Very Lemony Couscous

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Lemon Couscous

Oftentimes, when I prepare dinner for myself or for others, I struggle with what to serve as a starch or side dish.  Rice?  I make that a lot in different forms.  Pasta?  Of course, but that gets tiresome.  Potatoes?  My favorite.  But last week I was searching for something light and different and happened upon a recipe for lemon couscous that I made and loved, as did my crowd of eaters.

This is simple and superb alongside fish.  It has a small list of ingredients that you most likely have at home already.  The trick for me is keeping Israeli couscous on hand just in case…

Very Lemony Couscous

Serves 6-8 



  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • ¼ stick of salted butter
  • ⅓ cup finely diced white onion
  • Grated zest of 1 ½ lemons
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock (I made mine with Chicken Better than Bouillon)
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan/Reggiano cheese (Grate with the microplane grater.  I save about ¼ cup of this to sprinkle on top of the finished dish)
  • Lemon curls and grated black pepper for the top
  • Chopped parsley to garnish if desired

Heat a 4-quart saucepan with the butter, onion and lemon zest over medium heat.  Cook it on low so the lemon infuses the butter and the onion becomes aromatic but not brown.

Add the Israeli couscous and toss with the mixture in the saucepan to coat.  Keep stirring together for three minutes or so.

Pour in the chicken broth, add ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  

Fluff with a fork, sprinkle with ½ cup of the parmesan cheese and mix in.  Taste and add more salt or pepper.

Serve in a shallow bowl with some more lemon curls and parmesan cheese.  

Leftovers taste great and I recommend making extra so you can enjoy it again.


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