Couscous with Dates and Almonds

Do you have one of those recipes that you could literally make with your eyes closed? For me this couscous is one of those recipes. Ever since I discovered it last January in my Cook’s Illustrated magazine I have made it at least once a month. I don’t know why this recipe has not made an appearance on here until today, it is so good! This couscous is a cinch to make and can be served hot or cold.  It is the perfect side dish to grilled chicken or fish. I like to make a big batch and portion it out into little containers to throw into lunch boxes throughout the week. The crunchy almonds and sweet, tender dates pair perfectly with the light and fluffy couscous.

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Couscous with Dates and Almonds

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  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Ground black pepper


  1. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat melt butter. When foaming subsides, add couscous, ginger, cardamom, and dates and cook, stirring frequently, until couscous is just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, and salt; stir briefly to combine, cover, and remove from heat.
  2. Let stand until couscous is tender, about 7 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Stir in almonds, cilantro, and lemon juice; season with pepper to taste, and serve.

Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, January 2011

12 Responses to “Couscous with Dates and Almonds”

  1. #
    thekalechronicles — March 29, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    I can see why you make this all the time — I like every flavor in it.

  2. #
    Chica Andaluza — March 29, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

    Gorgeous, love cous cous and especially with these north african flavours!

  3. #
    cravesadventure — March 29, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

    I have never put nuts in couscous – might have to give it a whirl!

  4. #
    ErinCroutons — March 29, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

    I love cous cous for it’s simplicity and versatility. This recipe looks fab!

  5. #
    Clare — March 29, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    Love couscous with this combination of flavours – almonds and dates are divine! Definitely keen to try :)

  6. #
    Heidi @ homeingreece — March 29, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

    that looks lovely! my husband and I have an ongoing argument. I say that couscous is made of flour like pasta, and he says that it’s its own grain. I know I could look it up on wikipedia but I kind of enjoy the fact that we’ve never settled the argument. :)

  7. #
    ChgoJohn — March 29, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

    Couscous makes a great salad and this one has a tasty mix of flavors — with a little crunch, to boot! :)

  8. #
    Just A Smidgen — March 29, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    My daughter and I love couscous.. my husband doesn’t care for it, so all the more for us!! I’ll make this when he’s not home for supper!!

  9. #
    windykitchen — March 29, 2012 @ 8:49 pm

    Yum! I feel like I’m always cooking with walnuts or pecans or peanuts and end up forgetting about almonds. Looks great!

  10. #
    Bluejellybeans — March 30, 2012 @ 10:07 am

    I love couscous and yours looks delicious :)

  11. #
    Kate — November 11, 2013 @ 11:48 am

    I would like to try this with olive oil….not butter? What do you think?

    • Christina replied: — November 17th, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

      Hi Kate,
      I’ve never tried making this with olive oil instead of butter, however, I bet it would still be great. If you give it a try I would love to hear how it turns out! :)

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