If you are an enthusiastic food lover like myself and passionate about every kind of food known around the world, then surely you must have heard about or tried at least once the delicious middle eastern dish that works both, as a side or a main dish. You will be surprised how amazing these little chewy round balls are when they are cooked with soup, stew, or even lamb meat!
Now, this heavenly dish is usually cooked in bulk and stored in the freezer for whenever it’s needed. That’s why it is important to know the different methods where you can easily and efficiently reheat the couscous back to its chewy and fresh texture. Fortunately, that’s what I am going to discuss in this article, How to reheat couscous in four different ways so that you get to choose your preferred method of reheating.
What is couscous?
Some people refer to couscous as a type of pasta. While it may give the impression of pasta, it could not have been any further from it. They are basically different sized, usually small balls made up of flour mixed with water, most of the time they are mixed with soup, gravy, or stuffed in peppers and cooked with meat. Different sizes of couscous pearls are made according to the country where they are made. Moroccan ones differ from the Tunisian and Algerian ones. Point is, any type of couscous whatsoever is amazing if cooked and reheated right!
Now, it is time to share with you the different methods of reheating the couscous:
- Using the microwave
- On the stovetop (using a saucepan or a frying pan)
- Using the oven
Let’s start with the easiest one:
1. Using the microwave:
Using the microwave generally guarantees a fast and efficient reheating of any type of food. But keep in mind that you have to really pay attention to the couscous in the microwave and constantly stir it so that it can equally be reheated.
How to reheat couscous in the microwave?
Steps of reheating:
- On a microwavable dish, place the couscous that needs to be reheated.
- On every cup of couscous on the dish, add one tablespoon of water. Stir the couscous with the water on the dish well.
- Adjust the timer to one minute after transferring the dish into the microwave.
- When the time is done, stir the couscous on the plate, then return it back to the microwave for another minute.
- Repeat the same steps with one minute intervals till all the couscous is equally and perfectly reheated.
- Serve your warm and delicious couscous immediately.
2- On a stovetop:
Reheating couscous on a stovetop can actually be done using two different ways, Saucepan or using a frying pan. The cool thing about reheating couscous on a stovetop is the fact that you get to see the doneness of the couscous while stirring it which prevents it from being over or undercooked.
I am going to show you why I prefer this method more than the other ones.
How To Reheat Couscous On The Stovetop
Steps of reheating in a frying pan:
- Leave the frying pan on medium heat to warm a bit before adding one tablespoon of olive oil and two tablespoons of water.
- Once it is hot enough, pour your couscous on the pan and stir the contents of the pan well. Make sure to coat all the couscous with the water and oil mixture by breaking the lumps with the spoon.
- While the couscous is cooking, steam will be released from the water and further help in cooking and heating it. Just make sure to stir it well.
- It should take a few minutes to thoroughly warm up, once it does, remove it from the heat.
- Sprinkle some salt on top and serve while it is still warm.
Steps of reheating in a saucepan:
- Leave the Saucepan on medium heat to warm a bit before adding two tablespoons of water.
- Once it is hot enough, pour your couscous on the pan and stir the contents of the pan well. Make sure to coat all the couscous with the water by breaking the lumps with the spoon. Cover the Saucepan with its lid.
- Leave it for 3-5 minutes to reheat by the steam formed in the pan while occasionally stirring it.
- Remove it from the heat once it is warm enough. Serve and enjoy while it is still hot.
Make sure not to over stir the couscous in the pan using your spoon so that it doesn’t break into little pieces and lose its round shape.
3- Using the oven:
The oven method is kind of different from any of the previous ones. Despite the fact that it might be the slowest method, yet the outcome is much more interesting. You can control the level of moisture and mushiness of the heated couscous in the oven. You can even make yourself some mean Al dente couscous.
Steps of reheating in the oven:
- Pour your couscous in an oven-friendly pot that has a lid. This is important as the lid will prevent the couscous from overly drying in the oven.
- Add one tablespoon of water for each cup of couscous in the pot.
- Transfer the pot to an already preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit after covering the pot with its lid.
- Let it heat for ten minutes in the oven.
- Bring the pot out, give it a quick and thorough stir, then move it back to the oven for another five minutes.
- Check the temperature of the couscous after five minutes, give it another stir, then return it back to the oven if you prefer a piping hot couscous. You can do this in a five minutes interval till you are satisfied with the outcome’s temperature.
- Serve with some butter and enjoy!
Frequently asked questions:
Hopefully, I will be able to answer all the questions that might cross your mind regarding the reheating of the couscous using these different methods.
Can I Freeze Couscous?
Of course, you can. In fact, most people already make couscous in bulk and freeze it for long periods of time. However, it is important to know how to properly freeze it to prevent it from spoiling or getting freezer burns. All you need to know is to let it cool until reaching room temperature before transferring it to the freezer. It is even better to let it stay in the fridge overnight first, then move it to the freezer after tightly sealing it in a freezer bag.
How Do You Store Leftover Couscous?
By making sure it is cool first before transferring it to the fridge. If you are in a hurry, you can just spread the freshly cooked couscous on a large area so that it can cool faster, then gather it and fill an airtight bag with it to be placed in the fridge. It can last for up to five days in the fridge.
You can also use a container or any pot with a lid to prevent it from drying in the fridge.
Can You Eat Cold Couscous?
Well, it mostly depends on the meal you are going to cook the couscous with. However, the cold couscous is amazingly delicious when mixed with vegetables in a salad during a sunny summer day. It is just overall fulfilling!
What’s the Difference Between Couscous and Quinoa?
It is a common misconception for western people to think that couscous is a grain because it is actually made up of semolina flour and water, unlike quinoa which is a literal seed grown naturally. It also differs from couscous in being rich in protein and fibers and low in carbohydrates. Definitely perfect for all the gluten-free lovers out there.
How Do I Make Flavorful Couscous?
The interesting thing about the couscous is the fact that it is like a plain canvas where you can add whatever you like and it will match it perfectly. For example, adding some fresh herbs with ½ teaspoon of salt to each cup of couscous, accompanied with some finely chopped garlic or onions and of course chicken or veggie soap, takes this dish to a whole new level.
You can always mix any sort of spices you prefer with your couscous and I guarantee, it will be amazing. Nothing can simply go wrong with it.
My final thought:
Couscous might be the easiest meal you can have ready whenever needed. It can be frozen and reheated easily without much effort using all the methods I mentioned in this article. In addition to the fact that it literally goes well with any dish. I suggest you try it as soon as possible. You won’t regret it!