Creamy Asparagus & Bacon Couscous

This is a play on my Creamy One Pan Boursin Chicken recipe, so if you liked that one you probably will like this!

Inspired by using fresh and few ingredients, minimal cookware, and building a lot of flavour in one pan, this dish comes together in under 30 minutes and is a crowd PLEASER.

I love the crispiness and saltiness of the bacon paired with the creamy parmesan pearl couscous “risotto” and the snappy asparagus bites. 

creamy asparagus and bacon couscous

Why You’ll Love Creamy Asparagus & Bacon Couscous:

Let’s talk about why this dish is about to become your go-to recipe. It’s easy enough to whip up on a busy weeknight but feels fancy enough for a dinner party. All the flavours pair so well together and it’s such an easy one to prepare!

  • Quick and Easy: You can have this meal on the table in about 30 minutes. It’s straightforward and doesn’t leave you with a mountain of dishes.
  • Flavour-packed: From the smoky salty hints of bacon to the freshness of spring asparagus, the flavour is all built in the one pan and continues to develop along the way. 
  • Versatile: Whether you need a hearty main dish for the family or even a satisfying side dish – this will work perfectly! I mean you could even add chicken to this if you’re craving it!

How to Make Creamy Asparagus & Bacon Couscous:

Step One:

Start by assembling all of your prep: chop up the bacon slices into small pieces, chop up the leek into small pieces, chop the garlic finely, and then slice the asparagus to your liking. I like doing angled cuts.

chopped bacon, garlic and leek

Step Two:

In a pan over medium heat, add a touch of olive oil and then the bacon. Stir until browned and crisp (to your liking). Remove and set on some paper towel on the side. Drain half of the bacon fat from the pan and keep the other half right in the pan.

Step Three:

Reduce the heat to low-medium if the pan is too hot to start, and then add in chopped leek and garlic. Stir until softened, about 3-4 minutes. You may increase the heat to medium after a minute or two.

crisping the bacon

Step Four:

Add in the pearl couscous and stir to coat in the bacon fat, garlic and leek. Let toast for a couple minutes until just lightly golden. 

toasted pearl couscous

Step Five:

Add in the stock (you can use chicken, vegetable or beef) and bring to a bubble. Lower the heat to low-medium and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the liquid has absorbed and the pearl couscous is cooked to your liking. You can always add more broth and continue to stir if needed. 

Step Six:

Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in some boiling water for a few minutes until cooked to your liking. I like mine with a bit of a snap and that bright green colour to them! Drain, add a touch of butter, salt and an optional squeeze of lemon juice and mix.

Step Seven:

Once the pearl couscous is finished, remove from the heat and add in some chopped or torn basil, the grated parmesan and stir to combine. 

creamy pearl couscous

Step Eight:

Time to plate! Add the creamy pearl couscous on the bottom, then the buttery lemon asparagus, and the crispy bacon on top. You can garnish with more parmesan and basil and enjoy!

creamy asparagus and bacon couscous

How to Store Creamy Asparagus & Bacon Couscous:

To keep this dish as fresh as possible, follow these storage tips:

  • Refrigeration: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: Gently reheat on the stove with a splash of broth. Microwave in short bursts, stirring in between, to avoid drying out. Adding more broth and stirring will definitely revive this!
Bacon & Asparagus Couscous Risotto

Substitutions for Creamy Asparagus & Bacon Couscous:

  • Vegetarian: Skip the bacon and try replacing with mushrooms for a meaty texture! You can also omit and just make sure to add some more olive oil or butter in the sautéeing steps that follow (in lieu of the bacon fat).
  • Gluten-Free: Although pearl couscous traditionally contains gluten, feel free to substitute with quinoa or rice.
  • Dairy-Free: Replace parmesan with nutritional yeast or a dairy-free cheese alternative.
creamy asparagus and bacon couscous
Bacon & Asparagus Couscous Risotto

Creamy Asparagus & Bacon Couscous

A comforting dish that comes together in under 30 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Serves 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 slices of bacon chopped
  • 1 leek chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 8 oz pearl couscous
  • 3 cups broth chicken, vegetable or beef (+more if needed)
  • 1 cup parmesan grated
  • 1 bunch asparagus chopped or sliced
  • Butter
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Basil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Start by assembling all of your prep: chop up the bacon slices into small pieces, chop up the leek into small pieces, chop the garlic finely, and then slice the asparagus to your liking. I like doing angled cuts.
  • In a pan over medium heat, add a touch of olive oil and then the bacon. Stir until browned and crisp (to your liking). Remove and set on some paper towel on the side. Drain half of the bacon fat from the pan and keep the other half right in the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low-medium if the pan is too hot to start, and then add in chopped leek and garlic. Stir until softened, about 3-4 minutes. You may increase the heat to medium after a minute or two.
  • Add in the pearl couscous and stir to coat in the bacon fat, garlic and leek. Let toast for a couple minutes until just lightly golden.
  • Add in the stock (you can use chicken, vegetable or beef) and bring to a bubble. Lower the heat to low-medium and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the liquid has absorbed and the pearl couscous is cooked to your liking. You can always add more broth and continue to stir if needed.
  • Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in some boiling water for a few minutes until cooked to your liking. I like mine with a bit of a snap and that bright green colour to them! Drain, add a touch of butter, salt and an optional squeeze of lemon juice and mix.
  • Once the pearl couscous is finished, remove from the heat and add in some chopped or torn basil, the grated parmesan and stir to combine.
  • Time to plate! Add the creamy pearl couscous on the bottom, then the buttery lemon asparagus, and the crispy bacon on top. You can garnish with more parmesan and basil and enjoy!

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