Couscous & Vegetables Medley made in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.  You can also call this Vegan Couscous Pilaf.  Enjoy this quick and delicious couscous, as a side or salad.

Couscous pulao instant pot pressure cooker
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I used Israeli Couscous from Trader Joe’s in this recipe.  Isreali Couscous is also called pearl couscous or maftoul.  It is larger than traditional couscous, pasta-like pearls made from wheat flour.

I got this from Trader Joe’s store near my house.  It is also available on Amazon. However, it is much more expensive there.  There are other brands from Amazon that are more reasonable.

This is ready in less than 30 minutes in the pressure cooker.  As we are cooking in under pressure, I also reduced the amount of water added to cook it to a 1:1 ratio.  You can also replace and use broth for cooking.  I used the whole packet, which was about 1 3/4 cups.  It readily serves 3-4.

How to make Instant Pot Isreali Couscous Pilaf?

I followed a procedure similar to rice pulao but reduced the spices used.  Start with heating the instant pot in sauté mode, and add the bay leaves and onions.  Saute for a couple of minutes, and add the veggies of your choice.  I added red bell peppers and grated carrots.  Add the couscous and water/broth.

Couscous pulao instant pot pressure cooker

Change the instant pot setting to Manual or Pressure Cook mode at high pressure.  Set it to just 2 minutes.  When the instant pot beeps, do 10 minutes of NPR, which means release the pressure manually after 10 minutes of beeping.  If you are using another brand of couscous, I suggest adjusting the cooking time to one-half of the recommended time on the package.

Couscous pulao instant pot pressure cooker

Vegetable Couscous is ready.  Garnish with cilantro or parsley, and enjoy it.

Couscous pulao instant pot pressure cooker

Check out other instant pot side dishes:

4.60 from 15 votes

Instant Pot Couscous & Vegetable Medley

Israeli Couscous cooked with vegetables of choice in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker.  Enjoy it as a side or salad. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3



  • Heat the instant pot in sauté mode and add olive oil to it.
  • Add the bay leaves and onions. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add the bell peppers and carrots. Sauté for one more minute.
  • Add the couscous, water, garam masala and salt. Stir well.
  • Change the instant pot setting to manual mode for 2 minutes.
  • When the instant pot beeps, do 10 minutes NPR. This means release the pressure manually 10 minutes after the beep.
  • Fluff the couscous, it is fully cooked. Mix in the lemon juice. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.


  • Prepare with vegetables of your choice.  I used bell peppers, carrots and onions, which I had at home.  Other options are cauliflower, broccoli, edamame and green peas.  
  • If you like, you can add more spices, I wanted to keep the spices light so my daughter could eat it.  


Calories: 460kcalCarbohydrates: 86gProtein: 13gFat: 5gSodium: 824mgPotassium: 414mgFiber: 7gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 8370IUVitamin C: 56.4mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1.4mg

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Came out great in the end, but my insta post posted the “burn” warning. I tried to get it going again, and in the end I released steam, took a look (burnt slightly on bottom), and let it sit with lid back on for !0 mins.
    Seemed to do the trick. Thoughts on where I may have gone astray?

    1. Hey Shane – Glad you enjoyed the couscous despite the hiccups with the burn message. The new instant pots are a bit more sensitive to burn message. Here are some possible changes I can suggest – 1) After sautéing the bell peppers and carrots in step 3, deglaze the pot by adding some water. 2) Add the water and spices, then add couscous on the top. Do not stir much. Just press with a ladle so all the couscous is submerged in water.
      I would love to hear if these changes help!

    2. Mine burned too –
      I tried it twice and no matter what I did it burned so I had to put the couscous that wasn’t burnt in a silicone steam basket. I have not been able to get any grain to not burn and all my books and this recipe say I’m doing it right. I’m stumped.

      1. Hey Amanda – I am sorry to hear you are having trouble cooking any grains in your ip. I would suggest to deglaze well and add a little more liquid, in case that helps. I also suggested to first add water, add couscous on top and not stir it. The newer ip models are much more sensitive to burn which has been causing this issue. I hope you can overcome this issue.

      2. Hi Amanda and Shane – I just tried this couscous again with more liquid. For 1 3/4 cup of couscous, I added 2 cups water and it worked well. I hope you try again with more liquid and see if you still get the burn issue. Thank you!

    1. Absolutely, love Gujarati food. I will be adding more and more recipe. Thanks for the suggestion!