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Lamb and Vegetable Couscous Lamb and Vegetable Couscous

Lamb and Vegetable Couscous

Whenever I tell someone MarocBaba is Moroccan, the conversation almost always ends up on couscous.  Even for people who have little knowledge about the country itself they know couscous.  It’s one of my favorite dishes too but not so for MarocBaba.  He never really liked it growing up and since he has been diagnosed with celiac disease he couldn’t eat it.  I’ve seen a lot of swaps for the traditional grains.  Large balls, sometimes called Israeli couscous, rice, corn grits and now there’s one more option – rice couscous! I thought it was too good to be true but Lundberg Farms has a rice couscous! (They really have a lot of different flavors but I’m partial to the straight no-flavor kind).  Most couscous sold in US supermarkets is marketed as instant.  Meaning boiling it in some water and let it steam for 5-10 minutes and voila you have couscous.  This is not the Moroccan way.  If you’re in a bind, that way works but if you really want fluffy delicious couscous grains the traditional way is the only way.

I wasn’t sure how this rice couscous was going to hold up to traditional steaming methods but I was very happy with the results!  The best part – MarocBaba loved it AND he thought it was real couscous.  He was so sure it was real couscous I had to show him the box to prove it was made from rice.  There were very few leftovers from this meal.

Lamb and Vegetable Rice Couscous


  • 1 box Lundberg Farms Rice Couscous
  • salt water (plenty)
  • 1/2 - 1 lb of lamb - any cut works
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 serano pepper
  • 1 potato
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 squash (your choice butternut or acorn work best)
  • 1 medium onion diced finely
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ginger (fresh if you have it)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic
  • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, wrapped in twine
  • water or vegetable broth


  • I use a couscousierre to make this dish. The directions will be written for this cooking method.
  • Peel and quarter all of your vegetables. You can leave the skin on the zucchini and squash if you like.
  • In the bottom of the couscousierre, add the lamb, potato, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, tomato, serano pepper, squash and onion.
  • Add enough liquid (water or broth) to cover the vegetables.
  • Mix in all of the spices, and drop in the parsley bouquet.
  • Turn the stove on medium high heat until it boils, and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Before steaming the couscous for the first time, spread the grains out in a large bowl and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt water. Separate the grains with your fingers as much as possible. You may need to add more water, they really should be quite damp but not dripping liquid.
  • Transfer the couscous to the top of the couscousierre and turn the stove temperature to high. Cover the top of the pot with a lid and leave alone for about 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, check the grains. If they feel dry then remove and pour back into the bowl you originally used. Add more of the salt water and continue the process the same way you did the first time, taking care to separate the grains as much as possible.
  • Just as with traditional couscous you will steam and wet the grains 3 times.
  • Before the third steaming, add the zucchini and chickpeas to the bottom. At this time check the liquid levels and add more if it is getting low.
  • When the final steaming is complete, remove the top of the couscousierre and dump the grains onto a large serving plate. Separate the grains as much as possible.
  • Use a large slotted spoon to remove the meat and vegetables and arrange on top of the couscous.
  • Pour 1/2 of the remaining liquid over the top of the dish.
  • Place the remaining liquid into smaller bowls so that those eating can add extra liquid to their liking.
  • Serve with large spoons for eating!

I hope you’ll love this recipe as much as we do!

But wait there’s more!

Lundberg Farms products are some of my favorite gluten-free items.  Now they want to provide one reader with a gift basket of their products to try! This giveaway is open to US residents and closes on February 1st.  Directions are in the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Amanda Mouttaki

Curious world traveling, mom of two busy boys, foodie at heart, addicted to social media and lover of all things Moroccan.

  • Justine Ickes

    March 10, 2013 #1 Author

    Hi Amanda, I got my Lundberg Farms gift basket this week! Hooray! Just checking – do I absolutely have to have a couscousierre to make this recipe. Alas, I don’t have one. Any work-arounds – other pans I can use?


    • marocmama

      March 10, 2013 #2 Author

      Hi Justine! You can cook the couscous as the directions on the box say to use it. It might not be as fluffy as traditional couscous but it will still turn out great 😉


      • Justine Ickes

        March 12, 2013 #3 Author

        Okay, thanks, Amanda. I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow. 😉


  • Justine Ickes

    February 13, 2013 #4 Author

    Wow, I’m so surprised and delighted to learn that I won the Lundberg Farms gift basket! With the recent blizzard here in the northeast, my family’s really been craving comfort foods. And I’ve been wanting to make couscous for a while but couldn’t because my husband can only eat gluten-free foods. So excited to try your lamb and veggie recipe, Amanda!


  • Linda S.

    January 31, 2013 #5 Author

    I just started using the larger Israeli couscous, but had never heard of rice couscous. I like the quality of Lundberg products; there’s a great rice blend that I used to add shrimp to to make a great salad.


    • marocmama

      February 3, 2013 #6 Author

      I think you would really enjoy this product. I was pleasantly surprised!


  • Johanna

    January 30, 2013 #7 Author

    my boys love lamb shaks and couscous :)


  • cece

    January 30, 2013 #8 Author

    I love the idea of rice couscous. My moroccan husband loves couscous and we usually visit our moroccan friends to have it. I can’t wait to try making it myself with this version!


  • A.Haulcy

    January 29, 2013 #9 Author

    I’d make some couscous Mauritanian style yummy! Lamb lots of veggies, raisins,date, and couscous of course!


  • Marnely Rodriguez-Murray

    January 29, 2013 #10 Author

    I’d love to make a cold chicken salad with it!


  • cami

    January 29, 2013 #11 Author

    We would make traditional cous cous I especially love it with chicken, pumpkin, sweet potatoes with onion and raisin sauce on top! Yum!


  • Karen Hartzell (@InTheKitchenKP)

    January 29, 2013 #12 Author

    I love couscous, but my husband is not a fan. He does love rice though, so now I need to find this and give it a try! I am always looking for new grains to add variety to dinner.


  • Donna L

    January 26, 2013 #13 Author

    I would make bbq chicken breast with steamed broccoli and cheddar cheese couscous.


  • Justine Ickes

    January 26, 2013 #14 Author

    Hmm, I think I would make a “traditional” couscous with dates and pine nuts like I had when I last visited Morocco. But first I think I need to buy a couscousierre (or at least, learn how to pronounce it.) :-) Seriously, Amanda, I’m very excited to try your lamb and vegetable rice couscous recipe.


  • Jill Hartley

    January 25, 2013 #15 Author

    I would love to make a couscous with mushrooms!!!! YUMMY!


  • Ray

    January 25, 2013 #16 Author

    I would make a chicken and broccoli couscous casserole with cheddar cheese!


  • Sheila K.

    January 25, 2013 #17 Author

    I would make a ground turkey breast, chickpea, rice, and cheese casserole!


  • Marisa Voorhees, The Food-Sensitive Foodie

    January 25, 2013 #18 Author

    Lamb AND gluten-free couscous?! This is just too good to be true! Your recipe sounds heavenly Amanda. I was so excited to catch your tweet earlier in the week about Lundberg’s couscous. When I went gluten-free, I had to give up a lot of my fave recipes. And like you, I found past gfree options less than inspiring. So excited to get back to cooking cous cous-y deliciousness. :)


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