Introduction: DIY Couscous Pouches - Instant Food, Just Add Water

Regular couscous doesn't have to be boiled, it merely has to be mixed with boiling hot water and left for 10 minutes to absorb the water and swell up. It makes for a great main ingredient for instant meals. These couscous pouches can be mixed with different flavourings, vegetables, mushrooms and herbs. You can even make a sweet, dessert version. They are perfect if you want to have some emergency, instant meals in your work desk (better than a vending machine), you can take them camping and best of all, they are very cheap, so quite handy if you are on a budget.


  • Regular (instant) couscous -not large, pearl couscous; check the instructions and make sure it's the type that takes 10 min in hot water
  • Dehydrated vegetables, dried mushrooms, dried fruits [dehydrated (dried), not freeze-dried]
  • Herbs and spices
  • Powdered flavourings: vegetable/chicken/beef stock or gravy granules, or mushroom/umami powder


  • Waxed baking paper and staples or small zip-lock bags

Step 1: Proportions

Most couscous packages have similar instructions: 100g couscous + 125ml water (1/2 cup couscous + 1/2 cup water).

Because we use dehydrated vegetables/mushrooms and stock/gravy granules, all of which need water to re-hydrate, we have to adjust the ratios. In short, you will need to add more water.

Each pouch consists of 1/4 cup of couscous, 2-3 TBS vegetables, herbs, mushrooms.

It has to be mixed with 1/2 cup of boiling water and yields about 1 cup of food.

Step 2: Mushroom Couscous

  • 1/4 cup couscous
  • 2 TBS chopped, dried mushrooms
  • 1/2 - 1 TSP stock or gravy granules ( up to you which flavour, I'm using mushroom powder)
  • 1/2- 1TBS herbs (parsley works best)
  • salt and pepper - 1/4 TSP each

Step 3: Vegetable Couscous

  • 1/4 cup couscous
  • 2 TBS dehydrated carrots or mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 - 1 TSP stock or gravy granules ( up to you which flavour)
  • 1/2- 1TBS herbs (parsley works best)
  • salt and pepper - 1/4 TSP each

Step 4: Apple and Cinnamon Couscous

  • 3 TBS couscous
  • 2-3 TBS dehydrated fruits, nuts, coconut shavings (I'm using 2TBS apple and 1 TBS raisins)
  • 1 TSP cinnamon (or mixed spice, nutmeg, gingerbread spice mix)
  • 1/2- 1 TBS powdered sugar or powdered artificial sweetener
  • 1 TSP instant vanilla custard powder

Step 5: Assemble and Fill Pouches

If you plan on using the pouches within a couple of weeks, use parchment paper and a stapler to create small baggies. If you are going to keep the couscous pouches longer or store them in a humid environment, use small zip-lock bags instead.

It's best to work on one pouch at the time, rather than mix a large batch and then divide it. Dry ingredients don't mix very well, larger particles stay on top, smaller ones, like spices, sink to the bottom. So, only assemble one pouch at the time.

You don't have to mix all ingredients before stuffing them into pouches, I only did that for illustration purposes. Normally I just grab an empty pouch and put all ingredients one after the other. The contents will be mixed in the end anyway, when you add the water.

Put the pouches into paper envelopes, or something similar and mark them clearly. Include an ingredient list and a date of assembly as well as instructions on how to make the food.

Step 6: Just Add Water

To make the couscous meal, simply tip the contents of the pouch into a mug or a bowl, add 1/2 cup of boiling water and stir thoroughly with a fork. Cover with a plate or aluminium foil and leave it to absorb for 10 minutes. Give it another stir and enjoy.

Step 7: Enjoy

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