Whole Wheat Couscous is a perfect side dish option that’s loaded with flavor from cooking in broth and adding green onions and Parmesan! And if you use vegetable broth, this is easy to make into a meatless dish!

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Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish finished couscous in bowl

Are you open-minded about couscous? I ask because when I mentioned how much I liked this whole wheat couscous during a food conversation with a couple of my sisters and a friend, they were polite but obviously skeptical that couscous could ever be something you’d really want to eat. I understand, because plain white couscous has never been something I’d get very excited about.

However, I love the nutty flavor of Whole Wheat Couscous, and after I ramped up the flavor with lots of thinly sliced green onions and a generous amount of Parmesan cheese, I gobbled up a huge bowl of this for lunch. Best of all, whole wheat couscous is one of the quickest side dishes you can imagine; this can easily be on the table in 15 minutes.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • Whole Wheat Couscous (affiliate link)
  • chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • green onions
  • Parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

What is Couscous?

Some people think couscous is a grain, but it’s actually a very small pasta and it’s a North African dish that’s used in place of rice. Most couscous found in the U.S. is the instant kind that cooks in five minutes, which isn’t as good for carb-conscious diets. You can read more about Couscous if you’re interested.

Where can you get Whole Wheat Couscous?

Couscous is pretty mainstream these days, but you’ll have to look a little harder to find the whole wheat type. In Salt Lake, I can find Whole Wheat Couscous at Whole Foods or larger grocery stores. You can also buy Whole Wheat Couscous (affiliate link) online if you can’t find any. You can find more about Couscous at that link if you’re interested in learning more about it.

Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish with Green Onions and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to make this Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish:

(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)

  1. I started with a package of Whole Wheat Couscous (affiliate link), which measured out to be 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat couscous if you’re lucky enough to find a place to buy it in bulk. 
  2. Bring 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth to a boil, using a heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid. (I used homemade chicken stock, which made the finished dish extra flavorful, but canned chicken broth will work.)
  3. Stir the whole wheat couscous into the boiling chicken stock.
  4. Then turn off heat, cover the pan, and let it sit for five minutes without lifting the lid.
  5. While the couscous is cooking, cut green onions into thin slices. (You can use even more if you really like green onions.)
  6. Measure out 1/2 cup good quality grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. After the couscous cooks for five minutes, remove lid and fluff the couscous with a fork. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Then stir in the Parmesan cheese and green onions, and season with some fresh-ground black pepper. Taste to see if you want salt.
  9. Serve hot, as a great side dish for any type of protein.

Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish finished recipe in serving bowl

Make it a Meal:

I’d love this with something like Low-Carb Baked Mayo-Parmesan Fish, Salmon Roasted in Olive Oil, or Artichoke Chicken Bake. It would also be tasty with Peanut Butter Tofu with Sriracha for a meatless meal.

More Tasty Side Dish Recipes:

Cauliflower Rice with Basil, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts
Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Kale and Feta
Greek Cauliflower Rice Bake
Instant Pot Low-Carb Loaded Cauliflower Mash

Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish finished recipe in serving bowl
Yield: Makes 6 servings

Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

This Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish is flavored with green onions and Parmesan, and this is a delicious addition to any meal.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (see notes)
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely-grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Using a heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid, bring 2 cups of homemade chicken stock or chicken broth (or vegetable broth) to a boil.
  2. Stir in couscous, turn off heat, put the lid on the pan and let it sit for five minutes without lifting the lid.
  3. While couscous cooks, thinly slice the green onions and measure 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. After 5 minutes, remove lid and fluff the couscous with a fork.
  5. Let cool for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Stir in green onions and finely-grated Parmesan.
  7. Season to taste with freshly-ground black pepper and serve hot.


I used homemade chicken stock, but you could use canned chicken broth if that's what you have.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe for orzo pilaf from Bon Appetit magazine.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 271mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Whole wheat couscous would be too high in carbs for low-carb diets, but this would be a perfect side dish for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. And if you use vegetable broth it could be a meatless dish (although strict vegetarians may not want a dish with Parmesan.)

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes to find more side dish recipes. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2010. It was updated with more information in 2021.

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