How to Cook Couscous in Instant Pot: A Beginner’s Guide


To cook couscous in instant pot, add 1 cup of couscous and 1 1/4 cups of water to the instant pot, and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes with a natural release. Instant pot is a versatile kitchen appliance that can make cooking a breeze.

With its pressure cooking function, you can easily cook grains like rice, quinoa, and couscous without having to constantly monitor them. Couscous is a north african dish made from small steamed balls of semolina flour, and it is a quick and easy side dish that can be paired with any main course. Cooking couscous in an instant pot is quick and straightforward, and it also turns out fluffy and perfectly cooked. In this article, we will guide you step by step on how to cook couscous in an instant pot, and provide some helpful tips to make it even easier.

How to Cook Couscous in Instant Pot: A Beginner's Guide


Understand The Basics Of Cooking Couscous

Couscous, a staple north african dish, is a great addition to any meal. Its versatility and unique flavor make it a favorite among food enthusiasts. With the help of instant pot, cooking couscous has become even easier and faster. But before we dive into the recipe, let’s understand the basics of cooking couscous using our instant pot.

What Is Couscous?

Couscous is a type of pasta made from semolina flour. It has a light, fluffy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. Couscous is a staple food in north africa and is usually served with stewed vegetables or meat.

Types Of Couscous

Couscous comes in various types, including moroccan, israeli, and lebanese. The difference between them lies mainly in their size and texture. Moroccan couscous is the finest of these types and is the most commonly found in grocery stores.

How To Choose The Best Couscous

When shopping for couscous, look for the following qualities to ensure you get the tastiest and best quality:

  • Choose a brand with a good reputation: go for a trusted brand that is known for producing high-quality couscous.
  • Consider the texture: moroccan couscous is the finest and needs the least amount of cooking time. On the other hand, israeli couscous is larger, takes longer to cook, and has a chewy texture.
  • Check for additives: store-bought couscous may contain additives such as preservatives or colorings that affect its flavor and texture. Look for brands with minimal additives or no additives at all.
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Understanding the basics of cooking couscous is essential for achieving the perfect texture and flavor. In the next section, we will focus on how to cook couscous in your instant pot, step-by-step.

Preparing The Instant Pot For Cooking Couscous

Cooking couscous in an instant pot comes with many benefits – it’s faster, tastier, and requires less work than traditional methods. To get started, preparing the instant pot for cooking couscous is crucial.

How To Set Up The Instant Pot For Cooking Couscous

First, ensure that the instant pot has been cleaned thoroughly before use. Once cleaned, check that the sealing ring and the inner pot are both in place.

  • Plug in the instant pot and close the lid.
  • Press the ‘saute’ button on the instant pot.
  • Use the ‘adjust’ button to switch to ‘normal’ mode.
  • Wait for the pot to heat up, then add a little bit of oil.
  • Add onions and saute for 2-3 minutes or until the onions become translucent.
  • Press the ‘cancel’ button to turn off the saute function.

Measuring the ingredients is also essential before cooking couscous in the instant pot:

Measuring The Ingredients

  • Measure one and a half cups of couscous and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Add two cups of water to the instant pot.
  • Pour the rinsed couscous into the instant pot.
  • Sprinkle salt and black pepper according to your taste preference.
  • Add half a teaspoon of olive oil to the couscous.
  • Close the instant pot lid and set the valve to sealing.
  • Press the ‘manual’ button on the instant pot and set the cooking time for six minutes.
  • Once done, let the pressure release naturally for around 10 minutes.
  • Release any remaining pressure from the instant pot by using the quick-release valve.
  • Fluff the cooked couscous using a fork and serve hot.

Preparing the instant pot is crucial before cooking couscous. Measuring the ingredients and using the right amount of water and spices is also essential for perfect results. With these guidelines, cooking couscous in an instant pot can be made easy and hassle-free.


Instant Pot Israeli (Pearl) Couscous

Cooking Couscous In Instant Pot

Couscous is a popular dish that is made from small granules of durum wheat. You can cook it in many different ways, including using an instant pot. This method can save time and ensure evenly cooked couscous. Here is how to cook couscous in an instant pot.

Setting Up The Pot

Before you start cooking, you need to set up your instant pot properly.

  • Put the inner pot into the instant pot and add water.
  • Place the trivet into the pot with the handles facing upwards.
  • Ensure that the water does not touch the trivet.
  • For every cup of couscous, add 1 and 1/4 cups of water to the pot.
  • Plug in the instant pot and move on to the next step.
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Cooking The Couscous

After setting up the pot, it’s time to cook the couscous.

  • Pour the couscous onto the trivet.
  • Close the lid and ensure it’s properly locked.
  • Set the instant pot to “manual” mode on high pressure.
  • Adjust the timer to 5 minutes.
  • Once the timer goes off, let the pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, manually release the remaining pressure.

Releasing Pressure From The Pot

The final step is to release the pressure from the pot. Be careful as the contents can be hot and may cause burns.

  • Open the lid and remove the trivet carefully.
  • Use a fork to fluff the couscous.
  • Serve the couscous hot or cold, depending on your preference.

