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Is Couscous Gluten-Free? And What Are Good Substitutes?

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This post not only answers the question “Is couscous gluten-free?” (no, traditional couscous is not gluten-free), but also goes through some really great gluten-free couscous alternatives!

Use the table of contents here to jump to your question and answer such as gluten-free couscous brands, gluten-free substitutes, and more!


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Does couscous have gluten?

Yes, as traditionally made, couscous has gluten. 

More specifically, couscous is made from crushed durum wheat semolina that has been formed into small spheres.

While it’s a pantry staple in many places, there are some really great gluten-free alternatives that this post covers in detail below!

Is Israeli couscous gluten-free?

Unfortunately, Israeli couscous (sometimes called pearl couscous) is not gluten-free either. It’s technically a type of pasta that’s also made of semolina flour, which contains gluten.

Best Gluten Free Couscous Substitutes

If you’re looking for a delicious gluten-free substitute for couscous, there are some really great options. 

Not only have some gluten-free brands made actual gluten-free couscous, but there are some gluten-free grains that make really good substitutes in themselves!

Whether you’re looking for a really good side dish, or for an addition to salads, one of these alternatives will sub perfectly.

Gluten-Free Couscous

There are a few gluten-free brands that make Celiac-safe gluten-free couscous.  These will be simple swaps to make your favorite couscous recipe gluten-free!

Just be sure to follow the package directions.

Gefen Gluten-Free Couscous

This option is a really yummy option.  Instead of wheat, it’s made from potato starch.  However, the consistency is a pretty close match!

Check it out on Amazon here.

Streit’s Gluten-Free Israeli Couscous

If you’re missing the bigger Israeli-style couscous, Streit’s is a good option! It’s made with potato and tapioca and has a really good consistency. 

Check it out it on Amazon here.

Lieber’s Tricolor Gluten-Free Couscous

If you’re looking for gluten-free couscous that makes a beautiful presentation in your recipe, this tricolor couscous by Lieber’s is perfect! It’s a very fine grain with excellent flavor.

Check it out on Amazon here

Other Gluten-Free Couscous Alternatives

If you’re looking for another option outside of gluten-free couscous, try one of these grains! They’re pretty similar to couscous on their own and substitute well in recipes!

Quinoa

Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, but is also a complete protein!  It’s a bit smaller than couscous but has a similar texture and flavor.

This is also a super convenient substitute since Quinoa is available at almost every store!

I buy Anthony’s brand quinoa because it’s pre-rinsed and batch tested verified to be gluten-free (and is WAY cheaper than the quinoa at my local grocery store!) 

Check out Anthony’s quinoa on their website here or on Amazon here.

Fonio

Fonio is a high protein grain that’s delicious (and naturally gluten-free)!

If you haven’t tried it yet, I definitely recommend it!  It’s a bit nutty and has a really impressive nutrient profile. 

I purchase Yolélé fonio.  Yolélé also makes packages of flavored fonio (like Dakar Curry) that are also gluten-free for a REALLY simple side dish!

Check out on Amazon here or on Thrive Market here.

Note: if you’ve never tried Thrive Market click here to see my full review of Thrive Market!  OR if you want to try Thrive Market out for yourself, click here to save 25% off your first order AND get a FREE gift!

Was this a helpful guide for couscous alternatives?

If so, comment below to let me know or share it on social media or Pinterest using the social sharing buttons so you can reference it again!

And don’t forget to download your FREE gluten-free substitutes guide below!


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Other Gluten-Free Substitute Reviews

Here are some other helpful posts on your favorite foods and Celiac safe recommendations:

Is Couscous Gluten-Free and What are the Best Gluten-Free Couscous Alternatives?

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