Winter Morning Couscous

When I was a vegetarian, I probably made couscous at least twice a week, mainly because it’s so quick and versatile. It takes 10 minutes to cook; you toss in cubed tofu, beans, or roasted vegetables and dinner’s done. Now in last week’s New York Times Dining Section, they featured a recipe for morning couscous with oranges and dates. After all these years, why didn’t I ever think to do a morning couscous? The problem: I found the NYT recipe to be a bit fussy with straining and cheesecloth and steaming…all unnecessary for a quick morning meal, in my opinion. So I spent a few hours in the kitchen and developed my own simpler version of a morning couscous using two of my favorite ingredients: almond and coconut.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is you add the nuts and shredded coconut in at the end, so if you’d rather use dried fruits, raisins, fresh fruit, or different nuts–feel free. I used Israeli couscous (heartier and nice for this time of year) and decided to try cooking the couscous in coconut milk instead of water for a richer, slightly sweet flavor. It turned out beautifully. If you concoct your own version of the recipe, I’d love to hear about it!

Winter Morning Couscous

Winter Morning Couscous

  • Yield: 4
  • Prep time: 5 mins
  • Cook time: 5 mins
  • Inactive time: 15 mins
  • Total time: 25 mins

When you buy cans of coconut milk, the liquid and the solids separate. Give it a good stir and make sure to measure out mostly liquid as that is what the couscous will cook in. I did use sweetened shredded coconut, but you may certainly opt to use unsweetened. If you do, you may just want to add an extra dash of honey or agave.


1 cup Israeli couscous
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar (use agave to keep recipe vegan)
Dash of salt


Preheat the oven to 375 F and toast the sliced almonds until fragrant and just golden brown (5-8 minutes). Remove and set aside.

Pour coconut milk in a small saucepan and heat until almost boiling, but not quite. Add couscous, honey, and dash of salt and stir quickly. Cover the pot and remove from heat; let sit for 15 minutes. During this time, the couscous will absorb the liquid. Once couscous has absorbed all of the liquid, add in the roasted almonds and shredded coconut and a dash more honey to taste (depends on how sweet you like it). Serve with hot tea or coffee and sliced fruit.


  1. Kelsey B.

    This is a great idea, I never thought of breakfast cous-cous either, though I love the convenience of it. Your photography is really amazing. What camera and lense are you shooting with? have you ever taken a course? I haven't figured out how to do montages like that, but would love to know.

  2. Megan Gordon

    Thanks, Kelsey! That means a lot as it's sort of the one very unexpected passion that's arisen from food blogging...I use a Canon Rebel Xsi and I'll shoot you an email with some more details!

  3. Rachael

    GREAT idea! I often substitute isrealei couscous for grits or oatmeal in the morning! cooking it with coconut milk sounds delish! i usually cook it plain and add some brown sugar and raisins but I cant WAIT to try this out!

  4. Lauren

    I've recently been enjoying brown rice pudding in place of oatmeal in the mornings, and I love the idea of couscous for breakfast!

  5. El

    Great idea. Thanks for tinkering with the recipe for us and sparing us the pain. I'm getting really tired of my regular breakfast. This looks great.

  6. L

    I just ate this amazing goodness. It was awesome.

  7. Mo

    OMG - awesome 1I never thought about couscous in the morning either! Definitely giving this one a try. Thanks!

  8. Megan Gordon

    Lauren-yes, I see that amazing looking brown rice pudding on your site that I'd love to try! Thanks for mentioning...

    Thanks for the comments, El and Mo. It really is easy and delicious.

    And L, I'm so glad you've tried the recipe and enjoyed it!

  9. Dallas Shaw

    oh - stunning

  10. oatsnboats

    That sounds like such a great idea. I can't wait to try it - coconut milk just went on my shopping list so I can try this out as soon as possible. I just discovered Israeli couscous a few months ago and I love it. I can also see this with some cranberries or cherries in it. Yum :-)

  11. saveur

    This looks scrumptious and delicious! I can't wait to try it. :D Thanks for sharing.

  12. iris

    OMG. This recipe sounds amazing! i'm trying it tomorrow morning! will get back to you on what toppings i decide to put with whatever i have in my pantry. Thanks for sharing!

    1. megang

      Please do let me know what you add, Iris...perfect for this time of year. Enjoy!

  13. saveur

    I made this recently and enjoyed it.. a bit heavier than expected so I wonder whether light coconut milk would solve that problem?

    1. megang

      That's a great question. I haven't tried it, but I'd love to hear how it goes if you do. Do remember that it's supposed to be a hearty breakfast dish (so it should be a bit on the heavy side since it's actually cooked in the coconut milk). It's definitely not your light, airy couscous that you fluff with a fork and call it a day. Yours looked excellent though...glad you enjoyed it.

  14. Julia

    It has been a while since you posted this recipe... I was searching for "couscous with coconut milk" and found your recipe that inspired me to make couscous half with water/half coconut milk with some thin apple slices, dried apricot, cinnamon and almonds. It was really good soulfood. Still, I am searching for an additional spice if you have an idea?
    Best wishes, Julia

    1. megang

      Hi Julia! Two thoughts: nutmeg would be nice. Not too much. Or what about cardamom? I think that'd be fantastic with the apples and apricots. Best of luck. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Frankie

    I made a version of this tonight using roughly chopped roasted almonds, but with dates instead of coconut, it was so delicious!

    I also added a pinch of a homemade chai wholespice mix (cinnamon, cardamon, clove, coriander seed and aniseed) to the coconut milk while it was heating- so fragrant!

    1. megang

      Yay! Sounds so awesome, Frankie!

  16. Ali

    Megan, just a note that you have this tagged Gluten-free which couscous is not. It looks delicious, and I might use it as a jumping off point with some gluten free grains. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. megang

      Oh goodness, thank you so much for the note, Ali. Of course. That must've been a mistake in the mad-tagging that was done to bring the new site about. Thank you for catching it - I've updated it now. Have a great weekend (and enjoy the recipe should you try it).

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