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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. Hi Kalyn, I'm making this tonight. I was looking for proportions of liquid to couscous for the whole wheat variety and found your recipe. (Getting back into w-w couscous & brown rice over here. 🙂 Will have it with Ina Garten's grilled lemon-thyme chicken. Thanks!

    P.S. We're lucky to have a couple stores in town that carry couscous in bulk.

  2. looks amazing! i just did an entry about couscous and included a link to this page with one of your pictures (giving you credit, of course!) here's the link –


  3. Anonymous, sounds good with turkey meatballs; glad you liked it.

  4. Made this recently, and it was super easy. I served it with some homemade turkey meatballs and marinara sauce on top, and it was good. It makes a huge batch so I might cut it in two next time, but leftovers are always nice! I can see where it would be super easy to change-up the flavors with different veggies and herbs.

  5. Laura, I don't mind if people re-post my recipes if they credit me, although I would really prefer that the recipe is re-written in your own words. But thanks for checking.

  6. I posted a recipe of yours on my blog… I linked your page, but I didn't know if you wanted me to title it as your recipe. I just want to make sure I'm not "stealing" =)

  7. I just made this recipe last night, but made it with quinoa! It was delicious – thank you!

  8. Maura, what a thoughtful husband you have! So glad to hear you liked it as much as I did, and love the idea of the grape tomatoes.

  9. Hi Kalyn, Maura in Charlotte again. I made this for dinner tonight and my husband asked me to thank you for the recipe! I added some halved grape tomatoes. We both loved it.
    I served it with chicken under a brick seasoned with smoked paprika among other things and this whole wheat couscous was perfect.

  10. I am learning so much about grains lately – or trying to anyway 🙂 I did think that it was a grain! Wow! We do like couscous a lot in our home as well as quinoa and we even tried Kamut Khorasan Wheat and we are bonkers over it too! Whole grains are so good when prepared with lots of veggies and spices! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  11. Steaming the couscous will make all the difference to the taste. There is actually a great Turkish recipe that uses bulgar that is similar to your post. Couscous done well is really the dish of Kings and Queens!

  12. i completely agree… whole wheat couscous brings the couscous eating experience to a whole different level. Initially i bought a pack of whole-wheat couscous out of eating healthy thing, but after I tasted it once, i never went back to white couscous. whole wheat one has a nice byte to it that the plain one lacks.

  13. Ken, love the idea of toasting the couscous first. I'll definitely try it.

  14. I've made lots of couscous dishes similar to this. One thing I like to do is toast the couscous until it browns slightly in a dry skillet before adding liquid & other ingredients. Gives a richer, toasty flavor. Then add the liquid a bit at a time (watch for spatters at first!)…

  15. This looks so very good!!! i will have to try it.
    But right now I am having a bay and she dose not like onions, so I don't eat them right now.:)
    But I will try it sometime.

  16. Just made some couscous this weekend and it didn't come out as nice as yours. You make it look so easy as well.

  17. I'm definitely behind on replying to comments here, but I'm happy it seems I might be introducing some people to the idea of whole wheat couscous. Hope you'll try it, it's so much better than the white kind.

  18. I don't mind couscous, however it seems I'm the only one! It's definitely reliant on what flavour gems you fold through it and this sounds wonderful. I've never seen whole wheat couscous, so must look out for it. Thanks Kalyn xx

  19. Green onion and parmesan couscous sounds like a fantastic and easy side dish.

    My favorite whole wheat couscous brand: organic RiceSelect.

    Thank you for linking to my recipe for couscous salad–it is recipe that I make all the time.

    BTW, @ esper-d, I have found that recipes that work for couscous also seem to work for flavoring quinoa (although the cooking of the grain itself is different).

  20. I have never made couscous before… love saying it. I guess I thought it was a rice. Very good post, lots I need to ponder