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Quick Couscous Paella

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Quick Couscous Paella

Quick Couscous Paella

Jessica Braider
I love Spanish paella, but until this one, suggested by Scramble member and our friend Jolynn Dellinger, I had not found a recipe that is quick and easy enough for a weeknight dinner. This unconventional version uses couscous instead of rice, greatly reducing the cooking time. Recipe tester Alice Clark said her kids gave this recipe “100 thumbs up!”
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 servings
Calories 297 kcal


  • 6 strips turkey bacon or use pork or meatless bacon, or 1 cup of diced sausage, shrimp, or extra-firm tofu, drained, wrapped in a clean dishtowel to remove excess moisture, and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 4 scallions dark and light green parts, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 16 oz. reduced-sodium chicken broth or use vegetable broth or one 14.5 oz. can of broth + 1 1/2 oz. water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup couscous regular or whole wheat


  • Cook the bacon according to package directions until it is very crisp (or cook and dice the sausage, shrimp or tofu if using). Chop or crumble the cooked bacon and set it aside.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium stockpot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the peppers, scallions, garlic, curry powder and mustard and sauté it for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are softened.
  • Stir in the broth and bring it to a boil. Stir in the peas and couscous. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat, and let it stand for 5 minutes until the couscous has absorbed the broth.
  • Stir in the bacon. Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions

  • Cook and crumble the bacon as directed.
  • In the slow cooker, combine all ingredients, including the cooked bacon. Cook on low for 3 – 4 hours. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the bacon (or sausage, shrimp or tofu if using) and refrigerate, dice the bell pepper, slice the scallions, peel the garlic, defrost the peas, cook the couscous, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add a pinch of saffron, double the dry mustard and curry powder and use bacon combined with either the sausage or the shrimp.
Tip: You can make this more like traditional Spanish paella by stirring sausage and shrimp, rather than bacon, into the couscous. If you have any saffron threads, add a pinch with the other spices.
Video: Watch Jessica make it on Facebook Live!
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!


Calories: 297kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 11gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 74mgPotassium: 381mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1341IUVitamin C: 55mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 2mg
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Make-Ahead, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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