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Instant couscous in a grey bowl with parsley sprinkled on top.
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5 from 1 vote

How to Cook Couscous - Israeli (Pearl) or Instant

Learn How to Cook Israeli, or pearl, and Instant Couscous on the stovetop in less than 20 minutes. These tiny, pasta-like balls of semolina wheat flour are so quick and easy to make, you simply need 1 ½ cups of water to each cup of couscous. 
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 6 servings
Author: London


Pearl (Israeli) Couscous

  • 1 ½ cups water or broth
  • 1 cup pearl couscous or Israeli couscous
  • Butter or oil optional
  • Salt to taste

Instant Couscous

  • 1 ¾ cup water or broth
  • 1 ½ cups instant couscous
  • Butter or oil optional
  • Salt to taste


Israeli (Pearl) Couscous:

  • Add water or broth to a medium-sized pot. Bring liquid to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  • Stir in Israeli couscous, salt and butter. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes, or until it reaches your desired tenderness.

Instant Couscous:

  • Add water or broth to a medium-sized pot and bring liquid to a boil.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in instant couscous, butter or oil, and salt.
  • Cover and let steam for 5 minutes.
  • Remove lid and fluff up couscous with a fork.


Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead of time: If you're making a bowl with couscous, you can easily make it a few days before you need it.
  • How to store: Cooked couscous will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • How to freeze: Couscous freezes very similarly to cooked pasta or grains. To freeze couscous add it to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or container once cooled. It will keep in the freezer for up to 4-6 months.
  • How to reheat: For the best results, warm the couscous back up in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave.


Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg