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How to Reheat Couscous

Reheating couscous is a common cooking task, especially if the couscous has already been cooked. There are so many different types of couscous available now in the supermarkets, making it even more convenient to cook this food. I will show you a step-by-step guide on how to reheat couscous.

Couscous is a very convenient lunchtime meal or side dish. However, sometimes a batch of it has to be refrigerated for future consumption. There are several ways to reheat the food, and doing it gently can keep the couscous tasting fresh.

Because couscous contains little oil, it heats up quickly. To reheat couscous, place your serving of couscous in the microwave with some added liquid such as water, butter, or olive oil (to keep it from drying out). Cover the dish and cook on high for about two minutes. 

Alternatively, you can reheat your couscous in pans or woks on the stovetop. Saute the couscous with butter or a favorite oil until heated through.

To do this, put the couscous in a microwave-safe dish with some added liquid such as water, butter, or olive oil (to keep it from drying out). Cover the dish and microwave on high for 60 to 90 seconds, or until hot.

For single serving size, place the couscous in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with just enough water to dampen, then cook in short bursts until it steams and heats through. Use more water if necessary.

What Is Couscous?

how to reheat couscousCouscous (also known as Moroccan pasta) is a traditional North African dish of small steamed semolina balls, usually served with a stew spooned on top. It is most often found in the cuisines of North Africa, such as Moroccan cuisine and Tunisian cuisine, but also in the Middle East, Sicily, and Italian cuisine. Couscous is a staple food throughout the North African cuisines.

It is a grain-like food made from semolina (a type of wheat) or another grain. Like pasta, couscous has no real flavor itself and absorbs the flavors of ingredients it’s prepared with. Its consistency is similar to very small pasta and can be prepared as a savory or sweet dish. It has a quick cooking time, making it convenient for busy cooks.

The original couscous originated in North Africa and is made of semolina wheat rolled into tiny balls. Modern couscous, which includes the Israeli variety, is made with wheat flour and water.

It is a portion of very simple food made from semolina wheat, but it has an amazing quality that makes it an excellent side dish or even a main course.

Meanwhile, it’s an easy dish to prepare and keeps well for days. The only trick to reheating it is keeping it from becoming soggy by removing the moisture. Once you have mastered the process, you can enjoy your couscous for even longer.

Reasons for Reheating Couscous

The reasons for reheating couscous are different, but it boils down to keeping the food safe to eat.

You need to reheat couscous if you wish to eat it in a hot form. It can be reheated in the microwave or on a stove.

How to Reheat Couscous

You can quickly and easily reheat couscous in a microwave, stovetop, or oven. Reheat couscous when it is still wet after cooking, but make sure that it has cooled to room temperature before starting.

How to Reheat couscous on a stovetop

Couscous reheats well on the stovetop, although it dry out a bit. That may not be bad sometimes, but if you want some moist couscous to go with your meal, add broth or water when you reheat it.

Also, reheating couscous on the stovetop allows you to add vegetables and other ingredients, creating an entree.

To reheat on the stovetop, bring 1/4 cup of water and 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter to a simmer in a small saucepan. 

Add some couscous, stirring as you go, and cover. Remove from heat and sit for a minute or two until the couscous is heated through.

If you want to heat the couscous quickly, put the desired couscous in a saucepan. Then add 1 cup of water for every 1 cup of couscous. 

Now turn the stove and set it on medium heat and cook until the water is absorbed. When it’s done, take the lid off and stir with a fork.

Reheating with a frying pan

If you have a frying pan handy, it doesn’t take long to reheat couscous.

To reheat couscous in a frying pan, add the couscous and 1/3 cup of water. Cook over medium-high heat and continue stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed until the couscous is hot all the way through.

However, the trick to reaping the best results is not adding too much liquid, as it can rehydrate the already-cooked grains.

Reheating in a Saucepan

You can use a saucepan to reheat leftover couscous, just follow these steps easily:

Start by placing the couscous in a well-sized saucepan. 

Then, place the pan over medium-low heat. Stir the couscous while pouring in 1 to 2 tablespoons liquid such as chicken or vegetable broth, water, or milk. 

Cook until it’s warm, then serve the couscous piping hot.

How to Reheat couscous in the oven

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Using the oven is a great way to reheat a larger amount of couscous at once. 

Although reheating couscous in the oven is slightly time-consuming, it will result in fantastic texture, almost identical to freshly cooked couscous. 

Here is a step by step guide

1. Preheat the oven between 340 – 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and place the couscous in a baking pan. 

2. Add enough water to cover the couscous by 1/2 inch; cover with foil or a tight-fitting lid. 

3. Bake until completely hot throughout, about 15 minutes.

How to Reheat couscous with microwave

How to Reheat couscous with microwaveThis method is easy, takes only a couple of minutes, and ensures that your couscous tastes as fresh as when it was first prepared.

It is quite easy to reheat in a microwave. However, it’s best to do so in stages, adding small amounts of liquid and stirring between each one. It allows for the full flavor and texture to be retained.

To reheat couscous, place the desired amount in a microwave-safe bowl. 

Add a splash of water to the couscous, about 1 tablespoon for every cup that you’re reheating. 

Cover it with a glass lid or plastic wrap, and then microwave for about 30 seconds on 50% power. 

