This one-pot Vegetable Moroccan Couscous recipe is quick, delicious and nutritious, perfect as a side dish or a vegetarian meal.

Enjoy this delightful dish paired with Moroccan Chicken to create an exquisite dinner experience.

Close up view of a bowl full of Vegetable Moroccan Couscous with vibrant vegetables

Are you looking for a delicious, healthy and satisfying dish perfect for a busy weekend dinner or a special weekend feast? Look no further! Our Vegetable Moroccan Couscous is a one-pan wonder full of flavor and nutritious ingredients. We will show you how to make this incredible dish in no time flat and provide some helpful tips and variations to make it your own.

Why This Recipe Works

  • The blend of spices like paprika, ground coriander, turmeric, celery salt, ground cumin, and ground cinnamon creates a complex and distinctive flavor profile.
  • The combination of red onion, yellow bell pepper, carrot and peas brings a variety of textures, colors, and flavors to the dish.
  • Adding garlic and Piquante peppers contributes a layer of umami flavour, adding depth and richness to the dish.
  • Using stock to cook the couscous provides additional flavor and depth to the dish.

The Origins of Couscous

couscous on a white board

Couscous is a North African staple, most commonly associated with Moroccan cuisine. It’s made from steamed and dried semolina and is the perfect base for absorbing the flavors of aromatic spices and a medley of colorful vegetables. Couscous is delicious and incredibly versatile, making it a fantastic choice for a wide range of dishes.

Ingredient Notes

all of the ingredients for Vegetable Moroccan Couscous laid out on a table

Olive Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for flavor and health benefits, or opt for milder oils like canola or sunflower.

Red Onions: Choose medium red onions for a sweet, vibrant flavor, or substitute with yellow or white ones.

Pepper Bells: Pick yellow bell peppers for color and sweetness, or use red or orange for similar appeals.

carrots: Select firm, bright-colored carrots for taste and texture. Alternatively, use frozen carrots and them with the peas.

Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are ideal, but you can substitute with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder or 1 teaspoon of jarred minced garlic.

Spices: Freshly ground spices enhance flavor; if unavailable, use a Moroccan spice blend like Ras el Hanout.

Frozen Peas: Convenient and vibrant, frozen peas can be replaced with fresh shelled ones or other frozen veggies.

Chickpeas: Use canned chickpeas or cook dried chickpeas after soaking and boiling.

Piquante Peppers: Substitute with jarred roasted red bell peppers or pickled jalapenos if unavailable.

Stock: Opt for good-quality stock, using vegetable stock for vegetarian or vegan options.

Fresh Parsleys: Adds brightness; use fresh cilantro or dried parsley as alternatives.

Instant Couscous: Convenient and easy, regular couscous, quinoa, rice, or gluten-free couscous can be used as alternatives.

Peppadew Peppers

For a wonderful kick of flavor in this dish, I use Peppadew® Piquante Peppers.

peppers in a bowl

If you aren’t familiar with Peppadew®, they are amazing little, crispy Piquante Peppers with fantastic sweet heat. I love cooking with them; once you try them, you will too!

Step By Step Instructions

For the Vegetable Base

To make Vegetable Moroccan Couscous, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped red onion, bell pepper, and carrot, and sauté them until they reach your desired tenderness.

The onion, pepper and carrot are cooked down

Once tender, add the garlic and sauté for about a minute, just long enough to release the fragrance.

Then add salt, pepper, ½ teaspoon of paprika, ½ teaspoon of ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, ½ teaspoon of celery salt, ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, and ⅛ teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the skillet.

the spices added to the cooked vegetables in the pan

For an extra kick of heat, add some cayenne pepper. Cook for about a minute until the spices are toasted and fragrant.

Next, add the 1 cup of frozen peas, the piquante peppers, and a can of drained chickpeas. Pour in the 1½ cups of stock.

the stock being poured into the pan with the vegetables

Be sure to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, as these add an extra layer of flavor.

the stock mixed into the dish in the pan

Cooking The Couscous

As the stock simmers and bubbles, fold in the handful of freshly chopped parsley, followed by 1 cup of instant couscous.

the freshly chopped parsley and couscous added to the stock mixture in the pan

Gently mix the couscous into the vegetable medley, ensuring each grain is coated in the rich, spiced broth. Remove the skillet from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes, allowing the couscous to absorb the liquid and transform into a fluffy, flavorful delight.

a pan full of the cooked Vegetable Moroccan Couscous

Once the liquid has been absorbed, grab a fork and gently fluff the couscous. Serve this magnificent Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Couscous in bowls or on a large platter, garnished with an extra sprinkle of fresh parsley.

a portion of Vegetable Moroccan Couscous in a bowl

Storage & Freezing Instructions ❄

Storage and Reheating: This dish stores well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of water or stock to keep it moist.

To Freeze: Cool the Vegetable Moroccan Couscous to room temperature. Then, transfer it into airtight, freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Divide the couscous into portions for easy reheating. Stored properly, it should maintain its quality for up to 3 months.

Erren’s Top Tips

  • This recipe can easily be adjusted to suit your desired level of spiciness. To make it milder, simply omit the cayenne pepper, or add more if you prefer a spicier kick.
  • Customize Your Vegetables: Feel free to swap out or add your favorite vegetables to this dish. Zucchini, eggplant, or even cauliflower would make excellent additions.
  • To make this vegan recipe, swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock.
  • Short on time? To speed up the cooking of the onions, peppers, and carrots, add a little water (about a quarter cup) as it cooks to have them sweat instead of sauteing. This really speeds things up. Just be sure to cook out the water before moving onto the next step.
  • For a healthier option, use whole-grain couscous. It will give you a boost in dietary fiber.
  • For a bit of sweetness, try adding raisins or sultanas. They’re both common in Moroccan cooking.