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Is couscous gluten-free? GF recipe safe for celiac disease

Lana Bandoim's picture

Whether you are new to the gluten-free diet or are simply curious about eating couscous, you need to know if it is free from gluten. The following tips will help you determine its safety and make it easier to either accept or decline it during meals.


Couscous is a grain dish that is often served as a side, but it can be the main meal. It looks like small white grains of rice and is a popular dish in many Mediterranean restaurants. However, it is usually not gluten-free because couscous is made from wheat. There are gluten-free versions of couscous available, so you have to ask the following question before you eat it.

Is couscous gluten-free?

Most couscous is not gluten-free. It is made from durum wheat that contains gluten. If you look at common couscous recipes, then you will see that whole wheat is usually listed in the ingredients. Whether you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you will want to avoid this type of couscous.

When you are eating out at a restaurant of friend’s house, you must ask how they made their couscous and check the ingredients, so you can avoid the common gluten risks. Most cooks will use durum wheat, so you cannot eat it. However, there are gluten-free (GF) recipes that you can use to make your own version.

Easy couscous gluten-free recipe

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If you are tired of missing out on eating couscous while everyone else enjoys it at the table, then you can cook your own gluten-free alternative. This GF couscous recipe is easy to follow and will not take hours to create. You may even be able to convince others to switch to gluten-free couscous after they taste your version.

It is important to note that you will have to purchase brown rice couscous at the store to make this recipe. Several gluten-free brands sell couscous safe for celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The most popular GF brown rice couscous comes from Lundberg Farms and Bob's Red Mill. If you cannot find it in stores, you can order it online from the brands or online sites such as Amazon.


1 cup of brown rice couscous
2 cups of chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of butter
1 small chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Add chicken stock or broth to a pot. Then, add butter. Heat until the mixture starts to boil.
2. Add brown rice couscous to the pot. Reduce the heat to a low setting. Cover with a lid.
3. After it is cooked, remove it from the heat. Leave the lid on for 5 minutes.
4. Add Parmesan cheese, onion, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the pot. Mix the ingredients.
5. Fluff the couscous with a fork and serve.

More tips for your own couscous gluten-free recipe

This recipe can be modified by adding extra herbs such as coriander or parsley. You can also add extra vegetables such as cut carrots, bell peppers or celery. You can experiment with the gluten-free couscous recipe and find a version that works for you.