Pearl Couscous Skillet with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Feta Recipe - Skillful Cook
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

Pearl Couscous Skillet with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Feta

33 reviews / 4.9 average

Steamy, saucy goodness! This Couscous Skillet is packed with vibrant flavors and freshness. Pearl couscous, tomatoes, chickpeas, spices, kale, and a bunch of fresh herbs and feta on top.

Okay, well, that's our sign. It's time to go home for the day and tuck into this.

This chickpea and couscous skillet is the exact right kind of SOS cozy winter-is-getting-long recipe that I've been needing in my life this month. What month is it, anyway?

In This Post: Everything You Need For This Couscous Skillet

This whole thing eats almost like a casserole - big scoops of steaming, saucy goodness going onto each plate - with the couscous bringing the chewy bite, the chickpeas giving it some oomph, and the canned tomatoes and herbs bringing the happy illusion of sunshine in the middle of winter.

Although, speaking of seasons, this guy can also be done in the summer - kind of like that one-pan tomato and kale farro recipe from last summer.

I've been serving this with a little side of massaged kale, which I like so much that I included it here. It's not really enough to call a salad, because it's just kale that gets a gentle little spa treatment, but it's just the right thing to provide some brightness and crunch and pack in some greens for the day.

Maybe I am a child, but my favorite part of this recipe is the chickpea mash in Step 1 because it helps make the texture more interesting and gives it a very slight feeling of rich creaminess. Plus... mashing things is fun.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A picture of Pearl Couscous Skillet with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Feta

Pearl Couscous Skillet with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Feta

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x


Steamy, saucy goodness! This Couscous Skillet is packed with vibrant flavors and freshness. Pearl couscous, tomatoes, chickpeas, spices, kale, and a bunch of fresh herbs and feta on top. 


Units Scale

Couscous Skillet with Tomatoes, Chickpeas, and Feta

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • one 14-ounce can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • one 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (I like fire-roasted)
  • 3/4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pearl couscous
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons of mint leaves, chopped (optional, for topping)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional, for topping)

Massaged Kale Salad (for serving, if you want):

  • 4-5 stalks kale, stems removed, torn into small bite-sized pieces (can be curly kale or lacinato kale, I use both)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cumin; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and mash gently a few times - this is optional but just creates a more interesting texture and helps it get a little bit creamy.
  2. Add the diced canned tomatoes; bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the broth, salt, and couscous; bring to a simmer, then cover and keep on low heat for 6-8 minutes or until the couscous is soft and has absorbed most of the liquid. It should be nice and soft / chewy, like an al dente pasta.
  4. Finish by stirring in chives. Massage the kale with the dressing ingredients in a small bowl for a minute or two, just until tender.
  5. Serve couscous with a little side of the massaged kale. Top individual servings with mint leaves and feta. Creamy, chewy, comforting - it's so good!


The longer this rests, the more it will absorb liquid. I would recommend serving immediately, or just adding a bit more water when reheating to keep your leftovers creamy.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean-Inspired

Keywords: couscous, tomatoes, skillet dinner

Other Things To Know About This Couscous Skillet

Couscous and tomatoes in a bowl with a spoon and kale.

Other Types Of Beans To Use

If not using chickpeas, my next choice would be white beans such as cannellini beans! They are a bit more delicate and might break down more during the simmer, so I would probably advise adding half at the beginning (to mash), and the remaining half of them closer to the end so they hold their shape.

Other Protein Options

If beans aren't in the cards for you, I think this would be great with chicken meatballs (these ones are exceptionally easy and very popular) or just store-bought frozen meatballs as well. To make sure you get them cooked correctly, I'd recommend cooking them separately and then just serving it all together at the end.

And, I mean, a rotisserie chicken is never a bad idea when you're looking to just add some juicy chunks of savory protein to a meal. My daughters go nuts every time I bring one home from the grocery store.

FYI For The Leftovers

This makes a relatively small batch (2-3 servings) so you might not have a ton of leftovers! But if you do, just know that the couscous will continue to absorb liquid and so your leftovers will look and feel a bit drier than it did right out of the pan.

It's best to eat this one fresh, and if you're reheating leftovers, just make sure to add some additional water or broth to help it get things saucy / creamy again.

Other Sides (Besides The Kale)

If kale isn't your thing, here are a couple of my other favorite sides that would work really well here: a Simple Green Salad (my daughters LOVE this and so do we), a pan of House Favorite Brussels Sprouts (same about the kid-approval), or a loaf of No Knead Bread (carbs on carbs but I'm not complaining).

Couscous Skillet: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I mash the chickpeas?

You can use a potato masher (affiliate link) or just the back of a wooden spoon works perfectly!

