It’s getting to be that time of year for lots of grilling and gatherings with neighbors and friends. As the day light hours are longer and the weather is getting warmer we’re finding ourselves staying outside till the last possible moment before dinner. This leaves me with very little time to get dinner on the table so right now simple is better for us. Who am I kidding, simple is always better for us and I’m sure all of you as well, which is why we need tasty meals like this to make our lives easier.


This recipe comes from an old issue of Cooking Light but I made several changes, the biggest one being the type of couscous used. I chose to use Israeli couscous which are little grains of pasta with a bit more substance than the tiny grains of traditional couscous.The almonds can be replaced with hazelnuts or even walnuts and another type of dried fruit, such as apricots can be used for the dates.


This Mediterranean-style couscous is the perfect side dish served alongside grilled chicken, pork or even fish. Soft and chewy couscous with sweet chopped dates and crunchy toasted almonds give this dish a variety of textures and a nice combination of sweet and savory flavors. It’s quick, healthy and delicious which means it’s pretty much perfect in every single way.


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Israeli Couscous with Dates and Almonds
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked Whole-Wheat Israeli Couscous
  • ½ cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 12 pitted medjool dates, diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Bring 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous; cover pan. Remove from heat. Let couscous mixture stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover pan; fluff couscous with a fork. Combine buttermilk, cumin, salt and pepper, in a bowl stirring with a whisk. Pour buttermilk mixture over the couscous and allow to simmer, covered, for 5 more minutes.
  2. Drain excess buttermilk mixture from the couscous. Add couscous to a serving dish and top with the dates, almonds, parsley and green onions; Stir mixture to gently combine.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine September 2013.