How to make couscous

To cook instant couscous to perfection, pour your couscous into a heatproof bowl. If you like, for added flavour, crumble a stock-cube over the couscous.

Bring a kettle of water to the boil and pour it over the couscous to cover by roughly 1cm/½in. Pour in a glug of good quality olive oil and squeeze half a cut lemon over the couscous. Season with salt and pepper if not using a stock cube.

Stir to mix the flavours through the couscous. Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and set aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up herbs and vegetables such as chives and red peppers to mix with the couscous.

When ready, remove the clingfilm and use a fork to fluff up the grains of couscous, again spreading the flavours throughout.

Taste and adjust the seasoning, then add your extra ingredients and stir to mix.

See recipe in full

Couscous salad Couscous salad

Recipes using this technique

Side dishes

Skill level


Quick recipe finder

Type the ingredients you want to use, then click Go. For better results you can use quotation marks around phrases (e.g. "chicken breast"). Alternatively you can search by chef, programme, cuisine, diet, or dish (e.g. Lasagne).