This quick and easy mushroom couscous is amazing in flavor and comes together under 30 minutes. The chewy mushrooms are so satisfying and pair well with the fresh parsley and zesty lemon. Perfect side dish or you can serve it as a full meal.
I used to eat moroccan couscous so often, but somehow haven't had it for a while now. And there are absolutely no good reasons for this: couscous cooks within minutes, has such an interesting fine crumbly texture and the plain flavor from the grain pairs amazingly with just about anything!
So I made this speedy mushroom couscous that I'm sure you will love. It's just pretty darn good! Very easy and straightforward, which makes it a perfect side dish if you are also cooking something else to serve it with.
The mushrooms are roasted and then paired with garlic, hearty couscous, fresh parley and zesty lemon juice. Once the mushrooms are done, then the couscous soak up the warm veggie broth and softens within 5 minutes. Again, very simple and quick, but surprisingly filled with complex flavors that are just right.
I would totally serve this dish for any holiday, such as Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving: it has an elegant look and can be made ahead and reheated just before serving.
You can tweak this recipe as you wish, cannot wait to see your creations! Hope you like it! ❤️
What is couscous made of
Couscous is a tiny granule-looking grain made of semolina, which is the hardest part of the grain of durum wheat. Moroccan couscous is very fine, almost like a coarse corn flour, and will swell up to the shape of tiny beads after steamed. The result is a soft and fluffy tiny grain used for salads, pilaf, tabbouleh, etc.
Couscous is a staple ingredient in many cuisines from North African countries such as Algeria and Morocco where it is usually served alongside stews and roasted vegetables.
What are the three types of couscous
You can normally find 3 main types of couscous: Moroccan, Israeli and Lebanese.
The finest kind of couscous is Moroccan couscous, which is the kind that was used to make this recipe. It cooks in minutes (about 2-5) and has a nice crumbly texture that's so pleasant.
Israeli coucous, or pearl couscous, has a texture that's closer to a pasta and needs a little more time to cook. Once done, it has the shape of a tiny pearl. This is the kind of couscous I used to serve my chickpea and spinach curry.
Lebanese couscous, or moghrabieh couscous, also is closer to a pasta, but even bigger than Israeli couscous and takes longer to cook.
All kinds of couscous are amazing and fun to explore, but for this recipe, I highly recommend to use fine moroccan couscous as it creates a nice crumbly texture that's very satisfying and that also cooks so fast!
What's to love about this recipe
- Great simple side dish that can easily be turned into a full meal
- Very versatile and you can add more to it
- Dairy-free, vegan and healthy
- Perfect any holiday!
- Great for meal-prep and reheats very well
- Use leftovers for the next day lunch!
Ingredients you'll need
- Moroccan style couscous: main ingredient and easy to find in any grocery store (often stored in boxes).
- Mushrooms: choose any kind! I used white button mushrooms to make them, but cremini, finely sliced portobello, shiitake or wild mushrooms all work as well. Use a mix and match for a interesting combination of texture!
- Onion: flavors nicely the couscous and pairs well with the mushroom flavor as well.
- Garlic: I think garlic is essential when cooking mushrooms! Use as much as you can handle, I usually go for 2 large cloves.
- White wine: absolutely optional, I usually use it when I already have a bottle opened 🤷♀️, just omit if that's easier. BUT, similarly to making risotto, it adds SO much deeper flavor!
- Vegetable broth: use your favorite kind or make your own veggie broth for great flavor.
- Lemon: lemon juice will brighten up the earthy flavors from this dish so beautifully.
- Fresh parsley: also freshens up the whole dish, but you can also use other fresh herbs such as dill, basil, cilantro and even mint.
How to make mushroom couscous
Roast the mushrooms
Start by warming up a large pan with a little oil, if using. Then, cook the onion with a pinch of salt until softened and browned, about 5-7 minutes.
Once done, add the mushrooms and roast them until browned and tender, about 7 minutes. Stir once in a while.
Once the water from the mushrooms is mostly evaporated, then add the garlic, cook for one minute, and then pour the white wine over, if using (this step can be omitted).
Let the wine also almost dry out, maybe 2-3 minutes.
Cook the couscous
Pour the veggie broth over the vegetables and stir. Let the broth come to a simmer before sprinkling the couscous over. Stir gently to cover the couscous nicely and then cover. Turn off the heat.
Let the pan sit for 5 minutes. The couscous will soak up on the warm broth and soften during that time.
Then, remove the cover and check for doneness: the couscous should be soft and you should not see any liquid anymore, although a little moisture is fine. Let it sit a little longer if needed.
