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Instant Pot Pearl Couscous Recipe

This Instant Pot Pearl Couscous is such a delicious base or side dish for your meals! It is simple, yet flavorful, vegan, and it cooks so quickly. This recipe cooks in just 8 minutes!
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 237kcal
Author: Emily


  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker


  • 1 ½ cups Pearl Couscous
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 tbsps vegan butter or olive oil, or real butter
  • 1 ¾ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon Parsley finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Chives chopped


  • Begin by finely mincing 1 large clove or 2 small cloves of garlic.
  • Finely mince fresh parsley and chop fresh chives.
  • Zest a lemon.
  • Turn on the Instant Pot to the 'Sauté' function and allow it about 30 seconds to warm up.
  • Melt butter or oil in the pot, then add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the pearl couscous directly to the garlic and melted butter. Stir continuously for about 1 minute to toast the couscous.
  • Once toasted, pour in the vegetable broth and add the minced parsley. Stir gently to combine.
  • Press CANCEL.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to 'sealing.'
  • Pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 3 minutes. It will take a few minutes for the pot to come to pressure.
  • Once the 3 minutes are up, perform a natural release for 5 minutes (set a separate timer for this).
  • Then, flip the valve to 'venting' to release any remaining pressure. Turn and remove the lid.
  • Fluff the cooked couscous with a wooden spoon, spatula, or fork.
  • Mix in the lemon zest, half of the chopped chives, salt, and pepper.
  • Serve hot or cool down for salads.
  • Garnish with remaining chives and lemon zest.


  • For a more zesty flavor, squeeze in the juice of ½ a lemon at the end when you add the lemon zest!
  • Sautéing the couscous with the garlic helps give the pearl couscous a nuttier flavor. Don’t skip this step!
  • Serve this mixed in with a hearty Kale Salad with Chickpeas for a healthy and filling meal.
  • Store cooked pearl couscous in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to a week so that you can quickly add it to your weekday lunches. Perfect for meal prep!
  • Vegetable Broth - Regular or low-sodium is fine. If you'd like to use chicken broth, that works too.
  • Fresh Herbs - Use the herbs you like the best, I used chopped chives and fresh minced parsley.


Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.4g | Protein: 6.7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2.5g | Sodium: 381.2mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1.4g
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