Chili, Lemon, and Basil Shrimp with Israeli Couscous

updated Feb 3, 2020
Chili, Lemon, and Basil Shrimp with Israeli Couscous
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Here’s a quick, easy weeknight dinner. You can cook the whole shebang, from start to finish, in about 20 minutes. At least, I did last night!

This dish has a bit of a kick to it, depending on the amount of chili flakes you use. I love it spicy and hot; it goes great with a cold beer! There’s a zing from the lemon in both the couscous and the shrimp, a hot punch from the chili flakes, and that sweetness from the basil. It’s so fast, so easy.

Also, this is a pretty generous amount of shrimp for two people; you could stretch this meal to feed four, or to have some leftovers.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Chili, Lemon, and Basil Shrimp with Israeli Couscous

Serves 2

Nutritional Info


For the couscous:

  • Olive oil

  • 1 cup

    Israeli (pearl) couscous

  • 1

    lemon, zested and juiced

  • 1 1/2 cups

    chicken broth

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the shrimp:

  • 4

    large cloves garlic, minced

  • Pinch red pepper flakes, to taste

  • 1 pound

    cooked shrimp, deveined and tails removed

  • 1 cup

    loosely packed fresh basil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the couscous and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it starts smelling a little toasty. Add the lemon juice and stir until the lemon juice evaporates. (Reserve the lemon zest for the shrimp.) Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer then turn the heat to low and cover the pan tightly. Cook for 15 minutes, then take off the heat and let the pan sit, still covered, until you are ready to serve the couscous.

  2. In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat another drizzle of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook gently for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic is golden and fragrant. Pat the shrimp dry, turn the heat up to high, and add the shrimp to the pan. Cook quick, turning the shrimp frequently and stirring the oil and garlic into the shrimp. As soon as the shrimp is heated through (about 3 minutes), turn off the heat and stir in the basil and the lemon zest.

  3. Season the couscous and shrimp to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the shrimp on a bed of couscous, and eat while it's hot!

(Images: Faith Durand)