Quick Garlicky Shrimp Couscous

Looking for a 15-minute meal to curb your hunger? Try this quick garlicky shrimp couscous, which comes together in a flash.

Quick Garlicky Shrimp Couscous (15 Minutes) | Cooking for Hangry People | A Couple Cooks

This post is the first in our new series, Cooking for Hangry People! Get ready for a series of 20-minute recipes, a podcast, and more.

Picture this: you just got off work and ran to the gym, or picked up your littles at school or daycare. In the rush of getting out the door at work, you realize you forgot your afternoon snack. Your stomach is starting to rumble and sounds above normal decibel levels start to make your head throb. Before you try to squelch the urge to lash out at a spouse, friend or little one you realize it’s already too late: you’re hangry.

Yes hangry: that combination of hunger and anger that destroys everything in its path until your rumbling stomach is satisfied. If you’re human, you’ve likely been hangry before, or at least seen someone else act out of hanger. We talk to a lot of people about food, and the question that most often comes up is: how do I get a quick (and nutritious) meal on the table at the end of a busy day when I’m bordering on hangry? 

Related: 28 Day Healthy Meal Plan

Quick Garlicky Shrimp Couscous (15 Minutes) | Cooking for Hangry People | A Couple Cooks

While it’s absolutely a challenge, we’ve found that having a few resources in your arsenal can make a huge difference. To that end, we’re launching our series Cooking for Hangry People, a series of recipes to help inspire quick and nutritious meals to combat hanger. We’ve tried to keep the recipes 20 minutes or under, and use a limited list of ingredients that are fairly easy to come by. A few caveats before we start:

  • Our Goal: to create dinner entrees that take 20 to 25 minutes for prep, excluding cleanup
  • What it’s Not: If you’re dying of hanger, you may need a 5-minute triage-style hangry meal, like PB&J, avocado toast, or a tuna melt. We excluded this type of meal from our recipes, though they are useful and may be covered in a future post.
  • To Tide You Over: For all hangry recipes, we suggest a healthy snack while cooking to take off the hangry edge, like veggies and hummus, almonds, olives, etc.

Related: Easy Dinner Recipes for Busy Lives

Quick Garlicky Shrimp Couscous (15 Minutes) | Cooking for Hangry People | A Couple Cooks

Making this garlicky shrimp couscous

Ready for the first hangry recipe? This quick garlicky shrimp couscous is not our typical vegetarian recipe (gasp!), because while our diet is full of vegetables we occasionally eat seafood. (Also, it’s good for your brain, Dr Ramsey told us in this podcast.) We couldn’t resist a shrimp recipe for this series because, 1. we love shrimp and, 2. it cooks SO quickly—as in 5 minutes quickly. Here juicy shrimp, quick sauteed in a bit of butter with minced garlic, is almost like candy. We’ve combined it with quick cooking couscous. While couscous is a pasta and not a whole grain, it cooks up in 5 minutes so we’ve used it here for expediency. If you have more time, feel free to substitute the grain of your choice: bulgur wheat is another quick cooking grain, or for gluten-free diets quinoa is also relatively fast. And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, hold out for our upcoming hangry recipes!

We want to hear from YOU in this Cooking for Hangry People series: what do you eat when you’re hangry? What quick tips for nutritious meals do you have up your sleeve? Please share any links to recipes you love (including if you’re a food blogger, we’d love to see favorites from your site!). We’re looking forward to beating hanger together — in our kitchens! #hangrynomore

Did you make this recipe?

If you make our quick garlicky shrimp couscous recipe, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.

This recipe is…

This recipe is pescatarian. For dairy-free, use olive oil instead of butter for the shrimp. For gluten-free, use quinoa instead of couscous.

Looking for more healthy seafood recipes?

Outside of this shrimp couscous recipe, here are a few more healthy seafood recipes:

Looking for fast and easy dinner recipes?

Outside of this quick shrimp couscous recipe, here are a few of our favorite easy recipes for weeknight dinners:


Quick Garlicky Shrimp Couscous

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Looking for a 15-minute meal to curb that hangry edge? Try this quick garlicky shrimp couscous, which comes together in a flash.



  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (thawed, if frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. In a medium pot, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Add couscous and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. When done, stir in olive oil, the juice from 1 lemon and another 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Taste, and add additional olive oil and lemon to taste.
  2. Mince the garlic. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium high and add the shrimp, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Cook until the shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes, turning once.
  3. Serve the shrimp over couscous garnished with chopped parsley.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: shrimp couscous, healthy seafood recipe, easy dinner recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    August 1, 2016 at 5:28 am

    It’s really interesting to mix and match shrimps with couscous, I love the idea. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  • Reply
    Joanna Grabarek
    August 1, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Almost every night my boyfriend or I come home bordering on hangry. If there are not some quick leftovers we can heat up, our go to quick meal is stir fry. In just a few minutes we can chop up some veggies, add an egg and serve over rice with a drizzle of soy sauce. We’re working on eating healthier on a regular basis, so I’m excited to try this shrimp recipe!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Can not wait for more hangry recipes. This is fantastic. Both my partner and I usually work 9+ hour days but are still determined to have home cooked meals every night. If we don’t have left overs and need to prep something that may take a while our go to pre dinner is snack is an egg on a nice dark brown bread. (We are both mostly vego so we like go for the protein hit!)

  • Reply
    August 3, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Add in arugula/or basil pesto! a little more pizzaz….

  • Reply
    August 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    loved it!

    • Reply
      September 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      So glad you gave it a try! Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    This looks like the ticket for me tonight. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll report back on my review of it.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    I can hardly wait to pick up some shrimp & try this! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

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