This side dish is so smoky and fragrant, you may find yourself pushing aside the main course so that you can focus your attention on it. Smoked paprika not only lends its intense flavor to the couscous, but it also adds color, creating the most beautiful golden hue. Toasted sliced almonds add textural crunch to the dish (something that is all too often missing in plain ol' couscous), and a slew of chopped fresh parsley brings its pop of green freshness to the equation. Enjoy this as a bed for roast chicken, grilled steak, or even just a pile of juicy roasted vegetables for a simple, satisfying meal.
A Fancier Pot of Couscous Without Extra Work
We've long been fans of couscous in the weeknight roster, as it cooks up faster than you have time to blink. In its plain state, however, it can be a tad underwhelming, unless you have lots of sauce to pour over it to jazz it up.
This upgraded version can hold its own because it's packed with flavor and texture. Garlic and smoked paprika bring the flavor, while sliced almonds and chopped parsley mingle with the couscous for freshness and texture. It's a side dish that works well alongside any of your favorites meats, but it also can bulk up cooked vegetables to make them a full meal — although, it's so smoky and flavorful that we wouldn't be surprised if you ate a bowl of it all on its own as well.
One-Pot Smoked Almond and Herb Couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 1/4 cups water
2 cups couscous
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven until shimmering. Add the garlic and almonds and sauté until the garlic is fragrant and the nuts are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the paprika and sauté for 10 seconds more.
Add the water, stir to combine, and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the couscous and salt. Cover and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork. Mix in the parsley and serve.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.