Recipe: Pumpkin & Chilli Israeli Couscous

I went through a phase a while ago when I was using Israeli (or pearl as it’s also known) couscous all the time, then all of a sudden I just stopped buying it for no particular reason. Over the last few weeks I have seen a lot of recipes pop up on blogs I follow, so decided it was about time I restocked the cupboard and reignited my love for Israeli couscous. If you haven’t used it before it’s a much larger grain than standard couscous and puffs up in size when cooked, but it’s just as quick and easy to prepare as standard couscous. I just find it tastier!

Ingredients List

  • Half a pumpkin
  • Red onion
  • Chilli flakes
  • Honey (1tbs to roast, 2 tbs for dressing)
  • Olive oil (1tbs to roast, 2 tbs for dressing)
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley



  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Peel and dice pumpkin and chop red onion into rings
  3. Place in a baking dish and pour over the oil, honey and a sprinkling of chilli seeds. Toss to combine then roast for 25 minutes (until pumpkin is just cooked through)
  4. Meanwhile, cook the Israeli couscous in simmering water for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan! Remove from heat, drain, rinse and then drain again.
  5. Mix the lemon juice, orange juice, spices, oil and honey together until smooth and set aside
  6. Dry roast the almonds until they start to darken, then roughly chop once cooled
  7. Finely chop the parsley and the chilli
  8. Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl, toss to combine then pour the dressing over the top.
  9. Enjoy!


Have you used Israeli couscous before? Do you find yourself cooking with something a lot and then stopping all of a sudden? Maybe it’s time to pull it back out again!

12 Comments on Recipe: Pumpkin & Chilli Israeli Couscous

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      August 13, 2013 at 9:46 am (11 years ago)

      I have no idea why I stopped using it, it’s delicious!

  1. thinkgreenlovepurple
    August 13, 2013 at 1:55 am (11 years ago)

    This looks delicious and so colourful too! I’m a huge fan of Israeli couscous- I’m bookmarking this for the fall, when I start seeing pumpkins in the grocery store. Can’t wait to try it 🙂

    thinkgreenlovepurple recently posted…Vegetarian dumplings from scratch- a family affair

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      August 13, 2013 at 9:47 am (11 years ago)

      Funny to think we’re coming to the end of the pumpkin season and you’re waiting to start! Colour is always an important factor when I cook – I think it makes such a difference!

  2. leaf (the indolent cook)
    August 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm (11 years ago)

    Looks so full of flavour! I think I’ve had Israeli couscous at restaurants before, but never bought it to cook at home. Perhaps someday I’ll try it out!

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      August 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm (11 years ago)

      It’s super easy to cook with which is very handy! It also absorbs flavour really well, so it’s very versatile!

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      August 15, 2013 at 9:14 am (11 years ago)

      I can’t believe I stopped cooking with it! Now I’m working on some other ideas to use it as well – so easy and tasty!

  3. janelle
    October 16, 2013 at 4:05 am (11 years ago)

    lovely – I esp. love that you use real pumpkin;)))

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      October 16, 2013 at 9:22 am (11 years ago)

      Thanks Janelle! Canned pumpkin actually isn’t that easy to come across in Australia, we generally just use the real thing, when it’s in season you can find pumpkins everywhere!

  4. Kaye
    December 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm (11 years ago)

    I made this for Christmas lunch … it was definitely the hit of the day … and I’m sure it will be a regular dish in my household from now on … thanks!

    • I Spy Plum Pie (admin)
      December 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm (11 years ago)

      Oh I’m so pleased to hear that Kaye! If you took a photo of it I’d love to see – maybe share it on the I Spy Plum Pie facebook page?


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