Add aromatics and serve
Squeeze some lemon juice over the dish and add the fresh parsley. I usually start with ¼ of a lemon, but I often add a little more.
Stir well and adjust saltiness. Serve right away while still warm.
Watch how to make it
- Adding the lemon juice and fresh parsley at the end after the dish is done cooking makes sure to keep optimal freshness and best flavor. Add some lemon zest if you would love a more citrusy flavor!
- Try roasting the mushrooms in the pan as opposed to boiling them. When making this recipe, I used my tiny portable stove since I made it during our kitchen renovations, which made it difficult to bring my pan hot enough for browning the mushrooms. You can have a sneak peak at my mushroom buckwheat risotto video to see how I like to usually brown mushrooms.
Variations to the recipe
The beauty of this recipe is that you can easily make it your own! Makes for a great base to add on so much more to it such as spices or veggies. You can choose to make it as a side dish or a main meal or pack lunches to go.
Tons of extra veggies would go great with the mushrooms: steamed asparagus, green peas, roasted broccoli or cauliflower, diced tomatoes, spinach, etc. Also, you can spice it up with some curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, paprika or dried herbs.
If serving this recipe as a full meal, then I would definitely add some chickpeas to the couscous or cubed roasted tofu. Tempeh or lentils would also be great and add more plant-based protein to help you stay full longer!
I love a nice punch of zesty flavor in this dish, so I usually serve it with more lemon wedges on the side. That way, everyone can control how citrusy they want their couscous to be.
Add more fresh parsley over and if you want, garnish with something crunchy to add more texture, such as slivered almonds, pistachios or pine nuts.
Keep leftovers for up to 4 days in the fridge. Cover it well as the couscous tends to dry out easily.
It stores so well that you could meal-prep this recipe ahead of time and divide in individual containers topped with chickpeas or nuts for fun and healthy lunches ready-to-go.
Can you reheat cooked couscous
Yes! It actually reheats pretty well and the texture won't change much after reheating, which is a great dish to make ahead. If it has been stored for a few days in the fridge or you worry it has dried out a little bit, then simply add 1-3 tablespoons of water to the couscous, stir well and reheat. This will help steam the grain and rehydrate the dish.
Yes! Again, amazing for meal-prep. Cool down the couscous first, then freeze it in a well-covered container for 3-4 months. Feel free to freeze in individual portions for easy grab-and-go. Then, simply allow the couscous to thaw in the fridge and add 1-2 tablespoons of water before reheating using the microwave.
More vegan mushroom recipes
- Vegan mushroom white sauce pizza
- Mushroom buckwheat risotto
- Wild rice and mushroom soup
- Mashed potato stuffed mushrooms
- Mushroom lentil meatloaf
- Vegan mushroom stroganoff
- Vegan shepherd's pie
- Mushroom aglio olio
Try these vegan side dishes next!
- Brown rice and quinoa salad
- Whole wheat buns
- Glazed aubergine
- Vegan potato croquettes
- Pineapple coconut rice
- Mashed purple sweet potatoes
- Cauliflower gratin
- Lemon miso potatoes
I hope you like this mushroom couscous as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
- 1 yellow onion - finely diced
- 16 oz mushrooms (any kind) - sliced
- 2 large cloves of garlic - crushed
- ¼ cup white wine - optional
- 1½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup moroccan couscous
- 1 handful of fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, cilantro or dill) - finely chopped
- ¼-½ lemon - juiced
- salt - to taste
- Warm up a large pan and cook the onion in a little oil for 3-5 minutes. Then, add the mushrooms and cook for 5-7 more minutes stirring once in a while.
- Once the mushrooms are done and the water mostly evaporated, add the garlic, stir and cook for about one minute.
- Then, add the white wine to the pan and let the liquid almost completely evaporate (this step can be omitted). Then, add the broth and let it come to a simmer. Once simmering, add the couscous, stir to coat well and cover. Turn off the heat immediately and let it rest for about 5 minutes or until done.
- Then, add salt to taste, lemon juice (start with ¼ of the lemon and add more as needed) and the fresh herbs. Serve warm.
- Keep leftovers in an air-tight container for 3-4 days. To reheat, add 1-3 tablespoon of water and warm up using the microwave. Can also be frozen.
- You can add more vegetables to this dish such as broccoli, asparagus, green peas, spinach, etc. Also, to make it a full meal and more filling, add chickpeas, roasted tofu or lentils.
- Make sure to use Moroccan style couscous (not Israeli or Lebanese).