Curious to know what the best sauces are for couscous?
Well, look no further as we have compiled the go-to sauces that will be sure to put a smile on your face.
From a mint and coriander pesto to spicy harissa sauce, these are the perfect solutions for topping off your favorite couscous dishes.
Each of these seven sauces has its own unique blend of flavors and can take your dish from ordinary to extraordinary.
Whether you want an enjoyable meal or just want to mix things up in the kitchen, grab one of these tantalizing sauces today and make couscous like never before.
Why Sauces Are Important for Couscous?
When it comes to couscous, one cannot deny that sauces are an essential element.
Whether you prefer your couscous savory or sweet, having sauce added to it can make a world of difference.
Sauces are what gives couscous its unique and eclectic flavor that can’t be replicated without them.
Furthermore, with the wave of vegetarianism picking up steam in recent years, sauces have become critical for helping make dishes like couscous more interesting and intriguing.
Without the introduction of sauces, dishes like couscous will eventually become dull and unappealing.
Sauces also add a nutritional boost to meals as they often consists of healthful ingredients such as extra-virgin olive oil, herbs, garlic, peppers, citrus and countless other tasty ingredients.
For those reasons alone it’s easy to see why sauces play such a vital role when it comes to classic dishes like couscous.
7 BEST Sauces that Go Well with Couscous
Couscous is a popular North African dish made up of grains that are traditionally steamed and served as a side dish.
Whether heated or cold, couscous tastes great with a variety of sauces and spreads.
This article will provide 7 of the best sauces that you can pair with your couscous to make it even better.
1. A Simple Vinaigrette
A simple vinaigrette is one of the quickest and easiest sauce options for couscous, making it a great choice for a busy weeknight.
To make, simply whisk together some olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
If you’d like to add some flavor complexity, try adding herbs such as oregano or thyme or add some minced garlic or shallot.
This fresh-tasting vinaigrette can be served at room temperature or chilled.
2. Lebanese Garlic Sauce
Lebanese garlic sauce, or toum, is a creamy, garlicky condiment commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Made of garlic cloves, lemon juice, salt and oil emulsified into a paste using a food processor or mortar and pestle, toum has many uses.
It can be enjoyed as a dip for various meats and vegetables such as sweet potato fries and is delicious when spread on sandwiches.
Traditional recipes may also include cayenne pepper for added flavor and spice.
One of the most beloved uses for this sauce is as an accompaniment to couscous.
The addition of Lebanese garlic sauce elevates plain couscous to gourmet status due to its creamy texture and zesty taste.
This simple accompaniment is certain to become a go-to in your kitchen.
3. 3-Ingredient Lemon Honey Sauce
This sauce is a simple mix of honey, lemon, and olive oil.
The honey provides sweetness to balance the tartness of the lemon juice, while the olive oil helps cut down on the acidity and makes it easier to pour over couscous.
It’s a simple choice to give your couscous an extra boost.
Just whisk together two tablespoons each of honey and olive oil with one tablespoon each of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Add a pinch of salt for more flavor and apply liberally over your couscous for an incredibly delicious dish.
4. Pomegranate Sauce
Pomegranate sauce is a great way to add some bright, acidic flavor to your dish without relying on heavy seasoning.
Serve it over a plate of warm couscous for a unique and satisfying meal.
This dish comes together quickly with a few basic ingredients and presents rich flavors, perfect for pairing with other Mediterranean dishes.
The key is to use tangy pomegranate molasses as the base of the sauce, which can be found in Middle Eastern grocery stores or specialty sections at most regular supermarkets.
Then mix in some white wine vinegar and honey to further enhance the flavor.
Finally, finish off by adding salt and pepper for more depth and bring out all the subtle notes of this earthy, fruity sauce.
Once your pomegranate sauce is ready, simply pour it over cooked couscous, stirring lightly until all the grains are evenly coated with its powerful flavor profile.
