Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous (2024)


Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous is a delicious, easy to make side dish, seasoned with Italian seasoning, butter, and grated Parmesan cheese!

If you’re looking for a simple side dish with lots of flavor, may I suggest trying this Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous? Creamy and full of flavor, this simple pasta side dish pairs well with many different varieties of beef, chicken, pork and fish! This recipe (as written) makes four servings of about 1/2 cup per serving, but can be easily doubled or tripled.

I created this recipe a couple of years ago by trial and error, and finally decided to get the recipe onto my blog. It really is a simple, easy to prepare recipe, but it sure is one we enjoy quite often. Sometimes the simplest recipes can become ones we return to, time and time again. This is one of those recipes, and I hope you will give it a try, and come to love it, too!

Pearl couscous (also known as Israeli couscous) is a tiny “pearl-sized” hard pasta that softens when boiled in water. For this recipe, after the pearl couscous cook, it is seasoned with butter, Parmesan cheese, and Italian-inspired spices like garlic, rosemary and Italian seasoning mix. The Parmesan cheese and butter melts into the hot couscous, and then the seasonings put it over the top as far as taste goes! Here’s how easy it is to make:

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of The Page

Cook the Pearl Couscous

Pearl Couscous (also known as Israeli couscous) can be found in almost all grocery stores. It actually is a type of “pasta” that resembles a pearl in shape and size. It is very EASY to prepare.

Bring 1½ cups of water to a boil (on medium-high heat) in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in the couscous, and then put a cover on the pan. Reduce the heat to LOW, and cook the couscous, stirring occasionally for between 8-10 minutes, or until the liquid has been fully absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat.

Prepare The Italian-Inspired Spice Mixture

While the couscous is cooking, combine the spices in a small bowl. The spices you will use are salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and dried rosemary. Once combined, set the seasoning mixture aside to add to the couscous when done cooking.

Finishing The Pearl Couscous For Serving

As soon as the pearl couscous has finished cooking, immediately remove it from the heat, and add butter and shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir them into the HOT couscous, until the cheese and butter melt.

Add the spice mix to the creamy Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous, and stir well, to fully combine all the ingredients.

Time To Serve The Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous

Transfer the couscous to a serving bowl. Serve the Italian Parmesan pearl couscous while it is hot! The pearl couscous will be tender, creamy, and full of Italian-inspired flavor! If you want, you can garnish the top with more shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired, but that is optional.

This recipe makes four ½ cup servings. If you have any leftover Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous, simply cover the bowl and refrigerate the couscous for up to 2-3 days. This dish can be easily microwaved to reheat, stirring occasionally during reheating to break up and re-fluff the couscous.

I hope you have the opportunity to make this yummy side dish. We love to serve it alongside pork chops, chicken, beef, and some fish dishes. It’s really yummy. Thanks for stopping by today, and please come back soon. Have a GREAT day.

Looking For More Recipes Using Pearl Couscous?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have several delicious recipes using pearl couscous I know you will enjoy, including:

  • Cranberry Orange Israeli Couscous
  • Moroccan Meatball Couscous Soup
  • Lemon Herb Couscous Salad
  • Thanksgiving Salad

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Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous

Prep Time

5 mins

Cook Time

10 mins

Total Time

15 mins

Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous is a delicious, easy to make side dish, seasoned with Italian seasoning, butter, and grated Parmesan cheese!

Category: Side Dish

Cuisine: American, Italian

Keyword: Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous

Servings: 4 (1/2 cup per serving)

Calories Per Serving: 214 kcal

Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!


  • cups water
  • 1 cup pearl couscous (uncooked)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon dried, crushed rosemary (optional, but good)

US Customary - Metric


  1. Bring water to a boil (on medium-high heat) in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in couscous, and then cover the pan. Reduce heat to LOW; cook couscous, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes, or until liquid has been fully absorbed. Remove pan from the heat.

  2. While couscous is cooking, combine spices (salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and rosemary) in a small bowl. (You want this ready to add to the hot couscous).

  3. As soon as couscous is done, immediately remove pan from the heat. Add butter and Parmesan cheese; stir until butter and cheese melt. Add spice mix; stir well, to fully combine. Transfer hot couscous to serving bowl. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired..

  4. Leftover couscous can be stored, covered/refrigerated for up to 2-3 days. It can be reheated in microwave, stirring occasionally during reheating to break up and re-fluff the couscous.

Nutrition Facts

Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous

Amount Per Serving (1 (1/2 cup))

Calories 214 Calories from Fat 45

% Daily Value*

Fat 5g8%

Saturated Fat 3g19%

Trans Fat 1g

Cholesterol 13mg4%

Sodium 420mg18%

Potassium 86mg2%

Carbohydrates 34g11%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 8g16%

Vitamin A 146IU3%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 88mg9%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!

Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous (12)

4 Comments on Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous

  1. Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous (13)
    This was really quite tasty – and easy! I never made pearl couscous before and wanted a recipe that was simple and allowed for errors if need be 🙂 No need to be afraid here – super easy and great instructions. My only complaint were the dried herbs and salt at the end. They really don’t get a chance to infuse into the dish so they really stand out, and not in the best way (not horrible either!) I think I’ll try this with salt earlier in the process and adding some fresh herbs at the end, such as basil. Thanks!


  2. Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous (14)
    This was great! It was easy to prepare and was a yummy companion to leftovers! I will definitely be making this again…soon!


    • Glad you enjoyed it, Kathy. We really enjoy it, too!


  3. Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous (15)
    Very yummy!! Made as a side with baked panko chicken thighs and salad.


4.34 from 3 votes

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Italian Parmesan Pearl Couscous (2024)


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