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Kalyn's Kitchen

Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish with Green Onions and Parmesan

If you think you don’t like couscous, this Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish with Green Onions and Parmesan might surprise you! 

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

Are you open-minded about couscous? I ask because when I mentioned how much I liked this whole wheat couscous recipe during a food conversation with a couple of my sisters and a friend, they were polite but obviously skeptical that couscous could ever be transformed into 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 (affiliate link), 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 low-glycemic side dishes you can imagine; this can easily be on the table in 15 minutes.

What is Couscous?

Some people think couscous is a grain, but it’s actually a very small pasta. Most couscous found in the U.S. is the instant kind that cooks in five minutes. 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 Hodgson Mill or Fantastic Foods 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.

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

How to make Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish with Green Onions and Parmesan:

(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. (The Fantastic Foods brand has 2 cups in a box, so you’ll need to increase the amount of chicken stock if you use that. There’s a chart on the box that will show how much stock you need.)
  2. Bring 2 cups chicken stock 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 definitely work too.)
  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 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.
  9. Serve hot, as a great side dish for any type of chicken, fish, or meat.

Make it a Meal:

I’d love to serve this with something like Kubideh, or Low-Carb Baked Mayo-Parmesan Fish.

More Tasty Recipes with Whole Wheat Couscous:

Whole Wheat Couscous Salad with Persimmon, Grapes, Green Onion, Mint, and Pine Nuts from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Ten Flavorful Couscous Recipes from The Kitchn (substitute whole wheat couscous)
Whole Wheat Basil-Nut Couscous from Eating Out Loud

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

Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish with Green Onions and Parmesan

Yield Makes 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

This Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish with Green Onions and Parmesan is a delicious addition to any meal.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cups chicken stock (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 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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, 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.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes to find more side dish recipes. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more 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.

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

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    42 Comments on “Whole Wheat Couscous Side Dish with Green Onions and Parmesan”

  1. So funny that people resist the idea of cous cous- which is basically pasta. I bet anyone trying your whole wheat cous cous recipe would be an instant convert. It looks delicious!

  2. i just love preparing couscous…its so easy and it can be a main dish as well as sides…nice recipe 🙂

  3. I am an Israeli couscous fan, but not the small grain type. Don't like the texture. However, I would like to find and try the whole wheat version. This recipe sounds delicious and healthy. Thanks Kalyn.

  4. I tend to like Israeli couscous more than regular but this looks so flavorful, I'd have to give it a shot!

  5. I have just come across your blog. I start South beach today and think I will be finding a lot of great things from your blog.

  6. I am now curious about this whole wheat couscous! I don't think I have ever seen it but then I was not looking for it either! Sounds great nothing beats nutty rustic flavors!Love your dish.

  7. Whoops, I hit send too soon. When my kids first started eating solid food, couscous was a favorite, especially with a teaspoon or two of hummus mixed in.

  8. This is a really nice, simple preparation. I also use whole-wheat couscous and prefer it to the regular variety. I always appreciate that I can buy it in bulk at Whole Foods.

  9. Ditto to Trader Joe's! Had some for dinner tonight. Yummy yummy.

    Thx for the brocolli idea.

  10. I absolutely agree about whole wheat couscous. I buy mine at Trader Joe's. I love to make a kind of cross between tabouli and Greek salad, with parsley, tomatoes, cucumber and feta.

  11. Rhonda, thanks for letting us know that Trader Joe's brand is good.

    Denise, thanks for seconding the idea that this could be made with quinoa.

    Maura, yes I'm still mourning no Trader Joe's in Utah. Your veggie couscous sounds delicious!

  12. Hi Kalyn, I love whole wheat couscous and can get it at Trader Joe's. (I know you don't have one near you, sorry.)
    I make a vegetarian version using 1 cup ww couscous cooked for about 4 minutes in the microwave with 1 can of veg broth. When cooled & fluffed, I add chopped grape tomatoes, scallions, celery or julienned jicama, walnuts, cucumber, chickpeas or black soy beans. I dress it with lemon juice and olive oil and some dried herbs plus 2 Tbsp. of dried mint. Great as a light meal or as a sidedish to a lean protein.
    Maura in Charlotte, NC

  13. I've made a recipe very similar using Quinoa instead of whole-wheat couscous. I'm trying to stay off wheat due to digestive problems with gluten products. I love couscous, but unfortunately my tummy doesn't. Keep up the great recipes!

  14. I get my whole wheat couscous at Trader Joe's, it is their brand and its yummy! I love it, but my daughter absolutely hates it anyway I make it. I am gonna try it this way and see what she thinks. I know I will love it!

  15. Aggie and CJ, thanks. I really loved it!

    Kathy, I'm giggling at the mental image of you sweeping up those little grains under the high chair. Does Israeli couscous come in whole wheat? I don't think I've seen it like that.

    Daisy, lucky you to have fresh green onions!

    esper_d, I'm not really coming up with something that would be quite the same as green onions in this, but you can certainly use any veggie you like that tastes good raw, just cut in small pieces. (Maybe broccoli would be good with the parmesan.) This recipe could definitely be made with quinoa too.

  16. What other green veggie could I subsitute for the onions since I don't like onions?

    BTW, I'd love to see a recipe using quinoa sometime 🙂

  17. This looks delicious! And I'll have fresh green onions soon – very soon — in my garden.

  18. I didn't realize there were people who didn't like couscous -I think it's great! Easy to dress it up with other flavors and it cooks incredibly fast. I especially like Israeli pearl couscous – takes slightly longer to cook but I find somewhat fewer little grains scattered under the highchair 🙂

  19. I love having ww couscous as a side dish! this look delicious Kalyn!

  20. Now THAT looks good. Quick and delicious.