The final result will be an unforgettable twist on this classic grain dish – robust yet gentle at the same time.
5. Cilantro Sauce
Cilantro sauce adds an earthy and herbal kick that’s surprisingly delicious when added to couscous.
This easy-to-make sauce is just olive oil, fresh cilantro, minced garlic cloves, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt blended together.
Try drizzling the sauce over warm couscous for a quick and tasty meal.
6. Tomato sauce
Tomato sauce is a classic accompaniment to couscous.
This family-friendly side can be made with canned tomatoes for ease and convenience, or you can start from scratch using fresh tomatoes.
To make tomato sauce for couscous, start by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil in a pan over medium heat until softened and fragrant.
Add the canned tomatoes or fresh diced tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes if desired.
Simmer the mixture until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes.
Serve the tomato sauce over a bed of cooked couscous and garnish with chopped parsley or freshly shredded Parmesan cheese.
For an added bit of richness and flavor, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over top before serving.
7. White Onion Sauce
White onion sauce is a traditional accompaniment to couscous in North African cuisine.
It is a creamy sauce made from puréed onions, garlic, olive oil, and cream that is full of flavor and can easily be made vegan for those looking for plant-based options.
White onion sauce pairs deliciously with couscous as well as meats, fish and vegetables.
To make the perfect white onion sauce, start by sautéeing diced onions and garlic with some olive oil until they become soft and fragrant.
Then add canned tomatoes in tomato juice (or fresh if you have them available) as well as any herbs or spices that you like before adding a few tablespoons of vegan cream or coconut cream to the mix.
Let it cook on low heat for several minutes then blend until smooth before stirring through your favorite couscous before serving in flavorful main dishes or side dishes.
How to Pick the Right Sauce to Serve with Your Couscous
Couscous is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be taken in many delicious culinary directions.
In order to get the most out of this versatile grain, it is important to select the right type of sauce.
Here are seven sauces that will pair nicely with couscous dishes:
1. How Much Time Do I Have?
Before deciding which sauce to use for your couscous dish, it’s important to consider how much time you have.
If you’re short on time, a basic sauce that requires few ingredients and minimal preparation is best.
If you have more time for food prep, you may want to opt for a more complex recipe with a few more ingredients.
2. How Much Moisture Do I Need?
When preparing couscous, you should aim for a moist but not soggy texture.
The ideal ratio is one part couscous to two parts liquid.
If you are adding additional ingredients to the mix, like dried fruits or vegetables, adjust the liquid amount accordingly by subtracting one tablespoon of liquid for each tablespoon of dried ingredient added.
For example, if you are adding 1/4 cup of chopped dried apricots to your couscous recipe, you should subtract 4 tablespoons of liquid from the total amount needed.
Once you have your couscous and liquid prepared in the right proportions, it is important to add just enough moisture to ensure an even cook throughout.
To do this, stir in a tablespoon of oil or butter and lightly spray the couscous with water until it is damp but not wet.
Then cover and let steam for 5-7 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.
3. How Much Flavor Do I Need?
When deciding how much flavor you want to add to your couscous, think about the main dish you plan to pair it with.
For more delicate flavors such as fish or chicken, a cream-based sauce might be more like the subtle background needed for round out the meal.
If you’re looking for something with more punch, opting for a tomato-based sauce may be more suitable.
Remember that couscous does not contain much of its own flavor and so it is important to choose a sauce which has adequate taste and will hold up as part of the combination.
Couscous is a versatile grain that can be served as a side dish or a main course.
It’s also delicious with different types of sauces.
Whether you are serving saucy seasoned meats alongside your couscous or spooning in some flavor-packed sauce on top, there are lots of options available to you.
Whether you are looking for something tangy or smoky; creamy or herby; light or robust; there is something wonderful waiting out there to adorn your next bowl of steaming hot (or cold) deliciousness.
The possibilities really are endless when it comes to pairing sauces with grain dishes such as Couscous.