Gluten-Free Guidance: Is Couscous Gluten Free?

There are two types of answers for the is couscous gluten free? question: the short answer and the long answer.

The short answer is: no, it is not gluten free, and if you are in a gluten free diet, you would do well to avoid couscous altogether.

The long answer is a bit more complex compared to the short answer because there are certain things that one should consider before saying that ALL couscous is not free of gluten. This article today will talk about couscous and about the long answer that surrounds the question ‘is couscous gluten free?’ 

  • It should not be, because…

As we all know, there are three things that contain gluten in it: barley, wheat, and rye. These things got gluten all over them, making them a prime ingredient to avoid if you want to be rid of gluten. Because couscous is often made of durum WHEAT, couscous is not gluten free at all.

You cannot find many shops that will serve you a couscous gluten free diet menu or whatever because couscous is naturally not a gluten free food. Sure you can find them, but only if you look hard for them, and even then not all of them are readily available in many cities.

There you have it folks, couscous is not gluten free and it should not be because without wheat, it will not be a couscous.

  • Do not give up hope, though…

Because there is a couscous gluten free alternative that you can try if you insist on eating couscous even though you cannot stand gluten at all. Sure they will not have the same taste as couscous and they will not have that specific ‘mouth feel’ that a normal couscous can provide, but at the very least you can eat couscous, right?

Introducing a couscous gluten free recipe that you can make if you want to avoid gluten in couscous:  the brown rice couscous. Brown rice has the same texture and shape as durum wheat, hence the reason why those looking for an alternative to ordinary couscous will often find consolation within the warm embrace of a brown rice couscous. It does not taste as good as the usual couscous, but it is much healthier. 

  • Can you give me one recipe that I can make using a brown rice couscous?

Sure I can. Check out this recipe for a brown rice couscous salad I got with me:

To make this one, you will need to have a few things. The brown rice couscous is a must, obviously, and the other you can get within your local market. Aside from the couscous itself, you need to have a cup of chicken stock, half a cup of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of agave nectar, one and a half tablespoons of cider vinegar, kosher salt, lemon juice, freshly ground pepper, chickpeas, pine nuts, prunes, apricots, basil, and parsley.

Making them is pretty easy. Just boil the stock and cook the couscous in it. Cool it down, and while it is cooling, you mix the other ingredients to make the dressing. When everything is done, just throw the cooked ingredients together and you have yourself a nice brown rice couscous that is both healthy and gluten free. Best served cold or on the same temperature as the room you are in.

I think that is all about couscous. I hope I can answer your question regarding is couscous gluten free? question.