couscous cakes
  • ¾ cup couscous - I pack a hefty ¾ cup of couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • ¼ cup packed fresh flat-leaf or italian parsley leaves
  • ½ cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten - I found using large eggs not extra large works best here.
  • finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1½ teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil - you will use this later to cook the cakes
  1. Put the couscous and 1 teaspoon salt in a small pan. Add 1 cup boiling water to the couscous, cover with the pan lid and let sit for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Coarsely chop the garlic in a food processor. Add the parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  3. Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork.
  4. In a large bowl, add the couscous, the chickpea mixture, eggs, and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Press the couscous mixture into a ¼ measuring cup, smooth the top, and invert the measuring cup to release the cake onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture to make 8-9 cakes.
  5. I always throw my mixture in the fridge for a bit before I make the couscous cakes, so the mixture can gel together.
  6. Note: To make these a make-ahead meal, you can refrigerate the patties ahead of time and sauté them up right before dinner. You can also refrigerate the mixture as is, and make the patties right before you sauté them. Either way works.
  7. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
  8. Add 5 of the couscous cakes to the skillet and then use a spatula to lightly flatten the cakes so they're about ¾ inch thick.Just take a spatula and gently press down on the cakes once they're in the skillet to flatten them.
  9. Cook, flipping once, until the patties are crisp and golden brown on both sides. The recipe said 2 to 3 minutes per side, but mine took a bit longer, like 5 minutes per side. Just make sure to cook them till they are golden brown on each side. Transfer the cooked patties to a paper-towel lined plate. Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and cook the remaining cakes the same way.
  10. Got leftovers? Just throw them in a 250 degree oven to warm them up.
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at