Festive Couscous

Source/Inspiration: Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s
Serves: 4
Skill level: Easy (really easy!) 

Time: 25 minutes 


  • 3 Tbsp Vegan butter, divided (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 pecans, walnuts or pine nuts (I used pecans)
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 large cinnamon stick
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • 1 package of Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous (or 1 1/2 cups couscous)
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cup dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/8 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • Black pepper to taste



I can always count on Whole Foods to have delicious Vegan options when I am out and cannot cook. Every time I go I always find something new to try but I always get the couscous. Full of flavor, mixes well with other dishes and just visually pretty, this is always a fulfilling treat. After getting this a few times, I was of course, on the search for how to make this dish at home. I came across Trader Joe’s box of Israeli Couscous and decided to try to recipe on the box. With a few additions, this dish is the same one they have at Whole Foods, full of flavor and compliments any side. Score!!


1) CANDIED NUTS/PECANS: Melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter over medium heat. Once it has melted, add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (light or dark). Mix these two together until it looks like caramel (you can add more sugar here if you really want the nuts sweeter, but not necessary). Add 1/2 cup of your selected nuts (I used pecans). Cook for 2 minutes, moving nuts around to get covered with the caramel-like substance. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. 


2) Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and add the onion. Allow the onion to cook until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the turmeric and stir. 


3) Add the couscous, cinnamon and bay leaf. Stir until the ingredients are all mixed and the couscous is slightly browned, about 3 minutes. 


4) Add the vegetable broth and salt and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the couscous has absorbed all of the liquid, between 10 and 12 minutes. Remove from heat.


5) Stir in the last of your ingredients: parsley, thyme, raisins, and candied nuts. 



Pictured here with a quinoa and kale salad and sautéed veggies. I’m thinking about making this as a side dish for Christmas! It is so tasty!



xoxo -The Yummy Bunny


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