How to Cook Pearl Couscous

Pearl couscous -- also called Israeli couscous -- is good nutrition with a slightly sad twist. Each 1 cup serving is fat and cholesterol free, low in sodium and includes significant amounts of vitamin C, potassium, protein and fiber. The sad twist, however, lies in the 650 calories each 1 cup serving also contains. Because of this, you need to be careful when cooking pearl couscous, choosing ingredients that increase its flavor rather than upping the calorie count. Find out more about the nutritional value of pearl couscous by using a calorie counter app.

Step 1

Bring 4 cups of liquid for every 2 cups of pearl couscous to a full boil over medium-high heat in a saucepan on your stove. You can use plain water, low sodium chicken broth, wine or a combination of liquids.

Step 2

Stir in the couscous and then reduce the burner heat to medium.

Step 3

Simmer the pearl couscous in the uncovered saucepan, just below boiling point for 5 to 10 minutes, until it absorbs the liquid and is firm but tender. Stir the couscous once every minute as it cooks.

Step 4

Transfer the cooked couscous to a serving bowl, and season it with black pepper before serving.

Things You'll Need

  • Low-sodium chicken broth or wine, optional

  • Saucepan

  • Serving bowl

  • Black pepper, to taste


Do not mistake pearl couscous for granular couscous, its more common counterpart. Each has its own cooking method, and the two methods are not interchangeable.

For extra, low-calorie flavor, cook about 1 cup of fresh peas along with the couscous or run frozen peas under hot water to thaw and then add them during the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Another flavoring option is to add ½ cup of chopped, fresh mint leaves during the last minute of cooking.

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