Harissa Shrimp Couscous

Couscous is such an underrated food. It wasn’t until I met Adam that I started trying this more often because what do you know, homeboy loves the stuff. Well, now I do as well. 

This recipe actually started in an attempt to make arborio rice. Unfortunately, well now fortunately, my Publix was out of arborio rice and pearled couscous was the next best thing. Decided to switch the recipe right then and there (and I’m glad I did).

This is one of the best things I’ve made in quite a while. I don’t say that often (yes, I do). The addition of harissa, a hot chili pepper paste, sets this dish over the top. When you add shrimp, lemon and Parmesan, you simply have a masterpiece. Harissa is VERY flavorful and can be spicy to some. I would recommend halving the amount if you don’t love spice.

Serves 4

Macros for 1/4 of dish (sorry, I moved and still haven’t packed my scale. You can weigh the entire dish and divide by 4 for the grams per serving!)

386 calories per serving

8 fat | 47 carb | 29 protein

5 fiber

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Harissa Shrimp Couscous

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 16 ounces large tail off peeled & deveined raw shrimp 
  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots minced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa paste
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 ounces fresh parmesan cheese grated


  • Place a large, shallow pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, shallot and tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes.
  • Bring 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to a boil in a separate, small pot.
  • Add couscous to the pan with the garlic, shallot and tomatoes. Toast the couscous for 1-2 minutes and then add in boiling broth. Cover with a lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times in between.
  • Remove the lid, stir and add in the harissa paste and shrimp. Remember, harissa is a Chile paste, it's SPICY. Start with less and add more. Let cook about 3-4 minutes and add lemon zest, juice, fresh parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Stir.
  • Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and more herbs if desired.

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  1. 5 stars
    YUMMM! This was amazing. If you keep your pantry/freezer stocked, it’s likely you have most of the ingredients. Worth wandering around my grocery store looking for harissa for (finally found it on the hot sauce aisle). It’s somehow creamy despite not having any dairy (besides the parm). I added a couple handful arugulas at the end for a little extra volume and it was delish.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely amazing! Made it for my family of 8 (doubled the recipe) and it was loved by all!

  3. This was super simple to make and delicious. I used sambal owlet in place of the harissa and it still makes your mouth feel like a warm hug. I will be making this one again.

  4. 5 stars
    Dang, this dish is so so good! Even my very picky husband asked to add it to our weekly rotation. We needed a change from our usual dinners and this did not disappoint – highly recommend!

  5. 5 stars
    Love this recipe!! Quick and flavorful, it’s one of my go-to recipes when I’m not sure what to make! It’s also great for meal prepping, and reheats well!

  6. I’d love to try this but was wondering if you think it would be good with chicken breasts or ground Turkey. We have some non seafood eaters in our house.

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