Mediterranean Light's Red Couscous (Vegan)

Want more from Genius Kitchen?

Watch on your Apple TV, Roku, or Fire TV and your iOS, Fire, or Android device.

Learn More
“Another delicious recipe from Martha Rose Shulman's 'Mediterranean Light' cookbook with only a few changes. I use this quick recipe often for preparing harissa: Easiest Moroccan Harissa or Hot Sauce. Whole wheat couscous is my preference but standard will work of course. You will easily convince yourself that you're eating Spanish rice because the flavors and appearance are very similar.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup couscous (or 3 cups leftover cooked couscous that has been reheated)
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon harissa, to taste (I used the entire amount of harissa from the recipe I linked to in the introduction above)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (yes, I cheated and used ketchup)
  • 12 cup water or 12 cup weak vegetable broth
  • 12 teaspoon paprika (we replaced a little bit of the regular paprika with a small pinch of Spanish smoked paprika)
  • 12 teaspoon ground caraway seed (lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar)
  • salt, to taste
  • 12 lemon, juice of
  • Garnishes
  • fresh cilantro (optional)
  • lemon wedge


  1. Note: the couscous can be prepared a day ahead.
  2. Directions: Heat up 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat or low-medium heat and lightly brown the couscous; about 5 minutes. Add water-about 1 cup, cover and set aside.
  3. Stir together the harissa with the tomato paste or ketchup, 1/2 cup water or broth, paprika, ground caraway seeds and salt.
  4. In the meantime, heat up the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil on *low* heat and lightly brown the garlic until fragrant; about 1 minute.
  5. Lower the temperature to a simmer and stir in the harissa mixture. Stir to combine. Cook uncovered on low temperature for about 8-10 minutes to allow the flavors to intensify.
  6. After the couscous has sat for about 10 minutes, stir in the harissa mixture. Add the lemon juice and taste for any seasoning adjustments.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges.
  8. Serving suggestions: We served the red couscous with sides of freshly steamed corn on the cob, pinto beans, roasted golden beets, a platter of fresh cut up vegetable including carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers and kohlrabi and fresh strawberries for dessert.

Watch more

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a