Is Couscous Gluten Free?

Dan Gold

Written by Becca

Couscous is not a gluten-free food and I’ll tell you why!

Couscous is like a tiny round pasta (it’s delicious, but I have not eaten it since before being diagnosed with celiac disease back in 2005!).

Its main ingredient is wheat flour. If you look up “what is couscous made of?” you will find the answer to be semolina. What’s that? Semolina is made of wheat or barley. It is definitely not gluten-free.

If you are eating at a restaurant and you see that the salad, main course, entree or appetizer on the menu includes couscous, ask the waitstaff to serve it on the side and give it to a friend.

Or, ask it to be removed completely from your meal, and ensure that there will be no cross-contamination with couscous (which is not a gluten-free food) with the rest of your meal.

If you are looking for gluten-free alternatives to couscous, try quinoa! Quinoa is one of my favorite gluten-free grains (really, it is a seed!) and can almost get you toward the same effect of being small, round and delicious in meals from many cuisines.

Or, you can try short-grain rice. Rice is a gluten-free food that makes a great alternative to couscous, especially short-grain brown rice, or white rice.

If you search online for “gluten-free couscous,” you can find this product! Note, however, that it will be made from gluten-free ingredients, so it may not taste like the real thing, but it could be close. I think you can find a gluten-free alternative made from corn or another gluten-free grain. Good luck, and enjoy!

Last updated

November 21st, 2022