Allow it to sit for 1 minute. If still cold, add another splash of water and heat in 15-second intervals until your couscous is heated through.

Tips on using the microwave to reheat couscous

1. Use leftover couscous within 4 days of preparation for the best flavor and texture. 

2. Ensure your couscous has cooled to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator. 

3. Cover your couscous tightly with plastic wrap to prevent dryness. 

4. Place couscous in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a lid or plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss during cooking. 

5. Avoid overcooking, as this can lead to a mushy consistency.

How to reheat couscous without a microwave

To reheat couscous without a microwave:

  1. Put some water to a boil in a stockpot.
  2. Use one cup of water for every cup of couscous.
  3. Add the couscous to the pot, cover it with a tight-fitting lid and remove it from the heat. 

Five minutes later, your couscous will be fluffy and ready to eat when you open the lid.

Another method is by lightly toasting it in a heavy skillet. Once it’s heated through, toss the couscous with a bit of olive oil or butter and your favorite salt, pepper, and seasonings, then serve.

Can You Freeze Couscous?

Can You Freeze CouscousCouscous can be frozen like most other grains and kept fresh in the freezer for four months. Freezing couscous can even help it maintain its flavor and texture.

Couscous has a light and fluffy texture when you cook it traditionally, but freezing it can change the texture. 

Freezing the couscous will not destroy the dish, but you’ll need to be prepared to serve it differently once you take it out of the freezer.

Can You Freeze Cooked Couscous?

Yes, frozen cooked couscous is one way to keep it for later use. If possible, cook your couscous and store it in the refrigerator or freezer before using it. 

It is safe to freeze cooked couscous for about 3 to 4 months. The best way to freeze cooked couscous is by freezing it in serving-sized containers. 

Alternatively, you can place it in plastic vegetable bags and place the freezer-safe bag inside a sealed plastic container.

Although it’s best to avoid freezing couscous and instead prepare the dish on an as-needed basis if you have leftovers and you need to store them safely in your freezer, cook the couscous first. Let it cool before you place it in an airtight container.

How to Reheat Frozen Couscous

How to Reheat Frozen CouscousReheating frozen couscous is a quick and easy process that you can do on your stovetop or in your microwave. You can also add extra ingredients and flavorings to your couscous during the reheating process to make it even more delicious.

To reheat frozen couscous, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, transfer it to a skillet over medium heat and cook until warmed through. 

You can also reheat frozen couscous in a microwave-safe dish by putting the couscous in a microwave-safe bowl and stirring in 1/4 cup of water for every cup of couscous, 

Use a clean damp paper towel to cover it before microwaving the couscous on high for 1 minute and stir until it is heated through.

Be sure to check that your couscous has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Will It Take to Reheat Couscous in the Microwave?

Some microwaves are stronger than others, and some brands may heat up at different rates.

It also depends on the quantity of couscous that needs to be reheated on the size and wattage the microwave is used.

However, It depends on the volume, but between 5 – 7 minutes will do.

Can You Reheat Couscous Twice?

It’sIt’s not a good idea to reheat couscous twice. If you must reheat again, use high heat and heat it quickly. 

You can try adding a bit of olive oil or lemon juice with chickpeas or chicken broth.

Reheating couscous twice can reduce the risk of food poisoning. If you reheat leftovers, make sure they reach a temperature of at least 75℃ for two minutes. 

In the case of reheating couscous twice, ensure it reaches a temperature of at least 165℃ for 15 seconds throughout.

Can Babies Have Couscous?

Couscous can be introduced to babies as young as 6 months of age when made into a baby food puree. 

For babies older than 9 months, couscous can be added to their food, and the cooked couscous grains can be served whole.

Although couscous has a light, fluffy texture, it doesn’t contain the same nutrients you find in more traditional baby cereal.

Also, make sure to check the label before buying. Not all couscous is made from semolina wheat. 

For example, whole-wheat couscous is whole-wheat pasta and contains gluten, which small children should not eat until they are 1 year of age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can couscous be made ahead and reheated?

Yes, you can make couscous ahead and keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours without compromising flavor. To reheat, transfer the amount you need to a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 1 minute.

Can you get food poisoning from couscous?

No, you cannot get food poisoning from couscous. However, if you eat couscous that has not been cooked properly, you will not get food poisoning.


There are many ways to warm your leftover couscous. You can reheat it in the microwave or over the stove. The microwave will keep all of its nutrients, whereas the stove method may leech away some of its nutritional value. But the most important thing is to know how to reheat couscous the right way.

how to reheat couscous

Lemon Couscous Recipe

Couscous is a very convenient lunchtime meal or side dish.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Couscous Recipe
Servings: 2
Calories: 466kcal


  • 1 Saucepan


  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup couscous


  • Over medium-low heat, warm up the olive oil in a medium saucepan.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, stirring occasionally, until fragrant (do not toast or brown or it will become harsh!
  • Lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt to taste are added after the heat is turned off. Place in a pan and heat to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Couscous is added, stirred, then the heat is turned off, and the lid is put on right away. Remain off the heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Use a fork to fluff in the parsley. Serve warm after adding a little additional broth or olive oil to moisten, if desired.



Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 557mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 342IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
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