Mexican Couscous- Three Ways

Hi Guys!

If you visited my post yesterday about How To Eat Healthy During the Week, you know that I promised to tell you about the big batch of Mexican couscous I made over the weekend.

One of my favorite ways to make meals easier is to make a base, like this mexican couscous, that can be used in a variety of different ways. Do some experimenting and find some combos that work with your tastebuds. These bases are totally customizable.

Here’s what you need:
-a grain (rice, couscous, quinoa, farro, etc)
-a protein source (meat, beans, lentils, etc)
-vegetables (any combination you happen to have on hand)
-optional: a fresh herb that goes with your base’s theme (cilantro, parsley, etc)

Here’s what I used for my Mexican Couscous base:

-1 cup pearl couscous, uncooked
-1.5 cups black beans
-1/2 cup corn
-1 cup diced red pepper
-1 cup diced tomato
-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro

1. Cook the couscous according to package directions.
2. Combine with remaining ingredients in a large container and store in the fridge.

The key is to not add too many spices right now. This is just a base. When you decide how you want to use a portion of it, that’s when you customize it to that specific dish.

Here’s how I used mine:

#1- Sunday Night Dinner: Loaded Sweet Potatoes

I work Sunday nights so I’m always looking for a quick easy dinner when I get home. Loaded sweet potatoes are a staple in our house.

To make these:
1. Prick 2 sweet potatoes with a fork all over and microwave for 5-6 minutes, flipping once.
2. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and place on a plate.
3. Scoop about 1.5 c of the mexican couscous into a bowl. Stir in 1/3 c shredded Mexican cheese and season with a little paprika and cayenne pepper.
4. Microwave until the couscous is warm and the cheese in melted. Spoon the mixture on top of the sweet potatoes, top with salsa (if desired) and enjoy!

Hubby had his with salsa, I had mine without. I also would have added some avocado but mine weren’t ripe yet.

#2- Tuesday Night Dinner: Tortilla Soup

Spend 5 minutes chopping some extra veggies and adding some extra beans to boost the nutrition and you can have yourself a delicious pot of tortilla soup in no time!

Here’s what you need:
-1 cup black beans
-1 cup peppers and onions, diced
-1 jalapeno, diced
-2 cloves garlic, diced
-1 can diced tomatoes
-1 quart veggie broth
-2 tsp chili powder
-2 tsp cumin
-1 – 1.5 c mexican couscuos
-avocado and cheese to garnish

1. Roughly chop the veggies, jalapeno and garlic and add to a large pot.
2. Saute until crisp tender, then add the beans, tomatoes, broth and spices.
3. Add the mexican couscous and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Serve in bowls and garnish with avocado and cheese.

Serve with a sandwich- we had grilled cheese :)

This made enough soup for us each to have some for dinner & leftovers for lunch!

#3 – Wednesday Lunch: Tuna Salad w/ Couscous

For the third meal I decided to make some tuna salad. Everyone has their own favorite way to make it.

Here’s what I did:

In a bowl, combine a can of lower-sodium tuna (drained), a couple tablespoons of plain greek yogurt and half and avocado. Throw some hummus in there too if you have it! Mash it all together. Add 1 cup of the Mexican couscous and stir to combine. Add spices of your choice. If you want to stick with the Mexican theme, use cumin, chili powder, etc. Since I’m weird, and I love curry powder on my tuna salad, I used curry powder, ground mustard and cayenne pepper. Add some green onions and mix well.

You can serve this a variety of way. I like to scoop mine up with crackers, but it would also be great in a wrap, on some toast, or stuffed into a bell pepper!

 I ate about half and saved the rest for the next day.

So there you have it! One base, 3 totally different meals!!

If you liked this post and want to see another one, leave you suggestions from themes, ingredients, requests…and i’ll see what i can do!


