Couscous with Dried Cranberries and Pecans is quick and easy to prepare, full of fall flavors including cranberry and cinnamon, and beautiful on the plate!
Couscous is a wonderful alternative to rice or potatoes as a side dish. A coarse, ground pasta, couscous granules are made from crushed durum wheat. It takes only minutes to prepare, provided you’re using the instant variety (most packaged couscous is). The grain itself doesn’t have much flavor on its own, and therefore should be prepared with herbs, spices and other ingredients – like nuts, dried fruits and/or sautéed vegetables.
For my Couscous with Dried Cranberries and Pecans, I combine couscous with sautéed onion and celery, along with dried cranberries, toasted pecans, orange zest, thyme, sage and cinnamon. The resulting side dish is savory with a tad of sweetness and a bit of crunch – and it’s perfect for Thanksgiving!
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Couscous with Dried Cranberries and Pecans is quick and easy to prepare, full of fall flavors like cranberry and cinnamon, and beautiful on the plate. It’s savory with a tad of sweetness and a bit of crunch.
- 9 cups water
- 6 cups plain couscous (instant)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- Salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in couscous; cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Stir into couscous.
- Add cranberries, orange zest, cinnamon, thyme and sage and toss to combine.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, stir in chopped pecans.
Gluten free: use wild rice (or a mixture of brown and wild) in place of the couscous.
Make ahead: Couscous mixture can be prepared, without the pecans, earlier in the day. Stir in pecans just before serving.