Couscous with Dates and Almonds

Do you have one of those recipes that you could literally make with your eyes closed? For me this couscous is one of those recipes. Ever since I discovered it last January in my Cook’s Illustrated magazine I have made it at least once a month. I don’t know why this recipe has not made an appearance on here until today, it is so good! This couscous is a cinch to make and can be served hot or cold.  It is the perfect side dish to grilled chicken or fish. I like to make a big batch and portion it out into little containers to throw into lunch boxes throughout the week. The crunchy almonds and sweet, tender dates pair perfectly with the light and fluffy couscous.

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Couscous with Dates and Almonds

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  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Ground black pepper


  1. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat melt butter. When foaming subsides, add couscous, ginger, cardamom, and dates and cook, stirring frequently, until couscous is just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, and salt; stir briefly to combine, cover, and remove from heat.
  2. Let stand until couscous is tender, about 7 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Stir in almonds, cilantro, and lemon juice; season with pepper to taste, and serve.

Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, January 2011

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10 Responses to Couscous with Dates and Almonds

  1. I can see why you make this all the time — I like every flavor in it.

  2. Gorgeous, love cous cous and especially with these north african flavours!

  3. I have never put nuts in couscous – might have to give it a whirl!

  4. ErinCroutons says:

    I love cous cous for it’s simplicity and versatility. This recipe looks fab!

  5. Clare says:

    Love couscous with this combination of flavours – almonds and dates are divine! Definitely keen to try 🙂

  6. that looks lovely! my husband and I have an ongoing argument. I say that couscous is made of flour like pasta, and he says that it’s its own grain. I know I could look it up on wikipedia but I kind of enjoy the fact that we’ve never settled the argument. 🙂

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    Couscous makes a great salad and this one has a tasty mix of flavors — with a little crunch, to boot! 🙂

  8. My daughter and I love couscous.. my husband doesn’t care for it, so all the more for us!! I’ll make this when he’s not home for supper!!

  9. windykitchen says:

    Yum! I feel like I’m always cooking with walnuts or pecans or peanuts and end up forgetting about almonds. Looks great!

  10. I love couscous and yours looks delicious 🙂

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