About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. That is SUCH a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    I love all of the bright colours, so tasty and healthy :-)
    Megan @ Weddings and Workouts recently posted..Wedding Update

  2. IM COMING FOR DINNER (and Im bringing fitfluential friends :))
    Miz recently posted..Weight-loss is simple.

  3. How creative! I never thought to try couscous in a Mexican meal :) Love the ideas~
    Kiri W. recently posted..A Hunger Games Inspired Meal – Goat Cheese Apple Tart

  4. The couscous looks fantastic. I need to try to find that larger size – had it once and loved it. And it’s hard to go wrong with “Mexican” style anything 😉
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Giant Sets & Grilling Bok Choy

  5. So creative, and looks delicious! I love getting multiple meals out of one recipe.
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat recently posted..Chocolate and Sunshine

  6. Why don’t I ever make loaded sweet potatoes?! Those look amazing. Great ideas here – I love re-purposing meals so I don’t feel like I’m eating the same thing all week long.
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted..Mini Mac ‘n Cheese Muffins

  7. YUM!!!!! gotta pin so I can make myself later :)
    Tara Burner recently posted..Thankful Thursday

  8. mmm, i love mexican couscous. i make mine pretty much like yours, but i like your idea to add spices later.
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef recently posted..Peanut Butter Pretzel Granola Bars

  9. All of these look DIVINE!! I have not made israeli couscous but keep meaning to buy it. looks so tasty!
    jobo recently posted..On marriage: more than ‘just’ a piece of paper

  10. I do the “mexican” thing all the time too! Usually with quinoa, but I like israeli couscous so much better actually, good idea!
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..Healthy tuna waldorf salad

  11. I am so impressed with you right now.

    YES I’d love more of this! This was a great one and I’ll definitely give it a try, maybe this Sunday for the following week!
    Meredith @ DareYouTo recently posted..Choose Fitness for Fun

  12. Carolynn says:

    I love this!! Thanks for sharing :) I’ll be trying these recipes out next week for sure!

  13. Mmmm! I love the Mexican sweet potato idea. How are the nutritional stats for cous cous? I never cook with it.
    Carissa recently posted..Travel List Challenge

  14. DO YOU LIVE IN MY HEAD?!??!? guess what’s on my blog today???
    Cat @ Breakfast to Bed recently posted..Don’t Care that I Don’t Have Balls.

  15. Love this! The meals are all SO different too…no boring dinners at your house, for sure! :)
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food recently posted..Cooking School

  16. YUM!! I never thought to add hummus to tuna before, I think I may actually do that for my lunch today, what a great idea!
    Jess recently posted..Because you love it.

  17. Oh how fun!!! I love this post and LOVE couscous!
    Miriam @ Bellaspire recently posted..The Turk

  18. Love this!! Here’s my request: a healthy meal that doesn’t involve cooking on the stovetop or oven haha! I’m still in that hotel room, and I’d LOVE some healthy ideas!! :)
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..I love food.

  19. Oh holy yum all 3 of those sound amazing! I think I would LOVE that tuna salad :). Totally just pinned this so I can remember to try it!
    Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Danskin Triathlon Series [Giveaway]

  20. Your first Mexican couscous looks so delicious and colorful, Lindsay! In fact, they all do! Great recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Pearl couscous is sooooo good! I loved when my foodie pen pal sent some my way. I still have some left so Mexican couscous it is :) I love that you eat soup even in the warmer months like me and tortilla is a favorite! I would have never thought of putting couscous in mine so I am excited to try that out.
    Talia @ Bite Size Wellness recently posted..Snack Attack with Attune Foods [+ Giveaway]

  22. I have been WAITING for this post. Your instagram pictures are such a tease sometimes :-) This all looks so delicious.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..5 Life Lessons I Learned From Surfing

  23. These are all such great ideas! I need to learn to be more efficient with my cooking like this instead of wasting 30 – 60 min cooking dinner every night! 😛
    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin recently posted..WIAW #33

  24. the tuna salad with couscous looks delicious!
    christine @ oatmeal bowl recently posted..Kale Chips & Quinoa Patties

  25. Oh my gosh! That looks amazing, and I am totally making all of those next week! Oh, Lindsay…you are a foodie-rut’s best friend! I get stuck eating the same thing over, and over again and hating it…and now I can, but not. Haha! :)
    Krysty recently posted..Thursday Randomness

  26. Yum!
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Featured Blogger: Jessica

  27. You’re so creative, I love that you found so many ways to use those great ingredients! This is an awesome idea and looks delish.
    Lauren @ Lawfully Wedded Wife recently posted..WIAW- Sayonara Steroids

  28. How awesome that you used one dish in so many different ways! Talk about really getting the bang for your buck! I’d love to see more posts like this!
    Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola recently posted..Live in Wellness


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