Light chicken Israeli couscous with zucchini. A risotto-like dish with tender chicken breast, sweet peas, and crunchy zucchini, an easy and delightful summer dish.
Do you want to try a different kind of food? How about a delightful chicken Israeli couscous with zucchini and sweet peas? This dish is delicious, healthy and made in no-time at all, you will probably be finished in less than 30 minutes.
I bought this bag of Israeli couscous a long time ago, cannot even remember when exactly. I put it in the pantry and kind of forgot about it, unfortunately. Recently I thoroughly cleaned and organized my pantry, threw away some forgotten and expired things (I hate when that happens), and placed some “soon to expire” things on the most reachable shelf, so that I don't forget them again.
Among several kinds of lentils and beans (we had lots of bean stews, lentil soups, hummus lately), there was this rather large bag of Israeli couscous.
What is Israeli couscous?
Also known as giant couscous or pearl couscous, it is pasta in form of little balls, apparently developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce.
It is made of wheat, which is shaped into balls and then toasted. Due to its size, it remains quite chewy even after cooking and I have to say, that is what I like most about it.
It is not gluten free but otherwise vegan, full of fibers and has a low glycemic index, so a quite healthy food I would say.
You can use it like you would use pasta or rice or regular couscous, it is versatile, can be eaten as a side dish, in salads with lots of veggies (tried that too with roasted vegetables, it was delicious) or in one-pot dishes like this one.
If you don't know it yet (most of you probably do, I think I am quite late to discover it), give it a try, I think you would like it!
More light dishes with chicken:
Chicken Israeli Couscous with Zucchini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 ¾ cup Israeli couscous giant or pearl couscous
- 4 ¾ cups chicken stock
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 organic lemon
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ cup Parmesan freshly grated + some extra to serve
- fine sea salt and pepper
- Cook zucchini: Halve the zucchini lengthwise and chop the halves into pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Fry the zucchini until golden but still crunchy, remove from the skillet and set aside. While the zucchini cooks, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Toast couscous: Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in the same skillet. Add the Israeli couscous and toast the grains, stirring, for one or two minutes, until lightly browned.
- Simmer: Add the chicken stock, chicken pieces, lemon zest and juice, and frozen peas. Bring to a simmer and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 – 13 minutes, until the couscous and the chicken are cooked through.
- Combine: Carefully stir in the zucchini and heat everything for another 2-3 minutes. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and stir in the Parmesan. Serve immediately with more grated Parmesan and a green, crunchy salad with radishes.
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
A simple yet very delicious and satisfying dish. Thanks for sharing, Adina.
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food says
I recently cleaned out my pantry too and love how it looks when it's all done. It's nice to do that every once in a while. I don't like when I forget about food and it has expired, though. Don't like wasting things! I made a recipe a little while ago with Israeli couscous and it was awesome. Love that stuff! Your recipe looks super delish, like a big plate of comfort food! Your couscous certainly went to good use 🙂
Chris Scheuer says
I love Israeli couscous and everything else you have in here. It sounds wonderful and yes, a perfect dish dish for children too!
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
Your recipes always intrigue me and this one is no exception, Adina. I love couscous but have yet to try this zucchini and chicken. Such a comfy and satisfying meal.
Meghan | Fox and Briar says
I think cleaning out and organizing my pantry has been on my list of things to do forever! And I have made the regular small Couscous, but never Israeli Coucous. I really want to give this a try! And loving another zucchini recipe, I can't get enough of it in the summer! Pinning!
Kate @ Framed Cooks says
Such a great way to use all of the summer zucchini that is about to come pouring our way! Pinning!
i love israeli couscous and greatly prefer it to the smaller kind. this is a very tasty dish, and given my overabundance of zucchini, one that i will definitely try! 🙂
Marvellina @ What To Cook Today says
Geez...you are such a great cook Adina!!
Hi Sharon, I am so glad to hear it! Thank you! 🙂
I had to leave a comment. I made this tonight and it came out wonderful. It was so comforting. I could've had another serving. The couscous had an almost risotto creaminess texture to it. I increased the servings to 6 rather than 4 and made the necessary incremental changes to each ingredient. I think the main difference that I made was I used chicken thighs. They hold up way better than breasts when cooking for so long, not to mention, thighs just taste way better, and breasts are too dry tasting. But I also seasoned the chicken thoroughly before cooking. I seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, all purpose seasoning and paprika, which I think helped the overall flavor of the recipe. This is definitely a keeper. Thanks so much for making my evening meal so delicious.
Hi Kazy, thank you for the feedback, I always love to read about how people deal with the recipes, I think being open and playing with the ingredients according to your taste is what makes food interesting. Well, except when baking though, changing too much there might lead to disasters. Chicken thighs sound great!