Pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous, offers a delightful twist on traditional couscous with its larger, pearl-shaped granules and chewier texture. This versatile ingredient has transcended its Middle Eastern origins, becoming a beloved staple in kitchens worldwide.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: A 1-cup serving of cooked pearl couscous (approximately 175 grams)

  • Calories: 200 kcal
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Fats: 0.5 g
  • Iron: 1.4 mg (4% of the DV)
  • Vitamin B6: 0.1 mg (5% of the DV)

Pearl couscous provides a good source of energy and is a versatile carbohydrate base for various dishes.

Origin of Israeli Couscous:

Pearl couscous was invented in Israel in the 1950s as an affordable rice alternative. Its unique size and texture have made it a popular ingredient beyond traditional Middle Eastern dishes, incorporating into international cuisines.

Where to Buy Israeli Couscous:

Pearl couscous is available in most supermarkets and can be found in the grain or international food aisle. It’s sold in various brands, sometimes flavored or plain, allowing for culinary creativity.

Foods Made with Israeli Couscous:

Pearl couscous is used in a variety of dishes:

  • Salads: Its chewy texture makes it a hearty base for salads.
  • Soups: Adds bulk and interest to vegetable or meat soups.
  • Pilafs: Cooked with broth, spices, and vegetables for a flavorful side.

Flavor Profile:

With a slightly nutty and pleasantly chewy texture, pearl couscous adapts well to both savory and sweet flavors, making it an excellent carrier for a range of ingredients.

Health Benefits of Israeli Couscous:

While not as nutrient-dense as whole grains, pearl couscous can be part of a balanced diet, providing a moderate source of protein and fiber. It’s particularly useful for quick, energy-boosting meals and is easily digestible.


Pearl couscous stands out for its unique texture and versatility in cooking. Whether you’re aiming to create a simple side dish, a vibrant salad, or a comforting soup, pearl couscous offers a delightful base that complements a wide array of flavors. Its adaptability and ease of preparation make it a pantry staple for those looking to explore beyond traditional grains.