Can You Make Couscous in a Rice Cooker? – The Complete Guide

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Rice cookers aren’t strictly for rice, are they? You’re right. Couscous can be done really well in a rice cooker, arguably, nicer than rice!

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Making couscous is a different technique to cooking rice. There are a few different things you can add in to make it taste absolutely amazing, so let’s find out!

Table of Contents

Vegan veggie Bowl

Can you make couscous in a rice cooker?

The simple answer is yes you can!

While couscous is different to rice, you can still cook couscous in a rice cooker. In fact, almost all grains and even oatmeal can be made in the rice cooker!

If you’re like me and get distracted with other things going on in the kitchen and perhaps forget about your couscous or rice for a while, a rice cooker is a fantastic appliance that does all the work for you!

But first, some basics.

What is couscous?

A specialty from North Africa, couscous is a little ball-shaped food that is made from semolina flour.

It varies in size depending on the country it comes from.

It can range from smaller Moroccan couscous, to larger Israeli pearled couscous which is roughly the size of a peppercorn. The largest is Lebanese couscous.

Is couscous healthier than rice?

Couscous has roughly around the same amount of calories as rice, providing around the same amount of energy as rice does. That being said, couscous has much more nutrients in it than rice does.

When compared with white rice, couscous has a far greater amount of micronutrients, including vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6.

It is also so far superior in the number of minerals! Packed with magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, sodium and potassium it really is a healthy choice!

Couscous also has a really important nutrient in it called selenium. Just one cup (157g) of couscous contains more than 60% of the recommended intake.

This is an essential mineral with powerful antioxidant properties that helps repair damaged cells and reduces inflammation! It is also very good for thyroid health, protecting from damage and encouraging hormone production.

Is couscous good for weight loss?

As you will see in a table below, couscous is very low in fat, and low in calories. Also, it has lots of vitamins and minerals in it.

It is a slow-release carbohydrate meaning that it takes longer for it to digest and release energy into the body. This property will help to keep you fuller for longer.

couscous in a bowl

Fundamentally, what is couscous most similar to?

While it has been thought to be a grain, couscous is the most like pasta. The North African cuisine is made from a mix of semolina, wheat flour, and water.

Due to its rice-like appearance, it is a common misconception that couscous is the same as rice.

How does couscous differ from quinoa?

Quinoa has a different texture than couscous. But nutritionally, I have constructed a table comparing the nutritional value of 100g of the two grains.

NutrientCouscousQuinoa
Carbohydrate23.221.3
Calories112120
Protein3.84.4
Fat 0.161.92
Fiber1.42.8

What is a rice cooker?

A rice cooker is a great appliance for making the perfect rice and other grains. It can also be used for steaming vegetables and some bigger ones can cook whole meals!

If you struggle to get your rice or couscous right, then a rice cooker is the perfect appliance for you. It allows you to ‘set and forget’, where once you’ve programmed the appliance, there’s no need to do anything else until you’re ready to use the rice or whatever you’re making in your rice cooker.

This prevents overcooking your rice and results in a nice fluffy texture, every single time!

If you haven’t already got a rice cooker, you should seriously consider the investment as they are so versatile, you’ll end up using it for every meal!

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What is the ratio for couscous to water in a rice cooker?

While the usual ratio of couscous to water is 1:1.5, respectively, when making couscous in a rice cooker, you’re going to want to make it 1:1.

How to make couscous in the rice cooker

It is really simple to make couscous in a rice cooker, in a similar way to that of rice. To really add to the flavor, we’re going to add in some extra bits to really give it that taste!

Making Couscous in Rice Cooker

  1. Boil and season

    Boil some water and dissolve some vegetable or chicken broth into a cup of water. Add a pinch of kosher salt and a small glug of olive oil or butter.

  2. Add couscous

    Add a cup of couscous and program the rice cooker using the normal or white rice setting.

  3. Leave on warm

    When the cooker is finished, leave the couscous on the warm setting for 5 minutes.

  4. Fluff and serve

    Then, fluff the couscous up with a fork and the you can add some seasonings

gra yand black rice cooker

What seasonings go well in couscous?

The great thing about couscous is its versatility. There are so many different spices that go well in couscous.

You can try Moroccan spice, or combine 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, cloves and ginger and perhaps a teaspoon of cumin seeds.

I also love adding chopped parsley, chopped coriander raisins, diced cucumber, dried apricots, lemon juice, garlic or mint.

Making it vegan

If you want to make your couscous vegetarian, then all you need to do is make sure you use vegan vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. Easy, right?

healthy couscous with vegetables

FAQs

How does a rice cooker work?

There are heat sensors within the rice cooker that are activated by the steam within the rice cooker. I have more information on how a rice cooker works in a separate blog post, so check it out!

How do you make pilaf-style couscous?

Before adding anything to the rice cooked as explained above, heat the rice cooker and add a small drop of olive oil.
Add some finely diced onions and slivered almonds and fry off. Then, add both the couscous and water-stock mixture.
Program the cooker and let it cook. Before serving, stir in some finely chopped parsley. And voila!

Making Couscous in a Rice Cooker – Easy!

Making couscous in a rice cooker is a really simple way to make such a delicious and nutritious meal.

If you follow these simple steps, you can get perfect couscous using your rice cooker every single time!

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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