Israeli Couscous with Spinach and White Beans

I came across Israeli Couscous while perusing the aisles of World Market. It’s different from regular couscous in that the grains are slightly larger, and expand while cooking to resemble small pearls. I had noticed a few recipes on other vegan blogs raving about this ingredient, so I picked up a package. The couscous I bought is mixed with orzo and lentils, but it seemed to be about 95% couscous. Here’s a close-up:

DSC_0132Creating this recipe was super simple. I just threw together some ingredients I had in my kitchen, including a batch of spinach that was dangerously close to its prime, but turned out great when wilted. My husband and I both loved this dish and it took under 30 minutes to prepare (thanks to the mini processor I used to chop some of the ingredients).

The ingredients:

DSC_0129And here’s a photo of the dish in progress:


1 C Israeli Couscous (or you could sub quinoa or another favorite grain)

1 14-oz can white beans (either Cannelini or Great Northern)

2 C spinach, roughly chopped

1/2 medium yellow onion, minced (optional)

1 C sundried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 Kalamata olives, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

Juice from 2 lemons

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

vegetable or vegan chicken broth (optional)

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp ground ginger

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil


1) Cook couscous (or other grains) according to the package directions in either broth or water. The broth will give the couscous a heartier, meatier feel, but if you’re watching your salt intake, it might be a good idea to cook it in water.

2) Meanwhile, spray a large skillet with olive oil, and heat on medium-high. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant. Then add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onion begins to turn translucent.

3) Add the tomatoes, olives, and white beans, and spinach. Cook for about 7 more minutes, stirring frequently, until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and spices, cook for another 3 more minutes.

4) Stir cooked couscous into the skillet mixture until thoroughly combined. Add extra lemon juice, salt, and pepper as desired. Serve.

DSC_0139I’m so glad we tried Israeli Couscous, as it has become part of our regular rotation. The other night we had it with artichoke hearts, asparagus, and chickpeas. Not only did it take just 15 minutes to make, but it was so filling and flavorful. Hope you enjoy!

PS: Please forgive my poor food photography skills. I’m still learning. 🙂

2 responses

  1. While not a vegan or even a vegetarian for that matter, my husband and I do love salads made with grains and small pastas. Couscous is one of our favorites and we have a few recipes that we have been making for the last couple of years, but we are always looking for new ones. After making this dish the other night, we now have a new favorite! Several of the ingredients in this one caught my eye (the spinach, sundried tomatoes and white beans) so I had a feeling it would be a good dish, but I did not know how absoluely delicious it would be. I think the spices used in the recipe had a lot to do with it. We were able to find the garam masala at Sunset Foods. I was worried that all of the spices might be too strong, but we ended up doubling the amount of couscous used and it turned out perfect. We will definitely be making this dish again and can’t wait to serve it for company! More dishes like this please!!

    • So glad you liked it Cheryl! It’s one of my favorites to make as well. It doesn’t take that much time or effort, and it’s quite filling! You can get the garam masala at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods too 🙂

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