Cooking couscous in an instant pot is an easy way to make a quick meal. With just a few simple steps, you can have perfectly cooked couscous every time. Follow the steps carefully to avoid any mistakes. Enjoy your delicious meal!

Seasoning And Serving Couscous

Cooking couscous in an instant pot is a fast and convenient way to prepare this popular dish, either as the star of the plate or as a side dish. Once you’ve cooked the couscous, you’ll want to add some seasoning and serve it up with sides that complement the flavors.

  • To season the couscous, try these options:
  • Add butter or olive oil to the cooked couscous for flavor and richness.
  • Use vegetable or chicken broth instead of water for added depth.
  • Add garlic, onions, or shallots to the instant pot before cooking the couscous.
  • Use spice blends like ras el hanout or baharat for a moroccan or middle eastern flavor profile.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Suggestions

  • Couscous is incredibly versatile, so there are various ways to serve it:
  • Top with grilled vegetables and a protein of your choice, like chicken or tofu.
  • Serve as a side dish with grilled fish or roasted chicken.
  • Make it into a salad by adding chopped fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese.
  • Use it as a base for a warm, hearty stew.
  • Serve alongside roasted vegetables for a vegetarian-friendly meal.

Storing Leftover Couscous

  • Couscous can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • Place in an airtight container after cooking.
  • Add a splash of olive oil to keep the couscous from sticking together.
  • To reheat, add a little water or broth to the couscous and microwave or reheat it on the stovetop until heated through.

Cooking couscous in an instant pot is a quick and easy way to prepare this versatile dish. Once cooked, adding seasoning and serving suggestions can elevate the flavors and make for delicious meals. Don’t forget, leftover couscous can be used in many ways and stored for multiple days.

Troubleshooting Tips

Are you tired of overcooking or undercooking your couscous on the stovetop? The instant pot is here to save the day! Cooking couscous in an instant pot is quick, easy, and yields perfect results every time. However, sometimes things can go wrong, and you may end up with dry or lumpy couscous.

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In this section, we will provide you with troubleshooting tips to help you avoid these common problems.

Couscous Is Too Dry

Dry couscous can be disappointing and unappetizing.

  • Add enough liquid: couscous needs liquid to cook, so ensure there is enough water or broth to cover the couscous when cooking.
  • Don’t release steam too early: if you release the steam too early, the couscous may become dry. Let the instant pot release its pressure naturally for at least 10 minutes.
  • Add more liquid after cooking: if you discover that your couscous is dry after cooking, try adding additional liquid, such as broth or olive oil, to add moisture.

Couscous Is Too Wet

Wet couscous won’t taste good either.

  • Measure liquid and couscous correctly: if you use too much liquid, the couscous will become too wet. Use the correct ratio of liquid to couscous.
  • Don’t overcook: overcooking the couscous can cause it to become mushy and wet. Follow the recommended cooking times for perfect couscous every time.
  • Fluff and separate the couscous: after cooking, use a fork to fluff the couscous and separate any clumps. This will prevent excess moisture from building up in the couscous.

Couscous Is Lumpy

Lumpy couscous can be unappetizing.

  • Stir the couscous before cooking: ensure that the couscous is not clumped together before adding liquid. Use a fork to separate any large clumps.
  • Mix the couscous well after cooking: once the couscous is cooked, use a fork to break up any clumps and ensure an even consistency.
  • Use the right type of couscous: make sure to use the correct type of couscous for your recipe. Some types of couscous can become clumpy during the cooking process.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you can prevent common problems with cooking couscous in the instant pot. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Cook Couscous In Instant Pot

What Are The Ingredients Required To Cook Couscous In An Instant Pot?

To cook couscous in an instant pot, you will need couscous, water or broth, salt, and butter or oil for flavor.

How Much Water Should Be Added To Couscous While Cooking In Instant Pot?

For cooking couscous in instant pot, you should add a 1:1 ratio of water to couscous. So if you are using one cup of couscous, add one cup of water to it before cooking.

How Long Does It Take To Cook The Couscous In Instant Pot?

It takes just 5 minutes to cook couscous in an instant pot.

Can I Sauté Vegetables Before Adding Couscous To The Instant Pot?

Yes, you can sauté vegetables before adding couscous to the instant pot. This can help to enhance the flavor of the dish and also soften the vegetables before cooking them with the couscous.

What Is The Recommended Pressure Release Method For Cooking Couscous In An Instant Pot?

The recommended pressure release method for cooking couscous in an instant pot is the natural pressure release method. After cooking the couscous on high pressure for 5 minutes, let the pressure release naturally for about 5-10 minutes before opening the instant pot.

This allows the couscous to fully absorb the liquid and results in a fluffy texture.


Cooking couscous in an instant pot is a quick and easy process that you can complete in just a few simple steps. With the help of the instant pot, you can ensure uniform cooking and excellent taste. Whether you choose to enjoy it as a side dish or as a complete meal, couscous prepared in an instant pot is a versatile and delicious option.

Experiment with different spice blends, add your favorite herbs, or mix in some vegetables to tailor it to your taste. The best part is that you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen to whip up this delicious dish.

So, go ahead and give it a try, and we promise you won’t be disappointed. Happy cooking!