Quick Chicken Couscous

Background and History of Chicken Couscous

Couscous is a traditional North African dish made from steamed semolina wheat granules. It has been a staple in the diet of many North African cultures for centuries, often served with vegetables, meat, or fish. Chicken Couscous is a popular variation that combines tender chicken with fluffy couscous and a mix of aromatic spices and vegetables, creating a flavorful and nutritious meal. This dish has spread beyond Africa and is now enjoyed worldwide for its versatility and ease of preparation.


4 servings


  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


Prepare Couscous

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Cook Chicken

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add chicken pieces, season with salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and paprika.

Cook until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

Cook Vegetables

In the same skillet, add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.

Add red bell pepper and zucchini, cooking for another 3-4 minutes until tender.

Stir in cherry tomatoes and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Combine and Serve

Return the chicken to the skillet and mix with the vegetables.

Add the cooked couscous and stir until everything is well combined and heated through.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 400
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 65mg
  • Sodium: 650mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Dietary Fiber: 5g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 30g


  • Couscous: Can be replaced with whole wheat couscous or quinoa for a healthier alternative.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables like carrots, peas, or spinach.
  • Spices: Adjust the spices according to your taste preferences.

Allergy Warning

  • Gluten: Couscous is made from wheat and is not gluten-free. Use quinoa or gluten-free couscous as a substitute if you have gluten intolerance.
  • Chicken: Ensure no cross-contamination if you have a poultry allergy.
  • Spices: Some individuals may be sensitive to certain spices. Adjust accordingly.

Why does couscous cook so fast?

Couscous cooks quickly because it is made from steamed and dried semolina granules, which rehydrate rapidly when exposed to hot water or broth.

What makes couscous taste better?

Couscous can be made more flavorful by cooking it in broth instead of water, adding spices, herbs, and mixing in sautéed vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, or a squeeze of lemon juice.

What dishes are made from couscous?

Couscous is versatile and can be used in salads, as a side dish, in stuffed vegetables, as a base for stews and tagines, or in breakfast bowls with fruits and nuts.

What is the easiest method of cookery for preparing couscous?

The easiest method to prepare couscous is to boil water or broth, pour it over the couscous, cover, and let it sit for a few minutes before fluffing with a fork.

What is the main ingredient of couscous?

The main ingredient of couscous is semolina, a coarse flour made from durum wheat.

What are the two types of couscous?

The two main types of couscous are Moroccan couscous, which is the smallest and cooks quickly, and Israeli (or pearl) couscous, which is larger and has a slightly chewier texture.

What tool is used to cook couscous?

A couscousière, a traditional North African double-chambered steaming pot, is traditionally used to cook couscous, but a simple pot with a lid works well for modern quick-cooking methods.

What goes well with couscous?

Couscous pairs well with grilled or roasted meats, vegetables, legumes, nuts, dried fruits, and a variety of spices and herbs like cumin, coriander, parsley, and mint.

What is the raw material for couscous?

The raw material for couscous is semolina, a type of wheat flour derived from durum wheat.

Is couscous closer to rice or pasta?

Couscous is closer to pasta than rice, as it is made from semolina wheat and water, similar to the ingredients used in pasta.

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