An entire package of spinach blended up into a basil and lemon forward dish that is ready in 15 minutes!! This Spinach Pesto Israeli Couscous with Prawns is an easy weeknight supper with a hearty and healthy pesto recipe as a base.
An entire package of spinach blended up into a basil and lemon forward dish that is ready in 15 minutes!! This Spinach Pesto Israeli Couscous with Prawns is an easy weeknight supper that I usually plan to make when I’m tight on time and have a packed day.
Having little hands-on time means that I can get the other bits of dinner sorted without having to run around like a chicken with my head cut off (e.g. setting the table, sorting waters, etc.).
This pesto sauce has a ton of spinach, but also lots of basil and quite a bit of lemon which takes the mind off the spinach in all honesty. It’s also dairy-free making this a vegan recipe if you remove the prawns.
There is so much iron from spinach in this recipe that the prawns are primarily there to add some depth and contrasting textures and flavours to the couscous.
Couscous was originally a hard sell with my kids. Even this dish I have to feed Baby Lucy with my fork if I want her to eat it. Zoe and Isla now eat couscous with glee as we don’t have it terribly often (less than once per month).
I tend to switch between Israeli couscous and whole wheat couscous for more variation. I’d say it took about 5 attempts before the twins were on board with it. I find serving with any kind of savoury yogurt and a spoon (in lieu of a fork which the couscous easily falls off) makes couscous more palatable for the kids.
What is pesto made out of?
Pesto is generally made out of basil, garlic, oil, pine nuts, and grated cheese. Variations exist all over the world of a traditional pesto, and many exist of unique pesto recipes, such as this Spinach Pesto variation.
How to make a homemade pesto recipe?
Pretty much blend up all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
We like it more in the blend as the flavours meld together a bit better, and it’s easier to sneak in the healthy bits (like spinach!) to my kids if they’re completely obliterated by the blender.
I highly recommend adding a bit (1/4-1/2 cup) of pasta water (the water you cooked the pasta in) if you’re making a pasta sauce.
Packed with greens, this Spinach Pesto with Couscous and Shrimp wholesome dinner is ready in 15 minutes.
- 5 oz 142 grams spinach (one clamshell of baby spinach)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 medium lemon, grind and pith (white layer underneath skin) removed
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups Israeli couscous (pearl couscous)
- 4 cups cold water
- 400 grams raw prawns or shrimp
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Add couscous, cover, and reduce heat. Cook, undisturbed for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile,place spinach, basil, pin nuts, garlic clove, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 lemon (with grind and pith removed), and 1/4 tsp sea salt into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour over cooked couscous and mix until fully coated.
In a medium bowl, toss together prawns, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Heat a large skillet to medium-high and cooked prawns until pink, turning once. About 6-7 minutes total.
Top pesto couscous with prawns and serve.