Harissa Couscous with Sardines

Harissa Couscous with Sardines


Harissa Couscous with Sardines

Harissa Couscous with Sardines

Flavor packed and pantry friendly!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


For the couscous:

  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 2 cups water or stock
  • 10 oz couscous

For the rest:

  • 4.2 oz tinned sardines in olive oil*
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 3 (jarred) roasted bell peppers, sliced into ¼ inch thick strips
  • 1 red onion, sliced into half-moons
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground caraway
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 oz canned chickpeas, drained
  • big handful Italian parsley, coarsely chopped


  • Make the couscous by bringing the water and the harissa to a boil. Stir in the couscous, remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, add the sardines to a large skillet. Add additional olive oil if needed for sauteing. Saute the garlic, zucchini, peppers, and onions until softened, breaking up the sardines as desired. Add the spices, chickpeas and parsley and cook until the chickpeas are cooked through.
  • Serve on a bed of harissa couscous.
  • Note: I left one sardine half whole for picture purposes. You don’t have to do that!


I used Sea Tales brand pilchard sardines in olive oil. It has a 3 oz drained weight but for this dish we want to use the included oil for extra flavor.

I made this one night when I didn’t go grocery shopping when perhaps I should have and didn’t want to get takeout. It’s super simple, very very pantry friendly, and filling thanks to the sardines and chickpeas. The trick really is to season the couscous on top of everything else.  The leftovers were good cold for lunch or you could heat them up in a skillet and top with a fried egg.

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