Can You Freeze Couscous?

If you just eat couscous on its own, it can be very dull. However, add some olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and it becomes a delicious dish. Add some spices and have a Moroccan spiced vegetable couscous or spicy couscous with shrimp and chorizo.

Add roasted vegetables or chicken and herbs. Feta and peach go well with couscous as do black beans and peppers. However, is it possible to save time and prepare couscous in bulk and freeze it? The simple answer is yes, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze couscous and how to defrost it. 

How To Freeze Couscous

1. Cook and cool down the couscous. 

Don’t put the couscous in the freezer while it is still warm as it will bring up the temperature and other food may start to defrost and spoil. Cold couscous also won’t clump together as much in the freezer as warm couscous would. In addition, you don’t want to leave the couscous out at room temperature for longer than two hours otherwise bacteria can start to form. Transfer the couscous to a cold bowl to speed up the cooling process.

2. Spread out the couscous on a baking tray and freeze.

Break up the couscous with a fork as this will stop it from clumping together. You may still have to break it up a little when it has frozen.

3. When the couscous has frozen, put it in freezer bags.

It is a good idea to separate the couscous into meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you need for one sitting. 

4. Put the bags into the freezer.

Tips For Freezing Couscous

  1. Flash-freeze the couscous as this helps stop the grains from clumping.
  2. Squeeze out the air from the freezer bags to prevent freezer burn.
  3. Portion out the couscous so that you only defrost what you need for a meal. 
  4. Don’t mix the couscous with other elements. For example, you might want to have couscous with roasted vegetables. It is better to freeze the couscous and the roasted vegetables separately as the vegetables may make the couscous mushy.

For How Long Can You Freeze Couscous?

If you follow the steps we have given, you should be able to freeze couscous for up to four months. After this time, it may still be safe to eat but the taste and texture will start to deteriorate. Making sure that you squeeze all the air out of the freezer bags will ensure that the couscous will last for up to four months. 

How Do You Defrost Couscous?

You will want the couscous to taste as fresh as possible and all this hinges on how you defrost it. There are two different ways of defrosting couscous.

Defrosting Couscous in the Microwave

1. Put the frozen couscous in a microwavable bowl.

Add two or three tablespoons of water so the couscous doesn’t dry out.

2. Microwave the couscous until hot.

Put the microwave on high heat for one minute. Then, fluff up the couscous with a fork. Keep doing this until the couscous is hot and has steam coming out of it. It is then ready to serve.

Defrosting Couscous on the Hob

1. Heat oil and water.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil and a couple of tablespoons of water in a pan. The amount you use depends on how much couscous you have to defrost. 

2. Add the couscous.

Heat until the water has been absorbed. Then fluff it up with a fork.

Either way is simple, so it does make sense to freeze couscous in bulk for an easy midweek meal.

Can You Refreeze Couscous?

It’s not a good idea to refreeze couscous. Ice crystals form when food is frozen and if the couscous is frozen twice, it can compromise the texture. It will probably become soggy which certainly won’t be enjoyable to eat. The best thing to do is to freeze the couscous in meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you need for one sitting. 

Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Couscous?

As long as you take care when freezing couscous and follow our instructions, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have delicious couscous when it is defrosted. Just remember not to keep it in the freezer for more than four months and don’t heat it for too long so that it dries out. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing couscous but in case you still have questions, we have answered a few here.

Can you freeze couscous salad with vegetables?

Yes, you can, and you can keep it in the freezer for up to three months. However, it is important to remember that it will only last as long as the ingredient which has the shortest freezer life. For example, tomatoes and cucumbers, which contain a lot of moisture, won’t last as long as three months. You would probably be looking at a month at the most.

How long does couscous last in the fridge?

Plain couscous or a simple couscous with olive oil and lemon, will last for up to four days. Couscous with vegetables will last for around three days while if you have mixed the couscous with meat or fish, it will last for around two days.

Can you freeze cauliflower couscous?

Cauliflower couscous isn’t couscous at all but is cauliflower that is blended up to resemble couscous. It can be frozen and all you need to do is spoon it up into freezer bags in meal-size portions. Then put it in the freezer. When you want to defrost it, steam it from frozen until it is heated through.

Can you freeze couscous with roasted vegetables?

Roasted vegetables could make your couscous soggy so if you want to roast your vegetables and freeze them, freeze them separately from the couscous. Then you can combine the two elements when you come to defrost them.

Can you freeze Israeli couscous?

Despite the name, Israeli couscous is not a couscous at all. It is, in fact, tiny balls of pasta that have been toasted. It was developed in the 1950s in Israel when rice was scarce. Despite it not being couscous, you can freeze it in the same way as couscous. Because the grains are a bit bigger, there is less of a chance of them clumping. 

Can you freeze couscous with meat?

You can but it is better to freeze the individual components separately.

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