Is couscous gluten free?

Unfortunately, couscous is one of those gluten-containing products you’ll have to swear-off on a gluten-free diet. Traditionally couscous is made from semolina, a coarse flour derived from a species of wheat called ‘durum wheat’. So if a gluten-free diet calls for you to swear off wheat forever you may be wondering if there’s an alternative to couscous you can enjoy. Not only are there a heap of gluten free options to choose from, many substitutes are actually a more nutritious option. Here’s a look at some of the best gluten-free alternatives to couscous.

Substitutes you may like...



This is one of the most popular gluten free substitutes for couscous. Quinoa is a seed and falls under the pseudo-cereal umbrella alongside chia, buckwheat and amaranth. It boasts a lengthy list of nutrients, is high in protein and is a valuable plant-based source of all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa translates remarkably well in dishes that call for couscous even though it’s slightly bigger in size and crunchier in texture. It also has a slight nutty taste, which goes well with everything from curry to salads and even as a nutritious porridge at breakfast time.

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sorghum grains


This ancient cereal grain is an often underrated gluten-free option. It’s incredibly rich in nutrients, containing vitamins B1 & B2, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and other essential vitamins and minerals. It’s also good source of fibre and protein, comparable to protein levels found in quinoa. It’s super versatile too and is just at home as a side dish to a hearty stew as it is ground to a flour and used in baking.

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Like quinoa, amaranth falls under the pseudo-cereal umbrella. It' comparable nutrient-wise too with a hefty dose of protein, fibre and essential minerals packed inside; the most notable being manganese with just one cup of cooked amaranth surpassing your daily needs for this vital brain-boosting mineral. When it comes to swapping out couscous with a gluten-free option, Amaranth has to be one of the more flavour-filled options. It offers up a delicious earthy taste with a hint of nuttiness that pairs well with a variety of cuisines.

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