Couscous Casserole

What have you been up to? A lot of feedings and diaper changes around here. They say you have to feed and change a baby every two to three hours but I think it’s really more like every hour and a half. Sometimes it seems like that’s all I’m doing all day long.

“You know, you’ve done it before…”, said the nurse at the hospital checkout. “But I forgot…uh, it’s been a while!”, I replied. I really did forget so many things. It’s feeling like the first time again and I’m as clumsy as ever trying to handle a tiny, delicate baby without squeezing him too hard or breaking him.

But between feeding and changing him, I have been finding time to do things such as cooking, writing, exercising and light socializing. I’ve worked out a (forever changing) schedule of sorts so that my routine includes a little more than continuous mothering. It helps that James sleeps between sessions.

It was between feedings that I thought I’d revisit the kitchen for some cooking. I had enough Thanksgiving meat leftovers for about a week but nothing to go with them. The only problem is I hadn’t done any grocery shopping lately and had to just see what’s available in my pantry and work with it. There were three boxes of whole grain instant couscous on the middle shelf, a can of olives on the bottom shelf, aging carrot and celery sticks left from a holiday appetizer tray in the fridge, and plenty of condiments to make it all taste good.

Whatever I was going to make needed to be ready quickly so that I can be available every minute of James’s waking time. I’m truly soaking up every moment with him. Oh, if only life could be one long maternity leave…

And so the ingredients turned into a couscous casserole. It could very well have been a stuffing or dressing to eat with a holiday dinner but, no matter, it also makes a wonderful side dish anytime—as well as a recipe to tuck into the back of my mind for next Thanksgiving.




Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 30 MIN


1 cup finely diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)

1 cup finely diced celery

2 tablespoons grated onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons harissa or other hot sauce

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

½ cup sliced green olives

1/8 cup capers

1 ½ cups whole grain instant couscous

2 cups vegetable broth


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the carrots, celery, onion, olive oil, hot sauce, salt, pepper and turmeric powder in a medium sauté pan. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the olives and capers.

Place the couscous in an 8-inch square pan. Add the vegetable broth. Add the vegetables. Toss to combine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Enjoy warm with your choice of meat or by itself.

Other Couscous Recipes:

Moroccan Couscous with Vegetables

Couscous-Stuffed Tomatoes

Couscous with Fruit and Ras el Hanout

Chicken and Couscous Soup


4 Responses to “Couscous Casserole”

  1. 1

    Maria do Céu Costa — 11/27/2012 @ 4:36 pm

    I have tasted some dishes from Moroccan cuisine and I cannot resist to tasty tagines , couscous with vegetables and delicious desserts prepared with almonds, peanuts, honey, and other delicacies! Thanks fa lot for your recipe!

    You really sound a very organized young lady! Good luck to you/ your family! :)

    Best wishes from me in Portugal, loving Morocco


  2. 2

    Eha — 11/28/2012 @ 2:43 am

    A fairy-kiss from across the oceans to James for letting Mom think of and make such a fantastic dish! This is so easy and foolproof. And, making a shopping list today, I noticed my carrots and celery are also almost past their ‘best by’ date and there is plenty of couscous . . . thank you . . . :) !

  3. 3

    Leah @ Whitefoot Blog — 11/28/2012 @ 3:40 pm

    Funny how great recipes can sometimes come from a variety of leftovers :) sounds delicious!

  4. 4

    Nisrine — 11/30/2012 @ 12:47 pm

    Maria– Thank you. I hope you enjoy the recipes on this site.

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