it do its thing.
When the timer is up, do a quick release on the valve and remove the lid. Fluff the couscous with a fork and give it a taste. Add any salt, pepper, or garlic as desired to taste.
Garnish, serve, and enjoy the fruits of your Instant Pot’s hard work!
How to Make Gluten Free Couscous in the Instant Pot
If you are using a gluten free variety of couscous just swap out the regular Israeli pearl couscous for the gluten free variety and make the recipe as normal.
Serving and Storing Instructions
Garnish your instant pot couscous with chives, parsley, or even zest from a lemon. A drizzle of coconut aminos works well with this one as well. Serve this recipe as a side to any number of dishes where you would want a simple pasta side such as steak or pork chops or what have you.
The Instant Pot couscous also works really well as a bedding for a meat sauce recipe or anything you would normally serve over rice, potatoes, or pasta. It is rather versatile and works in many situations so try different things out!
Use your couscous in these delicious couscous recipes!
Storing Instant Pot Couscous
Storing this recipe is as easy as letting it cool to room temperature and placing it in an airtight container and refrigerating. If you served it with a sauce or as a bed for a main dish, this recipe works great in a meal prep situation so portion it out individually and refrigerate for a quick meal in the future. It will keep well in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is couscous?
Couscous is a small roundish pasta made from semolina flour and water. It is called pearl couscous, Israeli couscous, Israeli pearl couscous, and just plain couscous. It’s a versatile little pasta and a great change up from rice in a lot of scenarios.
Are there different kinds of couscous?
There are a variety of different types of couscous available. This recipe uses Israeli pearl couscous.
Other common types of couscous:
- Moroccan Couscous
- Golden Couscous
- Whole Wheat Couscous
- Lebanese Couscous
Is there gluten free couscous?
Yes! There are gluten free varieties available. The ones listed above are my favorites but there are more around to choose from.
Is couscous a grain or pasta?
Couscous is actually a pasta. A lot of grocery stores (mine included) will stock it by the rice which tends to add to the questioning. Check both the rice and the pasta sections when you’re looking for it! Couscous is made from semolina flour and water.
Is couscous better than rice?
Couscous has a lower calorie count than rice. Per cup couscous has 176 calories as opposed to the 216 calories for rice. It contains 2 grams of fiber per cup compared to the 3.5 grams in rice. As far as protein, couscous has 6 grams of protein whereas rice has 5 grams.
Why is it called couscous?
Couscous comes from a group from North Africa known as the Berbers. They named the dish from their native language which means “well formed” or “well rolled.”
Is couscous a carb or protein?
Couscous is both a carb and a protein. Per cup it contains 2 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
Other Simple Side Dish Recipes You’ll Love!
- Crispy Brabant Potatoes
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash
- Bang Bang Brussel Sprouts
- Air Fryer Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Pineapple Curry Fried Rice
- Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
- 2 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil or butter)
- 1.5 cups pearl couscous (Israeli couscous)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 3/4 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives (can use finely minced red onion instead)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Set the instant pot to saute mode and add the oil or butter. Once hot, add the couscous and minced garlic. Stir for about 1 minute to toast couscous and allow the garlic to become fragrant
- Turn the instant pot off of saute mode and add the broth, herbs, lemon juice, and spices to the instant pot and stir to combine with the couscous
- Place the lid on the instant pot and set the valve to “sealing”. Cook on manual high pressure for 4 minutes
- Once done, do a quick release and remove the lid. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, or garlic as desired. Garnish with additional chives or parsley and zest from a lemon
Keywords: instant pot couscous, instant pot israeli couscous, instant pot pearl couscous, how to make instant pot couscous, how to make vegan couscous, couscous instant pot
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