What is pearl couscous?

Couscous is actually a type of nutty-tasting pasta made from semolina flour and water. You can find pearl couscous at nearly any large grocery store (I found mine at my local Kowalski's) or here on Amazon (affiliate link) - it's similar to regular couscous, but it's a smidge bigger.

Can I just use regular couscous?

I wouldn't recommend it as a sub since regular couscous has a drier and fluffier texture.

How can I make this gluten-free?

Just sub gluten-free orzo in place of the pearl couscous.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Ahh I’m fresh out of couscous but do have quinoa, will this work? Hope so, looks amazing! Thanks 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Me too! But I think the quinoa won’t be the same as it’s so dense and will soak up the liquid. Sad 🙁

    2. Skillful Cook Logo

      I made it with short-grain rice instead of couscous—it was perfect! I also added a can of light coconut milk to add more liquid (which the rice eventually absorbed) and to give it a more creamy texture. Highly recommend for GF folks!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I got this recipe to my inbox this morning and KNEW it was dinner. I just sat down and took my first bite and oh my god. Instant repeat. I think my tomatoes were diced a little too chunky so probably will do crushed next time but otherwise no notes. 10/10 will definitely be making again!!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this for dinner, well, with some “ I don’t want to make another trip to the store” modifications. No shallot? No problem, finely diced sweet onion. Half of an unused languishing red pepper in the fridge? Finely diced and added to the onion sauté. Not feeling the sweet note of the maple syrup and looking for a little texture? Just dropped the olive oiled kale on a baking sheet and roasted until crispy. Perfect. Fantastic meatless meal and the perfect recipe for simple modifications. Thank you you so much!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Could you please verify the nutrition amount for a 1 person serving please? I looked at the nutrition amounts and and it shows 26 grams of fat, that sure seems like alot, is that for the whole dish? Please clarify, I’d love to make this. Many thanks!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Ok, thank you! Is the nutrition listed for a serving size or for the whole dish? What is a serving size if possible? Many thanks, I really appreciate and Love your recipes!

        1. Skillful Cook Logo

          The number of servings can be found on the nutrition facts – so in this case, this will serve 3. It’s hard to say what the exact serving size is unfortunately since we don’t measure that.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    My boyfriend and I made this tonight—we both loved it! I added a diced eggplant to this because I wanted to add a little more volume. I cooked the eggplant at the beginning with the shallot. Then I mashed both with the chickpeas and followed the recipe as is (I did 2/3 water so it wouldn’t be too watery).

    Will be adding it to the winter rotation! Also the salad dressing with the kale is a great standalone dish (maybe with added walnuts).

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just made this—score! Very tasty, and—even better—excellent flavor-to-ease-of-making ratio!! It was done in minutes, and tasted great. I made the quick kale salad which complements it perfectly. And the feta (if not vegan) is key. So good!!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hello looks like a good recipe but I am confused where all the fat comes from in this dish since most ingredients are very low in fat except for feta which still doesn’t seem like it would be that high in this dish. Thanks!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks great! It looks like we drain the can of chickpeas, but not the can of diced tomatoes, is that right? Thank you.

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made last night for dinner. Added red pepper and zucchini for a bit extra veg. So easy and super yummy! Will definitely be making this again and again!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    That meal right there Lindsay looks quite delicious. Not only mouth watering, but tasty and nutritious. Meals like that will help health conscious people get healthy and lose weight in my personal opinion. Love that you’re still doing your food blogs! 🙂

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. So simple, but still so flavoursome. I added some minced garlic (because you can never have too much garlic!!) and left out the mint and instead of serving with a salad I served it with lamb backstrap. So good!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I just made this dish last night for my husband and me. I doubled the recipe since we like having leftovers for a second dinner and for lunch! I also used grated Parmesan instead of feta. Mashing the chickpeas slightly is brilliant–the dish was creamy and definitely qualifies as comfort food. I’ve added this dish to our regular rotation!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this last night! It was amazingly good and sup;er easy. Thanks for sharing your recipe it’s a keeper!


  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just made this. Added spinach and and extra shake of cumin…it’s delightful!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Delicious! Healthy and comforting. Added cucumbers, hemp seeds and mixed it all together — also heated up the greens in the microwave so the whole thing was warm. Yum.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I truly can’t believe how good this is. The flavors come together perfectly. Already made it twice (forgot chives and feta tonight and it’s still so so good). Will be making this regularly. Thank you!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    I made this as written and it is one of my new favorite recipes. So far I’ve only used the fire-roasted tomatoes and they really add so much flavor to the dish. Also, I used water because I didn’t have broth. Absolutely delicious!