Lemon herb couscous is an easy 10 minute side dish. It's quick, flavorful, and a great way to use up herbs in the fridge. It makes 2 servings for even easier leftovers for the week. It's delicious with Instant Pot Fish.
[This recipe was originally posted in July 2020. It has been updated with new cooking instructions, expert tips, FAQ, related recipes, and ways to repurpose ingredients]
Table of contents
Couscous, a traditional North African dish, can take so many forms and flavors. It's made with semolina flour, so it tastes just like pasta.
This lemon herb couscous recipe is a great side dish because you just have to boil water, add couscous and let it sit for a few minutes, add lemon juice, herbs, and salt. Boom you've got an easy side dish.
This simple side already makes two servings but double or triple it for more leftovers. Add the lemon and herbs later, or switch up the add-ins. Since the couscous is already cooked, just take 3-5 minutes to add some seasoning and you've got all new leftovers.
Scroll down to the lemon herb couscous recipe card for the amounts of each ingredient, but here's a quick visual + description of what's in this recipe.
- Couscous: Small steamed semolina granules cook up really quickly. Since it's made with semolina, it tastes just like pasta. Pearl couscous would work in this recipe too.
- Chicken Bouillon: I always have a Costco sized jar of chicken bouillon in the fridge. It's a better option than chicken broth, when you're cooking for one. Cook the couscous in chicken broth for easy added flavor.
- Water: You need to add water to chicken bouillon to make a chicken broth. You can also use chicken broth/stock instead of bouillon + water. Use equal parts water and broth/stock.
- Lemon juice: A squeeze of lemon juice adds some citrusy flavor and brightness to this simple lemon herb couscous.
- Parsley/herbs: I often use parsley because that's what I have. But freshly chopped oregano, rosemary, sage, etc would work too.
- Salt: It brings out the flavors of your couscous and seasonings. Adjust to preference.
Scroll down to the lemon herb couscous recipe card for more detailed instructions. Here's a quick overview + photos to see how to make this recipe in general.
1.Boil water. Turn off heat.
2. Stir in couscous, chicken bouillon, salt. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Fluff couscous with fork (gently break apart couscous pieces). Add lemon juice and fresh herbs. Serve your lemon herb couscous with your favorite main dish.
Store leftover lemon herb couscous in an air tight container for about a week. Smell couscous before eating. It should still smell good. Reheat in the microwave. It reheats easily.
- Instant Pot Fish
- add to Spinach Strawberry Salad
- Pan Seared Salmon with Summer Salad
- Pork Chop + Kale, Apple, & Pecan Salad
- Chicken Bacon Sheetpan Dinner
- Completely remove parsley leaves from stalks, they're tough and don't taste that great in this herb couscous salad.
- Don't have chicken bouillon- use ¾ c of chicken broth or stock instead of water and chicken bouillon. You can also use vegetable broth/bouillon.
- Substitute parsley for any other herb. Oregano, rosemary, sage are great options in this lemon herb couscous.
- Substitute couscous for pasta or pearl couscous.
- Other great add-ins: lemon zest, red pepper flakes, dried herbs, salad dressings, extra virgin olive oil, etc are all great in lemon herb couscous.
Oregano, rosemary, sage, parsley, etc are all good herbs in couscous. This lemon and herb couscous can use a variety of herbs, use what you already have. Fresh herbs are best, they add a bright, herby flavor, but dried herbs would be good too.
Couscous is made of durum wheat, and ground into semolina flour. It's the same wheat as pasta, so it's just really small pasta beads. Because it's made from the same wheat as pasta, it tastes just like pasta.
Other good side dishes
What to do with leftover ingredients
When you're cooking for one, you often have leftover produce, cans of whatever ingredient, etc. Here are a couple ideas on how to use up the leftover ingredients. It'll help you save money by wasting fewer ingredients.
- Parsley/herbs: Add to your pasta like this 15 Minute Pasta recipe, Instant Pot Potatoes and Carrots, Instant Pot Lentil Stroganoff, or Parchment Packet Baked Salmon.
- Lemon: 5 Minute Strawberry Sauce, Italian Beans, or this Shaved Zucchini Salad with Corn & Feta.
Did you make this lemon herb couscous? Leave me a comment & rating to share how it turned out!
Easy Lemon Herb Couscous
- Measuring Cups
- Small Saucepan with Lid
- ¾ cup water
- ½ cup couscous
- ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves or other herbs (rosemary, dill, etc)
- Bring ¾ cup water to a boil. Once water is at a rolling boil, turn off heat and remove pot from heat.
- Add ½ c couscous, ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon, and ¼ teaspoon salt to boiling water. Stir and cover for 5 minutes. Chop 1-2 T of parsley leaves, set aside.
- Remove lid and stir to fluff couscous. Once all water has been absorbed, add in parsley leaves and 1 T of lemon juice. Stir together and serve with your main dish immediately.
- Don't have chicken bouillon, use ¾ c of chicken broth or stock instead of water and chicken bouillon.
- Completely remove parsley leaves from stalks, they're tough and don't taste that great.
- Add parsley slowly and taste if you're not sure how much parsley you'd like in it.
- Serve with Instant Pot Fish
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Andrea Metlika says
We love couscous. Will definitely be trying this one.
I love the lemon flavor of this couscous! So refreshing!
What a fabulous side dish! So much flavor from just a handful of ingredients. This is a new favorite, for sure!
This is such a light and yummy side dish for any meal. Love how quick & easy it is to make!