How about cutting ourselves some slack in the kitchen and still serving something tasteful with this 15 minute - Easy Mushroom Couscous with Herbs. You can make a one-stop shop at Trader Joe's for all the ingredients, and it serves well on a low budget.
Mushroom Couscous is made with Israeli couscous; AKA: pearl couscous. It's best served as a side dish, but it also makes a great light and wholesome meal. This pearl pasta is easy to meal-prep and it's a hit with most kids.
What really cuts down your time in the kitchen when making this dish is Trader Joe's pre-made vegan bruschetta that is used in this pasta salad recipe. It coats this pearl pasta with sweet garlic, tangy balsamic vinegar and savory tomatoes. This bruschetta is only about three bucks, and it tastes amazing.
What is Israeli Couscous?
Like pasta, couscous is made with semolina flour and water. Traditional couscous is made by hand with water and wheat flour. It is rolled into a dough, cut into irregular shapes, and gently steamed before serving.
Israeli couscous is produced by a machine, which gives it a spherical shape and bigger size. Due to its round shape, it is also known as Pearl Couscous.
Ingredient Notes and Substutions
- Israeli Couscous - AKA: Pearled Couscous. I bought mine from Trader Joe's, however any brand of pearl coucous is fine.
- Vegan Bruschetta - This bruschetta is bought from Trader Joe's. You can go with another brand, if you prefer.
- Crimini Mushrooms - Shiitake mushrooms and portobello also go well with this recipe.
- Baby Spinach - Fresh or frozen will do. Make sure to cook a little longer to thaw out the frozen spinach. I like to use fresh spinach for better flavor and to save time on cooking.
- Fresh Oregano - If you can't find oregano, then swap it out for parsley, dill, basil, or any herb of your choice. Add multiple herbs, if you prefer.
- Olive Oil - Always go with extra virgin, organic and cold pressed for best flavors.
- Seasonings - The ones used in the recipe are salt, dried oregano, garlic and onion powder, and crushed black peppercorn. You can add or swap the seasoning as you prefer to change the flavor profile. Try curry powder, cumin, or paprika for more intensity deeper flavors.
How to cook Mushroom Couscous? (Step by Step)
First off, do not follow packaging directions because the couscous can turn out mushy and sticky. The best way to cook couscous is like how you would cook pasta.
- Step 1 - Fill up a pot with water (about two-thirds of the way), bring to a boil, and then add the couscous.
- Step 2 - Boil for about a good ten minutes until al dente, and then drain out the water and set aside the cooked couscous.
- Step 3 - Heat oil over low-medium heat. Then add mushrooms and stir till evenly coated with the oil. Cook on medium high heat for 5 to 8 minutes until mushrooms are lightly browned. Add a pinch of salt and cook for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
- Step 4 - Add fresh spinach, cooked couscous, and bruschetta in with the pan of cooked mushrooms. Add salt, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and fresh oregano. Toss it all together and mix well.
Once you get the hang of knowing how to cook your mushroom couscous, there are several different ways to dress it. Here are some other ideas to try:
- Sauce - Instead of using bruschetta to coat your couscous, you can simply go with lemon zest and olive oil. Or combine it with vegan butter, nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan.
- Veggies and Herbs - Olives, bell peppers, red onions, parsley or basil, can all be added for a more wholesome side.
Couscous is not gluten-free because it contains wheat.
Israeli couscous is served best as a side, but it can also make a great lunch salad or potluck dish.
More Wholesome Vegan Sides
- Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad
- Miso Garlic Green Beans with Spicy Chili Sauce
- Best Chickpea Apple Kale Salad with Avocado and Sweet Beet
- Hasselback Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary Balsamic (Mini)
Easy Mushroom Couscous with Herbs
- 16 oz Pearl Couscous (Israeli) I used Trader Joe's
- 14 oz vegan bruschetta From Trader Joe's
- 8 oz crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup baby spinach
- ⅓ cup fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black peppercorn crushed
- Fill up a pot with water (about two-thirds of the way), bring to a boil, and then add the couscous. Boil for 10 minutes until al dente. Then drain out the water, and wash the couscous under cold water.
- While the couscous is cooking, slice crimini mushrooms and yellow bell peppers into bite size pieces.
- In a medium size pan, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Once the pan and oil are heated, add mushrooms and stir till evenly coated with the oil. Cook on medium high heat for 5 to 8 minutes until mushrooms are lightly browned. Reduce heat to low and add a pinch of salt and cook for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
- Add spinach, cooked couscous, and bruschetta in with the pan of crimini mushrooms. Add salt, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh oregano. Toss it all together and mix well.
- Garnish with crushed black pepper before serving.
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