Mexican Couscous

Mexican Couscous

Fast and Easy! Mexican Couscous is hearty and complete with fire roasted tomatoes, veggies, beans and spices. It’s filling and could easily be the main meal.

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One of the things I love about making couscous is it cooks really quickly. This is perfect when you need a quick side for busy nights. Like rice, couscous has a mild flavor so you can add different spices and other seasonings for a versatile dish!

What Is Couscous?

Couscous is a pasta made from little balls of durum wheat or semolina flour. The most popular are, Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese. For this recipe I use Moroccan as it cooks up light and fluffy. It’s the perfect foundation for all the other hearty ingredients.

This Mexican Couscous is mildly spicy and has a nice zesty flavor. It could be the main meal or a side dish with enchiladas and tacos. The leftovers are even better and it’s even great cold!

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Mexican Couscous

Fast and Easy! Mexican Couscous is hearty and complete with fire roasted tomatoes, veggies, beans and spices. It's filling and could easily be the main meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 5
Calories 281 kcal



  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Couscous and other ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup or 1/2 bell pepper- orange, yellow or red, chopped fine
  • 1 cup Moroccan couscous
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed fire roasted tomatoes my favorite brand linked below
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro optional – can substitute with parsley, or sliced green onions
  • 1/2 lime, juiced


  • Combine all the spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Heat a large deep sauce pan to medium high heat and add olive oil, onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes until softened.
  • Stir in spices and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add in couscous and toast stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  • Add beans, tomatoes and broth. Stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil. Put the lid on and turn heat to low and cook for 5-8 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let set 3-5 minutes. Add cilantro and lime juice and fluff with a fork.
  • Note: Some of the couscous will stick to the bottom of the pan, Don't leave this behind! These little toasted bits of gold add great flavor.


Serving Mexican couscous-
  • Serve with fish or chicken with a simple green salad for a complete fast meal.
  • Mexican couscous bowls. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa and romaine lettuce. (My favorite)
  • Make vegetarian tacos using hard shell or soft corn tortillas. Serve with your favorite taco toppings. 
  • Make nachos!
Freezing couscous- 
We almost always have leftovers with our small family of 3. Couscous freezes really well following these simple steps.
  1. Make sure to completely cool before transferring to the freezer. This will prevent the grains from becoming a hard block in the freezer. 
  2. Lay out couscous on a large sheet pan to cool, then transfer to a large freezer safe zip-lock bag. Smooth in one single layer and remove excess air. Lay flat in freezer.
  3. Couscous will last 4-6 months in the freezer as long as it’s in an airtight bag.
Add frozen couscous to soups, casseroles, or simply re-heat in microwave and enjoy as is. 
This recipe as a side dish could easily serve 6 people.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be understood as an estimate rather than a guarantee. The Menu Maid makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Keyword Beans, Couscous, Easy side dish, Grains, Herbs, Holiday side dish, Israeli couscous, Mexican couscous, Mexican spices, Moroccan

A few of my favorite kitchen essentials used for this recipe.

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