Mussels with Israeli Couscous

Looking for an interesting way to use a unique vegetable like fennel? There are tons of recipes out there that are healthy, quick, meals that can still help stretch your cooking knowledge.   This vegetable has a liquorice flavor to it (especially raw), but when it’s cooked, the flavor becomes more mild.  

Fennel bulb and fronds from Backyard Produce

The other ingredient that was new to me was Israeli Couscous (Ptitim.) It is a toasted pasta that has the shape of little balls (unlike couscous we typically use.) I purchased this at Whole Foods, but if you can’t find any, feel free to use orzo and adjust your cook time. 

This recipe required such a simple and quick prep, that it is on the table in 30 minutes, and each serving only has 415 calories and 4.6 grams of fat. 


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into strips (directions below)
  • 1 cup uncooked Israeli couscous
  • garlic clove, minced 
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine 
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 lbs mussels, beards removed and discarded
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and/or basil


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. 

If you prepare the fennel: 

(1) Cut off fronds and the very base of the bulb.
(2) Cut the bulb in half and remove the core. 
(3) Slice the fennel halves into strips.

Add onion and fennel; sauté 3 minutes.  

  1. Add couscous and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. 

  2. Add wine to pan; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. 

  1. Stir in broth, tomato sauce, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. 
  1. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 7 minutes. 
  2. Place mussels in couscous mixture.

  1. Cover and cook 7 minutes or until mussels open. (Discard any unopened shells.)

  1. Stir in fresh tomatoes and sprinkle with parsley.

Original recipe from Cooking Light (quick and healthy), but located on My

Ryan going back for seconds! Yum!

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