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couscous with herbs and pine nuts on top in a white bowl on a wooden board

Couscous with Parmesan

Couscous with Parmesan - a fast and tasty side dish on the table in 8 minutes. Super easy, and great for when you don't have time on your side!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Modern Australian
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 4 as a side
Calories 196kcal


  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves cores removed and crushed (see my notes)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup fresh grated parmesan approx 60g
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves (loosely packed) optional
  • 2 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves optional
  • ¼ cup pine nuts optional


  • Place couscous into a heatproof bowl, and shake to flatten.
  • Heat the stock (1 cup) until boiling (I use the microwave on high for 2 minutes), then stir butter (1 tbsp), garlic (2 cloves - crushed) and salt to taste into the hot stock.
  • Pour hot stock evenly over couscous, making sure it is all covered in stock. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave to sit for 3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small frypan lightly toast the pine nuts (¼ cup) and roughly chop the parsley (¼ cup - loosely packed) if using.
  • When the 3 minutes is up, use a fork to fluff up the couscous, then stir through grated parmesan (1 cup or approx 60g), roughly chopped parsley, oregano leaves (2 tbsp) and pine nuts.


  • The couscous that I use recommends 3 minutes as the cook time. This may vary with the brand that you use. Check the pack for directions.
  • This is one of the times that you should remove the "core" or germ in the middle of the garlic cloves. This will help give you a softer, less sharp/raw garlic flavour. An Italian chef once described this is to me as the garlic being "hotter" if you leave the core in. See this post for more info on how and when to core your garlic.
  • You could sit a plate on top of the heatproof bowl instead of plastic wrap if you like. The hot tip here is to check this size and fit of the plate before you start to heat your stock - this is all a really quick process and you don't want to lose the heat in the stock. 
  • I found that adding the garlic into the hot stock gave the dish a more mellow garlic flavour which I enjoyed because we are effectively cooking the garlic in the stock. You also get the garlic flavour throughout the stock which then goes through the couscous.
*Please note that the amount of calories per serve is provided as a guide only, as ingredients and cooking methods can vary greatly*


Calories: 196kcal