This Moroccan Couscous is packed with roasted vegetables that are seasoned with ginger and ras al-hanout. Fluffy couscous is mixed with toasted almonds, topped with the veggies and finished with harissa paste + labneh. The flavors are irresistible together. It’s a festive and unique dish to share with friends.
Recipes that include Moroccan spices are popping up all over.
Maybe I’ve become aware of them since I am traveling there soon (see my travel post). It’s strange. Does this ever happen to you?
Maybe it’s Google taking note of my trip and bringing these recipes to my attention. I’m not sure which is more alarming.
- Tomato Soup with Ras al Hanout
- Roasted Tomato Soup with Harissa
Harissa can be used to enhance soups, vegetables, almost anything! One of my favorite salads is a shredded carrot salad with mint, feta and harissa.
All of these spices can be created at home or they are easily found online or at your local grocery store.
How to Make Moroccan Couscous with Roasted Vegetables
This recipe takes advantage of seasonal squash. Swapping potatoes for roasted delicata squash + building the dish in a squash boat. Delicata has tender skin that is edible – it’s my favorite little squash.
Any winter squash will work in this recipe, but I like the size and shape of delicata for the job. And if squash boats aren’t your thing, slice the squash into half moons before you roast it and just serve it sliced alongside the other vegetables.
You’ll also find parsnips in this recipe – you know, those funny looking white carrots that you walk past in bewilderment at the grocery store. Or wait, is that just me?
Want to see how real Moroccan couscous is made?
Read my travel post from Essaouira, Morocco. Spoiler – you need a special couscous pot and a Moroccan chef to show you how! 🙂
The dish is versatile – use your favorite roasted vegetables.
Serve this with toasted flatbread, baba ganoush and salted sautéed dates (which sounds strange but is outstanding).
And if you have picky eaters (i.e. kids), leave the spices off the veggies and add them to individual servings so that they can have plain couscous and veggies and you can enjoy the flavors of exotic Morocco!
This Moroccan Couscous is packed with roasted veggies, seasoned with ginger + spices, layered on couscous + toasty almonds, then topped with harissa + labneh.
- 1 cup dry couscous
- Pinch of saffron optional
- 2 small/medium Delicata Squash cut in half lengthwise (you could also roast and serve this in slices if you prefer)
- 3 medium parsnips peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 2 large red bell peppers cut into large pieces
- 1 Tbs Harissa Paste
- 2 tsp fresh ginger grated
- 4 scallions diced
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds optional
- 1/3 cup slivered almonds toasted
- 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
- 1-2 tsp Za'atar
- 1-2 tsp Ras Al Hanout
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil
- Labneh Lebanese strained yogurt or Greek yogurt sprinkled with za'atar
- lemon or lime wedges
- Harissa paste
- drizzle of good olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400F (375 if using convection roast). Line 1 large and 1 small rimmed baking sheet with parchment. (the red pepper takes less time to roast and needs it's own baking sheet.)
Brush the cut squash on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle each cavity with salt, pepper, a sprinkle of Ras al Hanout and about 1/4 tsp of fresh ginger. Place face down on the large baking sheet.
Toss parsnips and carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer next to the squash. Toss the red pepper with olive oil and salt, place on the small baking sheet. The red pepper will roast for 12-15 min and the other vegetables need about 20-25 minutes, stirring them around halfway through the cooking process.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the couscous (adding a pinch of saffron if using) according to package instructions (usually about 5 min) and toast the slivered almonds in a dry pan on the stovetop (3-5 min).
Once the couscous is done, stir in some olive oil, 1 tsp za'atar, the diced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, almonds and fresh dill. Season with salt to taste.
Once the vegetables are done, place the carrots, parsnips and red pepper in a bowl and toss with the remaining grated ginger and 1 Tbs Harissa.
Fill the squash with couscous and a good helping of vegetables.
Toppings should include: a side of labneh or thick Greek yogurt sprinkled with za'atar and olive oil and side of Harissa paste. Lemons or lime wedges to squeeze on top.
Side of toasted flatbread
Chickpeas are a great addition to the couscous
Sautéed Salted Dates are amazing
TIPS FOR KIDS:
Use the spices on individual servings at the end to accommodate a picky eater.