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Savory Pesto Couscous

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

Pesto is one of my absolute favorite things to make from scratch. I’m obsessed with the smell of fresh basil and making dishes with ingredients straight from the garden. While pesto is usually made for pasta or as a spread, it can also be used with other grains such as couscous to give it a ton of flavor. Try it out and tell me what you think in a comment below!

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Total Time: 30 min

Yields: 4-6 servings


2 cups quinoa

2 cups water

4 cups basil (loosely packed)

¼ cup & 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

½ cup pine nuts

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

¼ onion (chopped)

1 large garlic clove (chopped)

Salt/pepper to taste


1. First make the pesto using a food processor or blender. Place ¼ cup olive oil and basil into processor and mix until all of the basil is finely chopped. Depending on the size of your food processor, you may need to add smaller portions of basil at a time.

2. Add lemon juice, half of the pine nuts, nutritional yeast and salt/pepper. Blend well and then set aside.

3. Next, cook the quinoa. Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa, 1 tbsp olive oil and some salt. Let simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and keep covered for an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then set aside.

4. While quinoa is cooking, roast pine nuts in a small pain on low heat. Let cook for a few minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly roasted. Set aside in a bowl.

5. Next, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in the same pan and cook the onions for a few minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

6. Add the couscous, pesto, pine nuts, onions and garlic altogether in a large bowl. Mix well and add salt/pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold.

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