Recipes, Photography, Musings

Tomato-Pesto Couscous Bowls

This quick and easy couscous mixture is a definite crowd-pleaser.  The flavors of toasted pine nuts, fresh tomatoes, pesto, and Parmesan cheese all combine to make a delicious dish that tastes great warm, room temperature, and cold, so you can refrigerate any that is left over, and easily have it the next day.

dsc_0578-001Sometimes a cook needs a really easy, really quick, yet really delicious recipe to fall back on during busy times.  I won’t list to you my family’s schedule these days (it would take too long, and would most likely be boring to anyone but me!) but let’s just say that on many evenings, there isn’t a lot of time to make a complicated meal.  This couscous dish has been in a regular rotation with us lately, because it takes under ten minutes to prepare, yet it tastes like it took much longer, and it incorporates great flavor with good nutrients.

The Near East company makes all kinds of flavors of couscous mixtures, and I have tried many of them.  For this dish, I like to use the toasted pine nut couscous mix, and then add my own tomatoes, pesto, and cheese.  (I am not getting paid to promote this company’s couscous mix, though maybe I should look into that….)

couscous with tomatoesThough couscous is not gluten-free (it is made from semolina, so it is actually considered a form of pasta), it does have some health benefits, such as vitamins B and E, and a relatively high amount of the mineral selenium.  I am kind of in the middle of the road when it comes to gluten, where I am trying not to eat too much of it, yet I find that eating some foods with it works fine for my body. The thing I really like about couscous is the quick-cooking factor, and also the versatility.  It’s a way to get in some vegetables and herbs, like tomatoes and basil, and feel full and nourished at the same time.

tomato and pesto couscousAnyway, I love the tangy taste of the pesto with the fresh, ripe tomatoes, which are so good this time of year!  If you want to add shredded, cooked chicken to this couscous recipe, feel free.  I know we are having it as part of our dinner tonight, and my husband will probably take a container of it with his lunch tomorrow.  I hope you all enjoy the last few days of summer! It is really starting to look and feel just a bit like fall, which is not a bad thing, but for me, it is a bit nostalgic.  The daylight is fading earlier in the evenings and there is a bit of a chill in the breeze now, yet the sun is still warm and soft in the afternoons.  Have a great weekend!tomato and pesto couscouscouscous against windowtomatoes and parmesanI am sharing this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Natalie @ Kitchen, Uncorked.

Tomato-Pesto Couscous Bowls

  • Servings: 4
  • Print


  • One package of Near East Couscous Mix (I think the toasted pine nut mix works best for this recipe)
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of prepared pesto (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil sprigs for garnish, if desired


Prepare the couscous according to the directions on the package.  While the couscous is cooking, chop the tomatoes, and measure out the pesto and shredded cheese.  When the couscous is cooked, combine all the ingredients. Serve in bowls.  May be served warm, at room temperature, or cold out of the refrigerator, if using as a leftover. Enjoy!




  1. Amanda | What's Cooking

    Lovely simple quick meal. So funny that we’re both examining the rule if gluten in our meals. This time of year scheduled start to fill up. At least your family will be properly and deliciously fed!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Amanda! Yes, we are both paying close attention to how we feed ourselves (and loved ones). I love getting inspiration from your blog about your journey into more plant-based eating. And I always appreciate your comments and your responses to my comments. 🙂 Take care and good luck on the trails!

  2. Natalie Browne

    Now that the kids are back in school and back to their regular activities, I’m always looking for quick and healthy meal ideas, too. This looks delicious. Thanks for sharing it at Fiesta Friday!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Natalie! Thank you for co-hosting Fiesta Friday this week!

  3. Debbie Spivey

    Love this Jenny!

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Debbie!

  4. CakePants

    This looks delicious – definitely worth thawing some of the homemade pesto I’ve been hoarding in the freezer! It’s funny…I actually hated couscous as a child (I grew up with a lot of rice, and somehow couscous just seemed like a bad substitute for rice to me), and it wasn’t until I had my first apartment in college and started cooking for myself that I gave it another try. I’m so glad I did, because the short prep time can be such a lifesaver!

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Mara–yes, the short prep time of couscous is one of my favorite things about it–great for last-minute meals, which for better or worse, we need sometimes!

  5. FrugalHausfrau

    Gosh this sounds so good – we have tomatoes and basil coming out our ears, I swear!! This will be perfect for us!

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Mollie–we also have tomatoes coming out our ears! But in a week or so, we will really miss them! I need to make some sauce and freeze it soon!

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