Mexican Couscous

Mexican Couscous

Couscous is a tender fluffy grain that is versatile and easy to make. This jazzed up Mexican version is super yummy and filling. Fire roasted tomatoes, veggies, beans and spices, is a plate of complete goodness.

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What Is Couscous?

Couscous is a grain made from little balls of durum wheat or semolina flour. There are 3 different kinds of couscous.

  • Moroccan
  • Israeli
  • Lebanese

I used Moroccan for this recipe. Lebanese and Israeli are similar in texture like little balls of pasta. Moroccan is more like rice. Although some claim couscous to be a pasta, others believe it to be more like rice. It really doesn’t matter to me, but I thought you’d enjoy this bit of information incase you want to pick a side. 😉

One of the things I love about making couscous is it cooks ridiculously fast making this a perfect busy weeknight dish. Simply add your grain to the boiling liquid and it’s done in 5-8 minutes. You might also like my sheet-pan roasted veggies and couscous . A great dish to serve cold for a picnic.

This Moroccan style grain-like-rice absorbs whatever ingredients you add to it, so it works well for recipes like this. Yet even a simple side of couscous cooked in vegetable or chicken broth with a drizzle of olive oil is tasty.

See notes below in recipe box for additional information and ideas to serve Mexican couscous.

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Let’s eat!🤍

Mexican Couscous

This jazzed up Mexican Couscous is super yummy and filling. Fire roasted tomatoes, veggies, beans and spices, is a plate of complete goodness.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
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 in cilantro and lime juice. Fluff with a fork.
  • Note: Don't leave behind the couscous stuck to the bottom of the pan. Using your fork, scrape up all those toasted bits. This adds additional flavor to the dish.


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 while it cools, transfer to a large zip-lock bag, smooth in one single layer and remove excess air. Lay flat in freezer.
  3. Couscous will last several 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, Grains, Herbs, Mexican spices, Moroccan, veggies

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

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