Easy Couscous Paella

Ready in under 20 minutes, this one pot easy couscous paella is the perfect quick, healthy meal! A delicious Spanish inspired spice blend gives a paella like flavour with a different grain! Gluten free and high protein too! 

Healthy One Pot Couscous Paella- Ready in under 20 minutes, this one pot easy couscous paella is the perfect quick, healthy meal! A delicious Spanish inspired spice blend gives a paella like flavour with a different grain! Gluten free and high protein too! @thebigmansworld - thebigmansworld.com

 

Growing up, my choice of grains was pretty limited. Dinners would always be based on Persian style batsmati rice (thanks mum), Asian style steamed rice (thanks dad) or uncooked microwave rice still left in the packet because some of us didn’t know how to rip open a packet and turn the microwave on (thanks Niki)

Okay, fine. Niki gets the green light here because she was five and was banned from the kitchen to begin with but since I get the blame for everything in life, she gets called out here.

The older I got, I branched out to rolled oats in the mornings, brown rice on occasion and then this new, circular nutty grain- Couscous

I remember seeing it in the supermarkets when I was told to go buy milk and these were ‘new’ on our shelves and being the marketer’s dream I am, chucked it in my basket. I arrived back home and gave it to mum and told her to make it.

Healthy One Pot Couscous Paella- Have a meal ready in under 20 minutes with this delicious and healthy one pot couscous paella! Perfectly customisable- Add your favourite protein and veggies of choice! gluten free too! @thebigmansworld.com -thebigmansworld.com

“What is this couscous?”

“I don’t know, I saw it at the shops”

“It must be the Australian word for Risotto. It is risotto. This is not new.”

“Mum, that is NOT risotto.”

“Potato. Tomato.”

…………..Oh mother. Potato. Potato.

Those who have made risotto before AND have made couscous before would know that the cooking methods are VASTLY different. Any guesses what the end result was? 

Couscous soup. Followed by pizza hut on speed dial and ME getting told off for wasting time and money. 

I think it was a while later when I ate couscous again (made appropriately) and loved it- It had a nutty, savoury flavour which picked up any spice or sauce you mixed with it. It also reiterated to me that associating this grain with a soup would be punishment

Healthy One Pot Couscous Paella- Have a meal ready in under 20 minutes with this delicious and healthy one pot couscous paella! Perfectly customisable- Add your favourite protein and veggies of choice! gluten free too! @thebigmansworld.com -thebigmansworld.com

Couscous has always been one of my lunch time grains of choice- Eaten under some curried salmon patties or slow roasted Persian chicken, it was the complementary carb option. Recently and for this recipe, I’ve loved using pulled Tandoori chicken or the fillets basted with the tandoori sauce. Because of it’s quick cooking method and ability to absorb flavours and spices really well, I wanted to try a Paella like dish using that as the grain over arborio rice. 

The beauty of this recipe is how quick it is to make- Couscous + Mix ins of choice + Spices = A meal ready in under 20 minutes. My favourite kind of paella has chargrilled chicken, carrots, chorizo sausage, pine nuts and celery. I didn’t have any chorizo when I made this version but I’d highly recommend it. Another benefit of this dish is how customisable it is. Vegetarian? Omit the chicken and add some legumes or extra veggies. Vegan? I’m keen to try this with tempeh cubes and try a vegan friendly stock. A fan of seafood? This tastes delicious with prawns and mussels tossed through. Whichever method you use to jazz it up, you’ll be thrilled at how quickly it comes together. 

Healthy One Pot Couscous Paella- Have a meal ready in under 20 minutes with this delicious and healthy one pot couscous paella! Perfectly customisable- Add your favourite protein and veggies of choice! gluten free too! @thebigmansworld.com -thebigmansworld.com

Make this delicious Easy One Pot Couscous Paella and have all the delicious flavours and textures of a traditional paella minus the time.

Potato Tomato. Tomato Potato. 

