Trail Cooking

How To Make Rice Couscous

This recipe has a bit of a background. Recently a reader, Jonathan S., sent me an email with a recipe adaptation of one our recipes he did. Not only did I go and make a couple versions of his idea, I realized I had over looked a game changer in trailcooking recipes.

And what is that?

Let me introduce you to the concept of instant rice couscous. Couscous is made of semolina wheat, and is precooked, just needing water to rehydrate it. It is however full of a pesky thing called wheat, which my youngest cannot eat. We quit consuming couscous years ago due to him, and I have missed using the recipes I developed. Sure, you could use instant rice instead but it was never the same texture.

Pictured is basic instant white rice, a staple in many hiker pantries. It takes on the flavor of whatever you put into it. It is certified gluten free if you buy Minute Rice brand. And with a tiny bit of work you can convert it.

Rice couscous:

It rehydrates quicker as a bonus, and has a finer texture, making it even better for younger children on trips to eat. Breakfast and dessert recipes made with have a creamy texture.

To make:

Measure the amount of rice you want (for example 1 cup) and add into a dry grinding container, we have a Vitamix Blender and use this, or a food processor. A regular blender will process it somewhat, but it may not be as fine. A clean coffee grinder used for herbs can also be used.

Run until it looks about the size of couscous. Store tightly sealed until ready to use.

That is it.

Use it any instant rice recipe. If using in a couscous recipe keep the water added to a 1:1 ratio (1 cup rice + 1 cup water, and for any dry goods added it is the same – if you add in 2 Tbsp dried veggies, add 2 Tbsp water).


Don’t process more than 2 cups at a time so the rice keeps moving while being chopped. Otherwise the bottom layer may become rice powder.


2 thoughts on “How To Make Rice Couscous

  1. HI Sarah, sounds great! One question, is the rice cooked before chopping? if so, is it then deydrated before chopping? Rice is a fairly hard grain, I’d have thought it wouldn’t be a 5-min cook like couscous otherwise… Thanks

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.