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Couscous is formed from microscopic granules of durum wheat and is steamed until it reaches a light and fluffy consistency; it may be served with a variety of foods.

Couscous is a healthier alternative to rice, but you may find yourself looking for gluten-free couscous substitutes for one reason or another. Thankfully, gluten-free grain products with a similar taste and texture to couscous are available.

Couscous substitutes like as millet, fonio, and quinoa may be used in meals that call for couscous and may be indistinguishable.

What Is Couscous?

Instead of using an egg, the couscous dough is folded repeatedly between wet palms until the flour mixes with just enough water to produce hundreds of small grains. Couscous, like macaroni and spaghetti, is prepared from semolina flour, but its dough does not involve water.

This gives the couscous a light, fluffy texture and allows it to cook quickly and easily.

Once the couscous grains have been formed, they are dried and ready to be streamed over a stew or other dish of choice. If you run out of couscous or are allergic to gluten, here are some gluten-free alternatives.

Best Couscous Substitutes

Couscous is often served as a side dish with a main course meal, but it also goes well with salads, Buddha bowls, stir-fries, soups, and stews.

Couscous is incorrectly classified as a grain, hence gluten-free grains are the ideal option.

These are several gluten-free grains that may be substituted for couscous. Remember that not all grains are made equal; some may exactly match the flavor and texture of couscous.

Nevertheless, many gluten-free grains are a step farther in terms of texture and flavor, but they may still serve as an acceptable substitute for couscous if you have them on hand.

1. Millet

In terms of look and flavor, millet is the closest alternative for couscous. Millet is a small, spherical grain that may be used in a variety of cuisines.

2. Fonio

This is an ancient grain from West Africa that is quite similar to couscous.

Fonio may be used in pilaf, tabbouleh, and other couscous-based cuisines.

3. Short-Grain Brown Rice

This grain is shaped differently from couscous, although it is a popular side dish in many countries and cuisines.

You can get a similar result by substituting short-grain brown rice for couscous in traditional Middle Eastern or North African dishes that call for couscous.

4. Quinoa

This is a pseudo-cereal, not a grain; it is smaller in size than millet and couscous but has a high protein level.

5. Sorghum

Sorghum has a similar look to millet. It is tiny, spherical, and golden in color.

Sorghum may be difficult to get at local shops, and you may need to travel to a specialized store to purchase it.

6. Buckwheat

Another pseudo-cereal, commonly known as kasha. It is bigger in size and has a unique taste.

Buckwheat is not recommended as a stand-alone side dish, but it can be combined with rice or millet.

7. Amaranth

This grain contains extremely little seeds that resemble teeny tiny balls. It should not be served as a side dish on its alone, but rather with rice or millet.

8. Teff

Teff is a small grain seed native to Ethiopia. Its particular taste may be overpowering and difficult to hide, so combine it with other grains.

Riced Vegetables Substitutes for Couscous

If you wish to exclude grains entirely from a dish, riced vegetables may be used in place of couscous. Certain vegetables may be transformed into a rice-like texture that is comparable to couscous, but the flavor will reveal that it is a vegetable.

Riced veggies may be made in a food processor by pulsing the raw vegetable of choice a few times until it has a gritty, minced texture.

You can also steam or microwave the vegetables before ricing them. Here are some examples of riced vegetables that can be substituted for couscous:

  • Cauliflower
  • The sweet potato
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot

Gluten-Free Couscous Brands

Instead of substituting, buy gluten-free couscous products, which have a similar texture to regular couscous.

Please keep in mind that if the package is labeled as gluten-free, this means that cross-contamination may occur only with less than 20 ppm; this is regarded a safe quantity by celiac disease specialists.

9. Gefen

This gluten-free couscous is created using potato starch, eggs, palm oil, and salt. It is not, however, vegan friendly.

10. Goldbaum

Tapioca starch, potato flakes, pasteurized egg white, emulsifier (mono glycerid of palm oil), stabilizer, xanthan gum, turmeric, paprika, and other spices. It is gluten-free, however it is not vegan. This dish is created using potatoes.

11. Liebers

Potato starch, potato flour, salt, potato flakes, palm oil, whole eggs, spices, and parsley flake make up this mixture.

12. Lundberg

This gluten-free couscous is composed entirely of organic roasted brown rice. It is not just gluten-free, but also vegan.

13. Meshuba

Tapioca starch, potato flakes, pasteurized egg albumin, emulsifier, stabilizer xanthan gum, spices. It is not, however, vegan. The following ingredients are used in this product: potato

14. Nayana

This is a cassava-based couscous using solely cassava semolina flour as a component. It is devoid of gluten.

15. Streets

Tapioca starch, potato flakes, pasteurized egg white, emulsifier, xanthan gum stabilizer, and seasonings. It is gluten-free, however it is not vegan. This is created from potatoes.

16. There

This is an amillet-based couscous using millet flour as the only component. Gluten-free couscous may be found at retailers such as Tesco, Asda, and Clearspring.


What is a good replacement for couscous?

Couscous substitutions
Quinoa. Quinoa has a little crunchier texture than couscous, but its size and shape are comparable, and it works well in most meals.
Sorghum. Sorghum is a cereal grain that tastes hearty and nutty.
Short-grain rice. Cauliflower rice. Millet.
Aug 17, 2020

What other grains are like couscous?

Short-grain rice, quinoa, sorghum, millet, and cooked rice are the five finest couscous replacements. If you’re seeking for a healthy alternative, quinoa is a terrific choice.
The 5 Best Couscous Substitutes
1: Quinoa… 2: Short-grain Rice… 3: Sorghum…
Millet is number four.
Cooked rice is number five.
Feb 26, 2023

What is the closest alternative to large cous cous?

Fregola, also known as fregula tostata, is a big Sardinian pasta that may be used in place of gigantic couscous. It is produced with water and durum wheat semolina.

What pasta is similar to couscous?

Fregola, also fregula or fregola sarda, is a small spherical pasta from the Italian island of Sardinia, similar to Israeli couscous but prepared by hand rather than machine.

Is orzo a good substitute for couscous?

Since most couscous is produced from semolina flour, it has a similar taste profile to orzo. Normal couscous is smaller than orzo; however, for a more orzo-like texture, choose a bigger variant, such as pearl couscous.

What rice is better than couscous?

Although couscous has a little protein advantage over brown rice, brown rice has an advantage in other nutrients. Brown rice has more selenium, manganese, niacin, copper, and phosphorus than couscous.

What is the cousin of couscous?

Maftoul, couscous’ Palestinian cousin, is a key player in Palestinian cuisine. It becomes the focal point of whatever table it graces, transforming a family dinner into a feast.

Which is healthier bulgur or couscous?

So, which is the best? Bulgur wins in terms of general health! This bulgur is the healthier option since it has less calories, more fiber, and more micronutrients (all because it is whole grain).

What is the healthiest grain?

1. Oatmeal, whole. Oats are one of the healthiest whole grains available. They are not only high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they are also naturally gluten-free.

What is a low carb alternative to couscous?

Cauliflower that looks like couscous. Quick and simple dish that is gluten free and all natural. Excellent alternative to couscous, mashed potatoes, or rice.

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