Is Couscous Gluten Free? No – Here are 3 Good Alternatives


Couscous can make for a great side with a meal or it can even be eaten on its own. Not only is it packed full of nutrients, it’s also low in calories.

While this is a food that has a lot of great qualities, it might not be suitable for all people to eat. For example, individuals who have gluten intolerance will generally not be able to eat this. Couscous is not gluten free and cannot be eaten for anyone on a gluten-free diet.

Being made from wheat, this food contains gluten and can cause unwanted reactions for anyone who is allergic to it. If you are gluten free not being able to eat couscous doesn’t mean your choices are limited to bland and boring.

Couscous Alternatives

1. Brown Rice

Brown rice is great because it can be used in so many different recipes or eaten on its own. It’s just important to make sure you don’t purchase any rice mixes that might have gluten in them.

It’s best to make your own dish so you know exactly what ingredients go into it. This rice is easy to find and is healthier than the alternative of plain white rice.

Organic Brown Rice is moderately priced and a favorite among many gluten free dieters! Here’s an example of a recipe you can make at home.

1 serving brown cooked rice (per instructions on package)
Diced onion
Minced garlic
Chopped red peppers
Chopped celery stalks
Chopped tomatoes

First cook your rice until it’s fluffy and soft. From here, start sautéing the onion in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. After the onion is soft, add in the garlic and let simmer for a minute. Then, add in the red peppers and celery and cook until they are soft. The last step is to add in the rice to the pan along with the chopped tomatoes. This dish will be full of flavor and will keep you full for hours!

2. Hot Cereal

Don’t let the name of this product fool you; it can actually be used for a number of different dishes. The name of this is Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Gluten-Free Hot Cereal and it can be made sweet or savory. There are a number of different recipes you can make with this, including with various sweeteners to “dress it up”:

Bob’s Red Mill Mighty Tasty Gluten-Free Hot Cereal
Gluten-free syrup (such as maple syrup, which is gluten-free in pure form)
Apple chunks

Simply cook up the hot cereal as directed and add in the other ingredients on top. The best part about this is that you can add as much or as little as you want! Other fruits can also be added if you want to change things up with something other than apples.

3. Quinoa

This is a great product to have in your pantry for times when you’re craving couscous. However, if you have a severe gluten intolerance, you might need to avoid it.

You also have to read the package for this product to make sure it’s not processed in plants that also process wheat. Ancient Harvest Quinoa is a brand that is popular in the gluten-free world! Here is a quick recipe you can easily whip up.

1 cup rinsed quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt
Chopped tomato
1 tsp minced garlic

Cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock according to package directions. After this, add in the juice from the lemon and salt/pepper. Once finished, top with the chopped tomato and enjoy!

Image courtesy Joana Petrova

Tricia Fecteau

I have tried to share what I have learned years in my book called "Gluten-Free with Love" available on Amazon and on my website. I want to help you in your journey to good health.


  1. Nigel Pyrah said:

    thanks foor the info … my other half has been advised to start a glutton free regime and the info has been very helpful

  2. Pingback: Is Couscous Gluten Free? - My Natural Family

  3. AMY WILLIAMS said:

    Be careful of boxed and canned vegetable broth. It contains gluten. Need to make your own.