Love and Olive Oil

Israeli Couscous with Black Bean and Tomato

Black-Bean and Tomato Israeli Couscous

You know those nights when you have a meal planned, but just don’t feel like eating it? That happens to us, quite a bit actually. We plan out our entire weeks’ meals every Tuesday when we go to the grocery store (one of the benefits of being self employed is NOT having to brave the market on the weekends). This was one of those meals, when it came time to make it for dinner, I just wanted to go out for a hot dog instead. But we resisted, and you know what? This turned out to be one of the best things we’d made in a while. We substituted Israeli couscous for the quinoa (along with regular couscous, there’s something about quinoa that Taylor just doesn’t like… the texture maybe? Who knows!) But you could easily use the quinoa as originally specified in the recipe.

We’ve made this twice since that initial evening, and the second time tossed in half a rotisserie chicken for a bit more substance. And with only 2 tablespoons of butter (which make it incredibly smooth and satisfying), it can definitely be called a healthy meal. Quick and healthy… AND delicious? I’ll take that over a hotdog anyday! :)

Israeli Couscous with Black Bean and Tomato

Makes 4 servings. Adapted from Epicurious.

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2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar

8 oz. Israeli (pearl) couscous
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cup boiling water

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Preheat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous and cook for 2-3 minutes or until lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Add cumin and cinnamon and stir to coat. Add boiling water and return to a boil. Cover pan and cook until couscous is tender and water is absorbed, 10-12 minutes (refer to package directions for exact cooking times).

Add couscous to dressing and toss until coated, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.

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  1. This has become one of my favorite dishes by far!! I absolutely love it.  Does anyone happen to know the nutrition breakdown for it? 

  2. Made this and it was delicious! Thank you!

  3. Your recipe looks healthy and delicious! thanks for sharing :)

  4. Pearl couscous is my favorite kind! The texture is much better! So of course I’d love this dish. (But I do understand the hotdog cravings. I get those, too! I like Slaw Dogs – mustard, onions and white slaw only!)

  5. I have never come across this type of cous cous so far, but I would love to try it sometime.

  6. Yum! Israeli couscous is the best! I can’t get enough of it!

  7. This is really similar to a quinoa dish I made the other night. My husband is leery about quinoa, too, but he liked it this time around. I think it’s the texture that kinda throws you off.

    I like your addition of cinnamon and sugar.

  8. This recipe looks amazing. I love making the recipe you have on here with the shrimp as well but I recently discovered Israeli couscous has been discontinued at Whole Foods! I’ll keep looking! I’m going to make this recipe tonight though with something simliar to it.

  9. Yum! This sounds great! I love a good healthy meal like this.

  10. ooh, i like israeli couscous but don’t cook with it as often as other grains. this is a great recipe.

  11. What a delicious sounding recipe – my husband loves Israel couscous (but not the regular couscous) and black beans so this will make a perfect dinner for us. We still have some of the last tomatoes we bought at the State Farmers Market last weekend.

    Katie, I don’t know where you live, but if there is a Trader Joe’s near you, they sell the Israeli couscous which is where I buy mine.

    To all a Happy Thanksgiving.

  12. This looks great! I’ll be making it in the very near future…probably with quinoa since I keep it on hand, but I do love Israeli couscous too!!

  13. That sounds really good and easy. I LOVE Israeli Couscous, but I’ve only found it at one store near me and it’s a little pricey so I don’t make it as often as I’d like to.

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