Moroccan Apricot Couscous Recipe - Vegan and Vegetarian

Apricot Couscous

Moroccan Apricot Couscous Recipe - Vegan and Vegetarian
Region / culture: Morocco | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegan diet


Apricot Couscous
Apricot Couscous

Apricot Couscous is a delightful and vibrant dish that combines the sweetness of dried apricots with the fluffy texture of couscous. This recipe is perfect for those seeking a nutritious and flavorful side dish or a light main course. The addition of fresh herbs and spring onions adds a refreshing touch, making it a versatile recipe that pairs well with various cuisines.


The origins of couscous trace back to North Africa, where it has been a staple food for centuries. The incorporation of dried fruits such as apricots into couscous dishes is a common practice in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, adding a sweet contrast to the savory flavors. This Apricot Couscous recipe is inspired by these traditional culinary practices, blending the rich history of couscous with the natural sweetness of apricots.


How to prepare

  1. Chop the apricots and place them in a bowl.
  2. Pour enough boiling water over the apricots to cover them, then let them soak for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. While the apricots are soaking, place the couscous in a large bowl and add enough boiling water to cover it.
  4. Cover the bowl with clingfilm to create an airtight seal and let it sit for 10 minutes to cook.
  5. Drain any excess water from the apricots and add them to the couscous, gently mixing with a fork.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and thoroughly stir the mixture. Serve hot, either plain or with meat or poultry.


  • For a nuttier flavor, add toasted almonds or pine nuts to the couscous. To make it a more substantial meal, mix in chickpeas or diced cooked chicken. For a vegan version, ensure the couscous is free from any animal-derived additives.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the couscous is perfectly fluffy, use a fork to fluff it up after it has absorbed the water. This prevents it from becoming clumpy. Soaking the apricots not only softens them but also enhances their flavor, making them a juicy addition to the dish. For an extra burst of flavor, consider toasting the couscous in a dry pan before adding the boiling water.

Serving Suggestions

Apricot Couscous can be served as a side dish with grilled chicken, lamb, or fish. It also makes a refreshing light lunch when served on its own or with a simple green salad.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the absorption method used to cook the couscous, which involves pouring boiling water over the grains and letting them sit covered until they absorb all the liquid. This method ensures a fluffy texture every time.

Ingredient Substitutions

If dried apricots are not available, dried cranberries or raisins can be used as a substitute. Quinoa can be used in place of couscous for a gluten-free alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

This dish can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To refresh, simply fluff the couscous with a fork and add a little olive oil if it seems dry.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the Apricot Couscous in a large bowl garnished with extra chopped parsley and spring onions. For an elegant touch, mold the couscous into individual portions using a small bowl or cup before inverting onto plates.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs beautifully with Moroccan tagines, grilled meats, or roasted vegetables. For a refreshing drink, serve with mint tea or a crisp white wine.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, sprinkle a little water over the couscous and microwave it for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Apricot Couscous contains approximately 200-250 calories, making it a light yet satisfying option for those monitoring their calorie intake.


A serving of Apricot Couscous is a good source of carbohydrates, providing the energy needed for daily activities. The couscous and apricots together offer a balanced mix of simple and complex carbohydrates, ensuring a steady release of energy.


This recipe is low in fats, with the only source being the olive oil used in the preparation. Olive oil is known for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, making this dish not only delicious but also beneficial for your heart health.


Couscous is a decent source of plant-based protein, making this dish a good option for vegetarians and those looking to increase their protein intake. The protein content can be further enhanced by serving it with meat or poultry, as suggested.

Vitamins and minerals

Apricots are rich in vitamins A and C, both of which are antioxidants that help protect the body against free radical damage. This dish also provides a variety of minerals, including potassium and magnesium, essential for maintaining healthy bodily functions.


This recipe is free from most common allergens, including dairy, nuts, and gluten (if gluten-free couscous is used). However, those with specific dietary restrictions should always check the labels on individual ingredients to ensure they are safe to consume.


