Couscous alone can be quite dull – but when dressed in lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt, it’s transformed into the perfect side dish, and it can be combined with a range of vegetables to turn it into a meal. But is it possible to bulk prepare and freeze it?
Can You Freeze Couscous?
Yes, you can freeze couscous for up to 4 months. To freeze couscous, you will only want to freeze cooked couscous as, in its dried form, it will last for months and months in the cupboard anyway.
Does Couscous Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Couscous? No
How to Freeze Couscous
Remember to wait for it to completely cool when it comes to freezing it. If you try to freeze it too soon, you’ll risk the couscous clumping together or contamination. Just follow these straightforward steps to get it right every time:
Once cooked, allow it to cool.
- Spread Onto a Baking Tray and Freeze
As soon as it is cold, lay it out on a baking tray. Use a fork to ensure it is as broken up as possible. Cover the baking tray in clingfilm and place it in the freezer.
- Break Up Clumps
When the couscous is hard, remove from the freezer, and break it up into grains (some clumping will always happen) using a fork.
- Bag Up and Refreeze
Tip the grain into a freezer bag and return the bag to the freezer.
Freezing your couscous correctly will ensure the texture remains the same after defrosting, giving you the perfect couscous every time.
Yes! Cooked couscous can be frozen for around 4 mouths. There is no point freezing uncooked couscous because it will keep for longer in the cupboard.
You can freeze couscous with roasted vegetables for 2 to 3 months but bear in mind that it will only keep as well as its weakest ingredient. There’s a chance your vegetables will make the couscous soggy when defrosted. Instead, freeze the two elements individually and combine them after thawing.
Although it is possible to do so, I would discourage freezing the couscous with other ingredients, as a couscous salad, which can impact the texture of your couscous.
How Long Can You Freeze Couscous?
If you’ve taken the right steps to freeze your couscous thoroughly, you can keep it frozen for three to four months. While it will remain safe to eat after this time, this is when it will be at its best.
Using a ziplock bag lets you keep the air out, which can sometimes lead to freezer burn. You should follow guidance similar to freezing pasta to indicate how long you can freeze couscous.
Plain, cooked couscous will last for 3 to 4 days in the fridge. If it has added vegetables, then it will last for around 3 days. If it has added meat pieces, then reduce this to just 2 days.
How Do You Defrost Couscous?
It’s essential to defrost couscous properly to ensure you get the best taste and texture. You’ll want it to taste as fresh as possible – otherwise, what’s the point in freezing it?
There are two ways you can defrost couscous:
In the Microwave
If you have access to a microwave, this is the approach to defrost couscous. It is rapid and foolproof:
- Transfer to Microwave-Proof Bowl
Transfer your couscous to a microwave-proof bowl or container. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the couscous.
- Microwave for 1 Minute
Microwave the couscous on high heat for a minute at a time, making sure you fluff it up with a fork after each minute.
- Continue Until Hot
The couscous will be ready when it is hot and has steam coming from it.
On the Hob
If you’d prefer to avoid using the microwave then you can also defrost couscous on the stove:
- Heat Some Oil and Water
Heat oil and a couple of tablespoons of water in a saucepan.
- Add Couscous
Pour in the couscous and heat until the water has been absorbed.
- Fluff Up
Take off the heat and use a fork to fluff up the grains.
It is so simple to freeze and defrost, so it makes sense to freeze plenty of couscous in bulk.
Can You Refreeze Couscous
Like most foods, I advise against refreezing couscous. The main reason is that the texture can dramatically change if it is refrozen. You’ll find it’ll become overly soft and even mushy.
Instead, try to freeze couscous in small freezer bags that are the equivalent of a portion of couscous.
Does Couscous Freeze Well?
If you take the right steps to freeze your couscous properly and take care while defrosting, there should be no difference in the taste and quality of frozen versus fresh couscous.
If you leave your couscous in the freezer for too long or if you heat it for too long when defrosting, there is a small risk that you’ll ruin the texture of the couscous. That’s the only place you need to be careful.
Adding a small amount of oil to the couscous before you freeze it can prevent it from clumping together. Just a teaspoon or so for a large batch will do. Stir it through so every grain gets coated, then freeze. When you reheat it, the couscous will easily separate and not be a single solid chunk.
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