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How To Reheat Couscous – Step By Step

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If you’re looking for a delicious new side dish or a fun way to add more substance to your meals, then couscous may be the perfect addition to your kitchen pantry. 

This iconic North African food is easy to prepare and incredibly versatile. It cooks quickly and you can make large batches at once so that you can use it throughout the week.

However, you’ll want to make sure you don’t lose couscous’s signature texture during your reheating process, which will leave you with a clumpy mess.

So, how do you reheat couscous? The best way to reheat couscous is to warm it in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. After the couscous has absorbed the added water, remove it from the heat and serve.

However, there are still many other ways to reheat couscous to your liking. We will share with you step-by-step instructions for all of the ways that you can reheat couscous and flavor it.

What is Couscous?

If you’ve never cooked with couscous before you may be wondering what it is. Though it looks like a grain, it is actually a very tiny and delicious pasta.

It originally comes from North Africa and is popular in countries such as Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. 

There are a few different sizes ranging from the tiny Moroccan couscous the size of semolina that cooks in just a few minutes.

If you’re looking for something a little heartier, Pearl or Israeli couscous (also known as giant or ptitim couscous) is large and takes about ten minutes to cook

Couscous has a lovely chewy, yet firm texture and tastes great as a side dish, added to soups and stews, stuffed into peppers or other veggies, or used as a base for salads or protein bowls.

It is delicious on its own and soaks up the flavors of whatever you prepare it with. 

How To Reheat Couscous On The Stovetop

There are two methods you can use to reheat your couscous on the stovetop. You can either lightly steam it in a saucepan or saute it in a frying pan.

I like to use the stovetop method because it’s easy to keep an eye on the couscous while it reheats and it gives you a great fluffy texture.

For all the reheating methods outlined, you will want to make sure that you are gentle when stirring your couscous.

If you stir too hard you can break apart the pasta and make it lose its shape and texture. Start stirring from the edge of the container to the center and don’t over stir. 

Reheating in a Frying Pan

1. Place a frying pan on the stove at medium heat

2. Let it warm up for a couple of minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of olive oil

3. Add your couscous to the frying pan and break apart any clumps with your spatula. 

4. Gently stir your couscous until it has absorbed the water. It may release some steam while you’re cooking.

5. Once your couscous is warmed through, remove it from the heat. 

6. Add it to a serving bowl, fluff with a fork, and season with sea salt. 

Reheating in a Saucepan

1. Place your saucepan on the stove top. 

2. Set to medium heat

3. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the saucepan and then add your couscous. 

4. Stir the couscous and water together then cover with your lid. 

5. Let steam about 3-5 minutes, checking halfway through and giving it a stir. 

6. Once your couscous is warm enough, remove the saucepan from the stove.

7. Fluff your couscous with a fork and serve. 

How To Reheat Couscous in the Microwave

Another quick and easy way to reheat your couscous is to use the microwave. You will want to make sure you are using a microwave-safe dish and you don’t want to leave your couscous unattended or it can get clumpy or burn. 

1. Place your couscous in a microwae-safe dish large enough that you are able to stir the pasta without making a mess. 

2. Add 1 tablespoon of water per cup of couscous and stir together. 

3. Place the couscous into the microwave and set the timer for 1 minute.

4. After 1 minute, remove the couscous from the microwave and stir it around. 

5. Place it back in the microwave and set the timer for another minute

6. Remove after 1 minute, stirring again.

7. Continue to reheat your couscous in 1-minute increments until the desired temperature has been reached. 

8. Once heated through, fluff with your fork one final time and serve. 

How To Reheat Couscous in the Oven

Reheating your couscous in the oven will take the most time, but it can also give an interesting texture to the final product.

It is much less likely to get mushy in the oven and you can even make it a little al dente depending on how long you heat it for if that’s your preference. 

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Place your couscous in an oven-safe dish with a lid. If you don’t use a lid it is more likely that your couscous will dry out.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of water per cup of couscous and mix it all together. 

4. Cover the dish with your lid and place it in the oven for 10 minutes

5. Check the couscous at 10 minutes, giving it a gentle stir. 

6. If the couscous isn’t warm enough, put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven, gently stirring once more. If you want it hotter, place it back for another 5 minutes.

8. Repeat this process of checking and stirring every 5 minutes until you have reached the right temperature. 

9. Remove from your oven, fluff with a fork, and serve. 

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over a variety of methods for reheating couscous, let’s take a look at some questions that might arise during the cooking process.

How Do You Store Leftover Couscous?

One of the easiest ways to store leftover couscous is to keep it in the fridge. You are going to want to let it cool completely before transferring it to a sealed container. I like to spread my couscous out on a plate so that it cools faster. 

You can leave it in the saucepan to cool, but you’ll want to give it an occasional stir to help any trapped steam escape. 

Once your couscous is fully cooled, you can place it in a plastic or glass container with a sealable lid. It will last about 5 days in the fridge

Can I Freeze Couscous?

Yes, you can freeze couscous! You will want to make sure it is fully cooled before putting it in the freezer. I like to put it in the fridge overnight then transfer it to the freezer. 

Try freezing your couscous in an airtight freezer bag to prevent it from developing freezer burn. This happens when all the moisture evaporates from the food and can make it taste unpleasant once you thaw and reheat it. 

Can You Eat Cold Couscous?

Couscous is actually wonderful eaten cold. Like quinoa, it makes a great base for different flavorful salads and can make them hearty and filling. Try adding some couscous to your favorite salad and bringing it along for a summer picnic. 

How Do I Make Flavorful Couscous?

There are a few ways you can add lots of flavor to your couscous and it all comes down to how you prepare it.

Instead of cooking your couscous in plain water I always recommend using either a veggie or chicken stock. These stocks will add an extra layer of flavor and nutrition. 

You also want to make sure that you season your couscous as you’re cooking it, so salt is your best friend! Remember that couscous is a kind of pasta and pasta loves salty water for maximum flavor.

I like to add about 1/2 a teaspoon to my stock per cup of couscous to enhance the flavor. 

If you want to get creative you can also add a chopped clove of garlic, some diced onion, grated ginger, or a couple of your favorite fresh herbs.

When it comes to cooking, some of the best dishes come from getting creative with your recipes, so don’t shy away from these aromatic additions.

What’s the Difference Between Couscous and Quinoa?

Although couscous looks like a grain, it is actually a pasta made from semolina and wheat flour. Quinoa is a seed, that we often treat like a grain, from the buckwheat family.

Quinoa is a great gluten-free option for folks who are looking for the texture of couscous. 

While couscous is higher in carbohydrates, quinoa is going to be higher in protein and fiber. So depending on what you’re looking for to round out your meal you can choose either couscous or quinoa. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, couscous is a great staple to keep in your pantry thanks to its versatility and ability to be frozen and reheated without losing its shape and texture.

Many of the brands available in North America are quick cooking, so head out to the store and pick some up today!

Up Next: Can You Freeze Couscous? – How To Do It

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