Easy Couscous Paella
Serves 4
Ready in under 20 minutes, this one pot easy couscous paella is the perfect quick, healthy meal! A delicious Spanish inspired spice blend gives a paella like flavour with a different grain! Gluten free and high protein too!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups dry couscous (can use gluten free)
  2. 3 cups flavoured stock of choice (I used gluten free chicken)
  3. 1 tsp olive oil
  4. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  5. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  6. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  7. 1 tsp garlic powder
  8. 1 tsp onion powder
  9. 1 tsp saffron
  10. 2 T unsalted butter (can sub for olive oil or oil of choice)
  11. 1 cup cooked protein of choice (I used chicken)
  12. 1-2 cups diced vegetables of choice (I used red peppers, carrots and celery)
  13. Chopped spinach to cover
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, add the stock of choice and on medium heat, bring to the boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add the olive oil and sea salt and mix well. Add the dry couscous and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes before removing from the heat. Allow the couscous to sit for 5-6 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. While this is happening, lightly microwave or steam your diced vegetables until just tender. Set aside.
  4. After the liquid has been absorbed, fluff the couscous with a fork and add the cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and saffron and mix very well. Stir through the unsalted butter until the couscous is coated.
  5. Put the pot back on the stove and turn the heat to low. After 1 minute, add the protein of choice and vegetables and mix and cook for an extra minute before removing from the heat, fluffing once more with a fork and serving. Top with chopped spinach.
Notes
  1. This refrigerates really well and leftovers taste great cold.
  2. If using chicken, dish can be kept for up to 3 days. If using vegetables only, can be kept for up to one week.
  3. For an even quicker way, omit the first two directions and use instant couscous.
The Big Man's World ® https://thebigmansworld.com/
Healthy One Pot Couscous Paella- Have a meal ready in under 20 minutes with this delicious and healthy one pot couscous paella! Perfectly customisable- Add your favourite protein and veggies of choice! gluten free too! @thebigmansworld.com -thebigmansworld.com

What was a staple grain for you growing up?

Has your taste for grains expanded? 

Potato. PotAto. 

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Categories:

Clean eating diet food Healthy Gluten Free Recipes recipe

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Comments

54 thoughts on “Easy Couscous Paella

  1. I think that you are in my brain. Seriously. I adore couscous (I’d be interested to try this with quinoa as well, or even cauliflower rice), and paella is one of my dear favorites. But it is so difficult to find a truly amazing paella. There was one place in NYC that did the most incredible Cuban seafood paella. Oh, I ache to go back there!

  2. I love escaping into your story-telling when I read your blog posts! White jasmine rice was 100% a staple for me, growing up. Both my parents are Vietnamese, so I’ve had a lot of rice in my day :P. I learning to love quinoa more and more!

  3. Oh yummmmm! I love cous cous. I’m about to move house and the only carb left in my pantry is cous cous, so I will be eating it all next week. Thanks for the recipe inspiration!

  4. Haha! I love that you get the final say with Niki here on your site, Arman. Bring it on, lil sister! So I’ve had couscous (delicious!) and I’ve made paella a couple of times (delicious)…but I’ve never made couscous paella. What a fun combo of flavors. 20 minutes, eh? I can deal with that. Sign me up! Pecan pecan.

    Also, our staple grain growing up was meat. and potatoes.

  5. You’ve blown me away again- this looks A-MAZ-ING! I’ve never had a paella with chicken before, but this needs to change immediately. I can tell the chicken in this dish is just bursting with flavor!

  6. I love couscous! I think it’s more filling than rice — it just tastes chewier, in a good way. Paella makes me think back to when I studied abroad and had it in Barcelona. It’s one of those dishes that is supposedly a staple over there, but I couldn’t find it anywhere haha so I ended up at kind of a commercial/touristy restaurant that served it. But it was so so good! I just love it with seafood. I bet chicken would be even better though.

  7. Rice has been the love of my life for as long as I can remember, and I’m pretty sure it’s one of the only things I’d eat as a picky little kid. I’ve definitely branched out as I’ve gotten older and tried things like quinoa, bulgar, polenta, millet, amaranth, and buckwheat, but rice will always be in my top two… with oats. Still have to try couscous, though!

  8. The staple grain in my house was spaghetti or white rice. My mom was a real trailblazer on that front. I think the grain I have learned to appreciate as of late is pearled couscous. It’s like big round balls of pasta. I like the way they feel in my mouth ahaha

  9. I remember my mom making couscous when I was young and thinking it was THE COOLEST. I still think it is, particularly because it cooks up so darn quick. Good lookin’ recipe!

  10. I love paella and all Spanish food!! This looks yummy!!
    I think the grain that was made most often in my household by my mom, was white rice. I have definitely branched out to different types of grains as I have gotten older. I like quinoa a lot because of the nutty taste. It’s so filling, too!

  11. Couscous is one of those grains where whenever I eat it, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. It’s fast, easy, has great flavor and holds up well with other veggies. This sounds fantastic and your pictures came out beautifully.

  12. Israeli couscous is very nice: it is so large and I once had a salad with it, a light lemon vinegarette and roasted vegetables. It was delicious.

    This looks lovely. I think eggplant strips or pressed tofu that was dry rubbed with spice might work for a veggie option.

  13. We love rice here, especially jasmine rice. We also are couscous eaters and love it too. The type really doesn’t matter to my son, but I’ve found I love the Israeli type. Love those little balls of flavor. I’m not that crazy about the sweet recipes, but all the others…..YUM!

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