Couscous has got to be one of the most underrated pantry staples in the kitchen arsenal. Made from semolina wheat, couscous is nutty, sweet, and versatile — it also happens to be incredibly quick-cooking. You’re likely most familiar with regular couscous, which is tiny and granular, but Israeli (or pearl) couscous has also gained popularity over the years. It’s larger in size (indeed pearl-like), with a chewy texture. Both regular and Israeli couscous can be made with white semolina flour or whole-wheat semolina flour.
Along with quinoa, rice, and a cohort of pasta in varying shapes, do yourself a huge favor and always have a stash of couscous in stock. Once you do, you’re always at the start line of making a nearly endless marathon of quick and easy meals and side dishes. Here are 17 couscous recipes to help you turn this bulk-bin staple into dinner at a moment’s notice.