Recipe: $6.23 | Per Serving: $1.04 | Yield: 6
Lemon Feta Couscous is tangy, fast, and super delicious! With a few ingredients from Trader Joe's, you can have this simple dinnertime dish ready in just about 10 minutes!
Welcome Back to The States!
We are officially back. Currently still in transit as we visit with family before settling down, but we have (sadly) closed our chapter on living in Japan.
After doing all the appropriate adult things on our first day back in the states (SO MANY ADULT THINGS), we went directly to Trader Joe's, one of my favorite stores ever. And with the goal of making something simple, with not too many ingredients, this Trader Joe's Lemon Feta Couscous with Spinach was created.
Luckily I'd already mostly planned it out prior to arriving in the U.S. because my jet-lagged brain was no help at all when it came time to throw this meal together.
Guys, going to Trader Joe's on about 4 hours of sleep after running errands for 5 hours and traveling halfway around the world the previous day is NOT a good experience. It was a new store for me so I didn't know where anything was, and I couldn't find my list (it was in my back pocket) so I was walking around in circles like an idiot.
I didn't even get any chocolate. What's wrong with me?
However, I'm stoked that despite my jet-lagged brain, I successfully purchased everything needed for this recipe. Even if it took me an unreasonable length of time. THAT'S HOW EASY THIS IS!
Let's talk about this Lemon Feta Couscous. We're rocking super fast whole wheat couscous (see notes for quinoa / gluten-free options), frozen spinach, jarred roasted red peppers, feta cheese, garbanzo beans, and a lemon. What is couscous? TLDR: it's pasta.
What Exactly is Couscous?
Great question! Couscous is basically pasta. It is made from semolina flour, which is a coarse flour made from durum wheat. There are a few different types of couscous, but I like to use the Moroccan style whole wheat couscous available at Trader Joe's. (Israeli pearled couscous is another delicious option, but I've never found whole wheat pearled couscous.)
Couscous is great to keep on hand because:
- It's the fastest-cooking carby starch. (Just add hot water.)
- You almost can't mess it up. (See above.)
- It's cheap cheap cheap!
Is Couscous Gluten Free?
Nope! I can remember asking my boss this question when I worked at a restaurant in 2011 in San Diego and he looked at me like I was crazy. "Well, it's made from semolina," was his response. My thought was, Um, what is semolina? Friends, semolina is a type of flour made from durum wheat. Therefore, couscous is made from wheat and is not gluten-free.
However, you can absolutely make this dish gluten-free by subbing in quinoa! You can buy the pre-cooked frozen quinoa from Trader Joe's, or make up a batch of quinoa in about 15 minutes.
How to Make Lemon Feta Couscous
Friends, this is so easy.
- Cook the couscous and the spinach: This is so easy it is barely cooking. You just boil the perfect amount of water and add the couscous and the spinach.
- Prep remaining ingredients: Rinse and chop bell peppers, drain and rinse chickpeas, crumble the feta.
- Combine all prepped ingredients and add lemon juice! That's really all there is to it.
You just need a few simple and convenient ingredients (all available at Trader Joe's!) to make this easy lemon feta couscous: chopped spinach, jarred bell peppers, canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), whole wheat couscous, feta cheese, and a lemon.
True to my promise, this dish is incredibly simple. Couscous is super fast, and when you pick up a bunch of somewhat pre-prepped items from Trader Joe's, it's a one-stop, one-pot wonder.
The only thing that takes any time at all is rinsing and chopping the red peppers, and that takes less than 5 minutes. It's a super WIN for Easy Weeknight Meals! Sure, if you buy 4 for $1 bell peppers for homemade roasted red peppers, and make your beans from scratch, you can save even more money, but since this comes out to just over $1.00 per serving anyway, it's awesome to have the more convenient option!
I recommend eating this warm - it's much better that way. You can turn the stove on low to warm it up, but the couscous might stick to the bottom of the pan. Placing it (covered) in a warm oven, microwaving it, or warming it in your rice cooker are all somewhat easier options. Go on, save time with this budget-friendly dish. And then report back!
PIN THIS RECIPE HERE! ↓
Paleo: Nope, not this time.
This easy 6-ingredient dish is ready in about 10 minutes!
- 1.5 cups whole wheat couscous
- 2 cups frozen spinach
- 1.5 cups roasted red peppers, chopped or sliced
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 4 ounces feta cheese
- juice from half a lemon (about 1 Tablespoon)
- optional: red pepper flakes
- In a large pot, bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the couscous and spinach. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse the roasted red peppers (if using jarred in vinegar) and slice. Drain & rinse the chickpeas. Crumble the feta.
- Add remaining ingredients (roasted red peppers, chickpeas, feta, lemon, and optional red pepper flakes) and stir well. Best served warm, but can also be served cold!
You can make your own roasted red peppers, or sub them out for sun-dried tomatoes (my favorite with feta!). And if you're planning to eat this cold, like a salad, I recommend using fresh spinach instead of frozen.
To serve warm, you can defrost the spinach, or warm it in the microwave before adding to the couscous.
For Gluten-Free: sub in cooked quinoa for the couscous.
Nutrition Label: based on 4 servings
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
(P.S. - No, this isn't endorsed by Trader Joe's.)