A wonderful 30 minute healthy couscous recipe that encourages you to use up whatever is in your pantry. Flavoured with lemon, saffron and filled with Moroccan inspired grilled chicken.
As I just said, the idea of this recipe is to use up the ingredients in your pantry, so please don’t feel like you have to follow this recipe to a tee. You can use whatever vegetables, greens, meats, spices etc. you wish to use.
How to grill the chicken
I used a Moroccan inspired spice mix to flavour my chicken, but you can use whatever spices you like.
From there, rub the spice mix and a bit of oil over the chicken thighs.
Once you have flavoured the chicken, pre-heat your griddle pan over high heat (turn the fans on and/or leave the windows open). I like to let the griddle pan pre-heat over the highest flame for at least 1-2 minutes.
Once your pan is nice and hot, add your chicken, making sure it’s nice and flattened out and cook for 3 – 3.5 minutes on each side.
Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it onto a clean board, then dice the chicken into cubes.
How to cook and flavour the couscous
Remember this ratio for couscous, 1 part couscous to 1.5 parts boiling hot liquid. It’s that simple, and you can use salted water, but you’ll get a much greater depth of flavour when you use stock.
And to add even more flavour, I put the stock, along with saffron, lemon juice and lemon zest in a pot.
Bring that flavoured stock to a boil, and as soon as the stock starts to boil, turn the heat off.
Finally, add the couscous, mix it through, cover with a lid and let the couscous absorb the stock for 10 minutes.
Yep, I promise you it’s that easy, just remember the ratios. 1 part couscous to 1.5 parts boiling hot liquid.
To make this recipe vegetarian
You just need to replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. And here are some vegetarian replacements for chicken:
- Tofu, I recommend a more firm tofu rather than silken tofu.
You can thickly slice any of these ingredients, lightly coat them in the oil, flavour them with the spices, grill them on both sides and then dice them into inch thick chunks.
To make this recipe vegan
You will have to go a step further, and although you could just replace the feta cheese for another ingredient. You could also use a vegan cheese instead.
You can buy a vegan cheese at a supermarket or a vegan grocery store but you can also try making your own vegan feta cheese. Candice runs a blog called The Edgy Veg and she constructed her very own Vegan Feta Cheese Recipe.
Is this a good meal prep recipe?
Yes, it absolutely is, partly because this dish fills you up quickly and has good balance of macronutrients. Also, it’s easy to store and it doesn’t get messy.
This recipe will last in the fridge for 3-4 days, but you can freeze however many potions you like.
Other recipes you may like
- Brown Fried Rice Meal Prep
- Soba Noodle Bowl Meal Prep with Peanut Sauce
- Thai Chicken Curry Meal Prep
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Lemon, Saffron and Chicken Couscous
- 750 ml of chicken stock
- A pinch saffron
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- The zest from 1 lemon
- 500 g of couscous
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
- 500 g chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons a light oil such as vegetable oil or rice bran oil.
- 150 g of sweet potato washed and diced into small cubes
- 1 medium-large carrot peeled and diced into small cubes
- 150 g of frozen peas
- 30 g of baby spinach
- 5-10 g of fresh parsley chopped
- 100 g of sultanas
- 50 g of feta cheese
Add your chicken stock, saffron, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large pot and bring to a boil. As soon as the stock starts boiling, turn the heat off.
Add the couscous and mix through the hot stock, place a lid over the pot and let the couscous absorb the stock and cook for 10 minutes.
Mix the spiced ground cumin, ground ginger, ground turmeric, ground coriander, paprika, salt and pepper together and then rub the Moroccan spice mix over your chicken thighs along with half of your vegetable oil.
Preheat a griddle pan over high heat (turn the fans on and/or open the windows) for about 1-2 minutes.
Once the griddle pan is nice and hot, place your chicken thighs in the pan, making sure they are flattened out. Grill for 3 - 3.5 minutes on each side until cooked through.
Transfer the chicken thighs onto a clean board, then cut them into cubes.
Preheat a wok over medium heat, then add you vegetable oil. From there add your sweet potato and carrots, fry them for about half a minute and then place a lid on top of the wok and let the vegetables cook for 2 minutes.
Take the lid off, then add your peas, put the lid back on and cook the vegetables for another minute and then turn the heat off.
Add your couscous, the chicken, sultanas, fetta cheese and mix thoroughly. Then add your spinach and parsley and mix through again! Serve and enjoy.
- If there are any other ingredients you want to use up in you pantry, feel free to use them for this recipe.
- Use whatever spices you like when making the spice mix for the chicken.
- Make sure the griddle pan is nice and hot before you add the chicken.
- If you don't have a griddle pan, use a frying pan instead, but make sure you add some oil to the pan before adding the chicken.
- Remember that ratio for couscous is 1 part couscous to 1.5 parts boiling hot liquid.
- To make this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. And replace the chicken thighs with something else like tofu, mushrooms, tempeh etc.
- To make this a vegan recipe, you need to replace the feta cheese with something else, you can buy some vegan cheese or you can make your own vegan feta cheese by using Candice's recipe: Vegan Feta Cheese Recipe
- Feel free to use this recipe as a meal prep recipe. The couscous should last for about 3-4 days in the fridge, but you can freeze as many portions as you want.