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Baked Cheesy Couscous Balls – New Twist on a Classic Side

Couscous Balls with cheese make a great side to salmon or chicken

Happy Saturday everyone!  Hope you have great weather and can get out and do something this weekend.  It’s gorgeous and sunny here in Salt Lake and I have a serious case of spring fever. Barbecues, outdoor dining, finally planting some flowers… it’s all on my agenda.  But first, I have this great cheesy couscous recipe for you. Rather then just cooking it up in a saucepan and calling it good, I thought about making them into round balls as a new twist on couscous.

What I didn’t anticipate was that this was a messy recipe. Rolling the couscous into balls can be a challenge. The key here is not to press so hard. I learned that the hard way since the first time I tried rolling one, I got couscous everywhere….. so roll them over the bowl so it doesn’t get on the counter. The couscous mix will seem like they won’t hold a shape but after rolling it into the panko, it did just fine.

Baked Cheesy Couscous Balls

My main dish of the night was Southwest Salmon. I’m part of Two Snooty Chef’s “gourmet spice of the month” club and the March spice was Southwest Sedona. I took my salmon steak and brushed it with olive oil then sprinkled it with the seasoning. wrapped it foil and baked it for 20 minutes at 350. Since the couscous was baked at the same temperature, they both cooked together nicely.


Baked Cheesy Couscous Balls

Serves 6-8
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Egg
Meal type Appetizer, Side Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Crunchy on the outside and warm & cheesy on the inside, these are a great side dish or even a party snack.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 chicken bullion cube
  • 2 Twists McCormick Garlic & Herb Grinder
  • 10oz uncooked couscous (plain or with a flavor packet)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley (chopped)
  • 3 Large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Chipotle Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar jack cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese


Add chopped jalapeño for a nice "hot" side dish.


Step 1
Baked Cheesy Couscous Balls
Bring water, butter, garlic, McCormick's and bullion to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add couscous and parsley, cover and sit for 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork. Set aside and allow it to cool
Step 2
Baked Cheesy Couscous Balls
Pre-heat the oven to 350. When the couscous is cool, remove from saucepan and set it in a bowl. Mix in eggs, 1/2 of the panko (or breadcrumbs), cheese and Mrs. Dash.
Step 3
Baked Cheesy Couscous Balls
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment. Gently roll the couscous into balls. You want to do this gently since it will be a loose ball and if you roll it too hard, it will fall apart and get very messy. You can roll them to a small size or a larger one. Mine were about the size of a golf ball.
Step 4
Baked Cheesy Couscous Balls
Roll the balls into the rest of the panko (or breadcrumbs) to give them a nice coating. Again, roll gently so they don't fall apart. Space them equally distant from each other on a cookie sheet. Since they won't spread out like a cookie while baking, they don't have to be too far apart.
Step 5
Bake for 30 minutes or until the panko crust is lightly browned. Serve with your favorite main dish.


For nutrition information and points, click the magic button

The mess was worth it. These were good and it was fun to have my favorite couscous in a different way. Plus, the eggs held it together during the baking process so when I cut one in half it doesn’t disintegrate.

Couscous Balls with cheese make a great side to salmon or chicken

See how they held together? The couscous paired up well with the southwest salmon and made for a nice dinner.  One cool thing is you can roll your couscous to any size desired. Mine were about golf ball sized, but if you want to make yours smaller, go for it. Just reduce the baking time so you don’t overcook them.

If you are looking for that perfect side dish, check out the selections on my Veggies and Sides board on Pinterest.
Follow Lori’s Culinary’s board Veggies & Sides on Pinterest.

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Jennifer Johnson March 25, 2014, 7:07 am

    Clever side dish! I will try anything with cheese!
    Jennifer Johnson recently posted…DIY On the Go Protein Snack PacksMy Profile

  • Jess March 25, 2014, 9:23 am

    What a neat idea!

    Thanks for joining the Link Up this week!
    Jess recently posted…Link Up #30 and a GiveawayMy Profile

  • Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe March 25, 2014, 12:31 pm

    Hmm, very interesting use of coucous. Kind of like aranchini. I wonder how it would work out if you stirred the cheese into the hot couscous to get “melty,” then stirred in the eggs … Might hold together easier for rolling?? #TastyTuesdays
    Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe recently posted…Five-Spice Chicken SaladMy Profile

  • Angel March 26, 2014, 3:52 pm

    Wow! These look really good. I haven’t tried couscous this way yet but I’m definitely going to. Your salmon looks fantastic too! Thanks for sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party.
    Angel recently posted…Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” Party #9My Profile

  • Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life March 27, 2014, 8:47 pm

    What a clever way to use coucous! I actually just had couscous for the first time the other night. Looking forward to trying this! Visiting from LOBS!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…White Bean Chicken Chili {Quick and Easy Meals}My Profile

  • Risa March 30, 2014, 6:53 pm

    I am in love with this idea. I put it straight on the menu for this week!

  • Mary March 31, 2014, 2:20 pm

    Anything with cheese sounds delicious to me. Thanks for sharing at Delicious Dish Tuesday, I hope to see another yummy looking recipe tomorrow :)
    Mary recently posted…A Challenge & A WinnerMy Profile

  • danielle April 3, 2014, 7:47 am

    I need to checkout that club! I love how you used the cous cous in this recipe. Thanks so much for linking this up to the Friday Frenzy!
    danielle recently posted…ZeppoleMy Profile

    • Lori Hart April 3, 2014, 8:43 am

      It’s awesome. The subscription was a gift from my employer and I had not heard of the website before that. So far, I have a cajun, the southwest and one called “Hungarian Ragout.” I’m eagerly awaiting April’s spice!

  • Valentina | The Baking Fairy April 5, 2014, 11:43 am

    Happy Saturday! I just wanted to let you know your yummy recipe is one of my featured favorites from last week’s Get Him Fed Party! You’re welcome to come grab a featured badge and join the party again :) Congrats!
    Valentina | The Baking Fairy recently posted…#GetHimFed Friday: Linky Party 29My Profile

    • Lori Hart April 5, 2014, 12:26 pm

      Thank you so much!! Heading over to grab that button :-)

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