How to Microwave Couscous

// How to Microwave Couscous

Prep Time

2 mins

Cook Time

2-3 mins

Free Time

to pour a glass of your favorite drink

Step away from the stove. In the microwave, these tiny grains quickly transform into light, tender pearls that form the perfect base for any meal. It’s faster than cooking on the stovetop, and Anyday’s unique silicone-lined lid locks in the moisture, keeping your couscous tender and warm. Make a quick dish by adding flavor-packed ingredients like fresh herbs, garlic, marinated tomatoes, and more!

Important note: this recipe is for Moroccan couscous, not Israeli (or "pearl") couscous! The Moroccan style is made up of tiny grains, while Israeli couscous is much larger, around the size of peppercorns. For more instructions on cooking Israeli couscous, see more information at the bottom of this page.

All of Anyday’s recipes are tested (and retested!) in many different microwaves and home kitchens to make sure they work — and work well.

Anyday Basics, Anyday Basics, Pasta & Noodles, Rice & Grains, Couscous, group__ Anyday Basics, How to Cook Pasta, Pasta Anyday Basics, Pasta & Noodles, Rice & Grains

What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need

The Medium Deep Dish

The best dish for 1-2 portions of grains, veggies, mac and cheese, ramen, and more.

The Small Dish

This dish’s superpower is evenly heating leftovers and cooking small portions.

The Anyhand Mitts

Handle hot Anyday dishes with care with these microwave mitts that double as trivets!
Try Anyday

Select your serving size and microwave wattage in the dropdown. The recipe will change accordingly.

1/2 cup couscous

Select your microwave wattage in the dropdown. The cook times in this recipe will automatically change accordingly.


To find your microwave’s wattage, look at the front panel, the side of the door, in the back, in the user manual, or Google the model number. If both an input and output wattage are listed, use the output.

Wattage translates to how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the faster your food will cook. The lower the wattage, the longer the cook time.

When in doubt, start with less time — you can always add more.

Microwave oven by power - 700w



The Medium Deep Dish


  • ½ cup couscous
  • ½ cup water


  1. Add couscous and water to an Anyday Deep Dish.
  2. Stir and spread couscous into an even layer and cover with the lid (knob lifted).
  3. Cook in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and couscous is tender (try one!). If the couscous is still too firm, add more time in 30-second increments.
  4. Allow to rest for 2 minutes with the lid on to allow couscous to gently steam.

Serving suggestions & tips

  • Minty lime: Mix with turmeric, lime juice, and torn mint leaves.
  • Mediterranean: Mix with chopped raisins, cumin, paprika, and lemon juice.
  • Tabbouleh-style: Mix with chopped parsley, diced cucumber, and tomatoes.

Recipe notes

  • Make sure you are using Moroccan couscous, not Israeli (pearl) couscous, which is much larger and will have a longer cook time!
  • Always use an Anyday Deep Dish to cook grains as the water will likely overflow in the Shallow Dishes. Do not cook more than the max quantities listed above.
  • To cook quantities not listed in the table, use a ratio of 1:1 couscous to water.
  • Microwave ovens vary, even with the same wattages. Adjust cooking times as needed.

Microwave Match Up: Couscous

See for yourself— microwaving couscous is simply faster, start to finish. *Includes preheat time

Appliance Cook Time
Microwave in an Anyday dish 2 minutes
Stovetop* 13 mins
Oven* 30 mins
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)* 18 mins
*Includes preheat time

Step-by-Step: Microwaving Couscous

Add couscous and water to an Anyday Deep Dish.

Cover with the lid (knob lifted).

Cook in the microwave.

Couscous is done when water has been absorbed.

All you need to know about microwaving couscous

How long does couscous take to cook in the microwave?

Ingredient Water Power Level Cook Time
½ cup couscous ½ cup water 10 2-3 mins
1 cup couscous 1 cup water 10 2-3 mins
2 cups couscous 2 cups water 10 2-3 mins
3 cups couscous 3 cups water 10 3-4 mins
Cook time calculated for 700w microwave

Yes, you can cook couscous in the microwave! Cooking couscous in the microwave is faster than cooking it on the stovetop or in the oven, requiring only 1 or 2 minutes of total cook time. Using an Anyday Deep Dish allows you to cook your couscous, plus serve and store it in the same dish, cutting down on time and dishes.

How to freeze microwaved couscous?

To properly freeze cooked couscous, spread warm couscous evenly onto a baking sheet and allow to cool completely. Transfer to Anytime trays, freezer-safe containers, or a resealable plastic bag. Frozen couscous can be stored for up to three months. To reheat, simply microwave the frozen couscous until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.

How to cook pearl couscous in the microwave?

To cook pearl couscous in the microwave, combine 1 cup of pearl couscous with 1¼ cups of water in an Anyday Deep Dish. Cover with the lid (knob lifted) and microwave for 6-8 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.  The couscous should be tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Let the couscous rest with the lid on for 2 minutes before serving, allowing it to gently steam. Toss with olive oil and salt to prevent the couscous from sticking together.

What is the ratio of water to couscous?

The ratio of couscous to water is 1:1. That means for every cup of couscous, you need one cup of water. Adjust the recipe as needed based on the amount of couscous you are cooking.

How to reheat couscous in the microwave?

To reheat couscous in the microwave, we recommend using an Anyday dish! Cover the dish with the lid, and knob lifted, and microwave it for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through. To reheat couscous without an Anyday, place it in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic dish and sprinkle a little water over the top to add moisture. Cover the dish with a plate or paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through, stirring halfway through cooking for even reheating. Add more water if needed to prevent the couscous from drying out. NOTE: Never cook or reheat food in a plastic dish or container.

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