Apricot Couscous is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It is low in calories and free from common allergens, making it a healthy choice for a wide range of dietary needs.


Apricot Couscous is a versatile and nutritious dish that brings a touch of sweetness to any meal. With its simple preparation and healthful ingredients, it's a delightful option for both everyday dining and special occasions. Whether served as a side or a main, this recipe is sure to impress with its delicious flavors and vibrant presentation.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is etched in my memory forever. It was a warm summer day, the sun shining brightly through the kitchen window as I rummaged through my old recipe box. I remember coming across a faded, yellowed piece of paper tucked away in the corner, with the words "Apricot Couscous" scrawled across the top in elegant script.

As I read through the ingredients and instructions, I was transported back in time to a bustling marketplace in Morocco, where I first tasted this exotic dish. The flavors of sweet apricots, savory spices, and fluffy couscous danced on my taste buds, leaving me craving more. I knew then and there that I had to learn how to make this dish myself.

I closed my eyes and let my mind wander back to that vibrant marketplace, where the scent of spices filled the air and the sound of vendors hawking their wares filled my ears. I could almost feel the warm sun on my skin and hear the chatter of the locals as they went about their daily business.

I smiled to myself as I remembered the kind old woman who had taken me under her wing and taught me the secrets of Moroccan cooking. She had shown me how to select the ripest apricots, how to toast the couscous to perfection, and how to blend the spices just right for that perfect balance of flavors.

I followed her around the bustling market, watching as she deftly selected each ingredient with care and precision. I listened as she shared stories of her own grandmother, who had passed down the recipe through generations, each one adding their own twist to make it uniquely their own.

I remember the day she invited me into her humble kitchen, where the scent of exotic spices filled the air and the sound of sizzling pans and bubbling pots filled my ears. She showed me how to chop the apricots just so, how to toast the couscous until golden brown, and how to simmer it all together until the flavors melded into a symphony of taste.

I watched in awe as she worked her magic, her hands moving with the grace and precision of a seasoned chef. She hummed a soft melody as she stirred the pot, her eyes alight with the joy of creation.

I followed her every move, soaking in every detail like a sponge. I asked questions, I took notes, I tasted and adjusted until the flavors were just right. And when the dish was finally ready, I took my first bite and was transported back to that bustling marketplace in Morocco.

The flavors exploded on my tongue, each one distinct yet harmonious in the medley of taste. The sweetness of the apricots mingled with the warmth of the spices, while the fluffy couscous provided the perfect backdrop for it all.

I remember the look of pride in the old woman's eyes as she watched me savor the dish. She had passed down a piece of her heritage to me, and I had embraced it with open arms. I knew then and there that this recipe would become a staple in my own kitchen, a reminder of the time I spent in Morocco and the lessons I had learned about the power of food to bring people together.

And so, as I sit here in my own kitchen, preparing the Apricot Couscous once again, I can't help but smile at the memories that flood back with each stir of the spoon. The flavors, the smells, the sounds of that bustling marketplace in Morocco all come rushing back to me, reminding me of the kind old woman who had taken me under her wing and taught me the secrets of her beloved recipe.

As I take that first bite, I close my eyes and let the taste transport me back to that time and place, where the sun shone brightly, the spices filled the air, and the joy of cooking brought us together in a way that only food can. And I am grateful, oh so grateful, for the gift of this recipe and the memories it brings with it.


| Appetizer Recipes | Apricot Recipes | Couscous Recipes | Dried Apricot Recipes | Fruit Recipes | Moroccan Appetizers | Moroccan Recipes | Side Dish Rice Recipes | Sweet Appetizer Recipes | Vegan Recipes | Vegan Side Dish Recipes | Vegetarian Appetizer Recipes | Vegetarian Recipes | World Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(2) Scollop
(2) Zhug I
(2) Ispanak