North African Shrimp with Summer Vegetable Couscous

Make this North African Shrimp with Summer Vegetable Couscous your next meal! Deliciously spice crusted shrimp sits on top of a garlicky roasted summer vegetable couscous. This recipe is perfect for meal prepping in advance. Enjoy it warm or chilled. Serves 4 to 6 in about 40 minutes.

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

A new and improved North African shrimp is on the blog today and I’m very excited about it. I first posted this back in 2013, almost 5 years to the day, and have been meaning to give this post a little visual make over.

At one time, this recipe was like no other recipe on this blog. It has exotic spices like turmeric and aleppo pepper, which were new to me and if my memory serves me right it was one of the first shrimp recipes I shared here. Now turmeric is a thaaang and I have quite the collection of shrimp recipes. It’s amazing what can happen in 5 years amiright?

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

The story of this recipe begins with a road trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan with one of my best friends Heidi. We trekked west across the mitten to Grand Rapids, to go to a small venue concert. We stopped beforehand for dinner and drinks at Rockwell | Republic. It’s a cool and cozy restaurant that serves up delicious food using ingredients from local area farms – which if you didn’t know, this is totally my kind of thing.

Heidi and I split a pitcher of the most delicious sangria and shared bunch of apps instead of ordering our own main courses. One of those apps was this smoky North African Shrimp on a vegetable Israeli couscous and yes, it was awesome. I haven’t been able to forget it. The spice crusted shrimp were so intoxicatingly aromatic and flavorful that I was a little sad it was just an appetizer and not an entree (and also that I had to share it 😉). It was so good that I went home and devised a plan… aka a recipe.

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

What I love most about this recipe is that so much of it is fresh ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need: shrimp, fresh ginger, coriander, cumin, aleppo pepper, salt, turmeric, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. You’ll also need Israeli couscous, garlic, zucchini, summer squash, red onion, cherry tomatoes, black pepper and fresh parsley. I think (read: hope) I’ve listed everything. phew.

Aleppo pepper may be a little tricky to locate at your regular grocery store. I order mine online from Penzey’s Spices, but you should be able to find it at most specialty spice shops. Back in the day, I would stop in the Penzey’s by my work while I was on my lunch break. But now ordering online is way easier.

Now let’s COOK!

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

In a big-o-bowl, grate in 1 teaspoon of fresh, peeled ginger root or to save some time, use the pre-grated stuff. Remember, this is a judge free zone. Next measure and add in the 2 teaspoons of  ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of cumin and 1½ teaspoons of  the aleppo pepper, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Just a little FYI, aleppo pepper is smoky and sweet with a subtle heat. It’s not out of control spicy-hot by any means so if you’re a little leery about it, don’t fret.

Oh and if you don’t think you’ll ever use aleppo pepper again, think again. So far I’ve sprinkled it on grilled corn on the cob, pizza, fried eggs and popcorn. I’m pretty sure the options are endless. Think milder, smokier red pepper flakes.

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

Lastly measure and add in 2 tablespoons of extra light olive oil and whisk it all together to form a paste like consistency. This right here, smells pretty darn amazing!

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

Now introduce a pound of shrimp (16/20) to the marinade and toss to coat. Let the shrimp marinade either on the counter for 15-20 minutes or pop into the fridge for a couple hours. During this time, I like to make the couscous.

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.comNorth African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

Preheat your oven to 400° and place a pint of (washed) cherry tomatoes, 1 sliced (half moon style) yellow summer squash and zucchini and 1/2 a diced red onion. Drizzle the veggies with some olive oil and season with a few pinches of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Use your impeccably clean hands to toss  them well so the veggies are coated evenly in the oil. Pop them into your preheated oven and roast for 18 to 20 minutes. I rotate the pan halfway through but leave the veggies undisturbed so the edges can caramelize.

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.comNorth African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

In a large saucepan measure in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and heat on medium. Then add in 2 cloves of minced, grated or crushed fresh garlic. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add in the 2-1/2 cups of vegetable broth or stock, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir in 1-3/4 cups of Israeli couscous and replace the lid. Follow the package directions for cooking times but usually it’s around 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Keep in mind, not all of the broth will be absorbed and it should give the couscous a sauce-like appearance..

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.comNorth African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

Now in a 10-inch heavy skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high. Once hot, work in batches adding in the shrimp, try not to overcrowd. Allow the shrimp to cook for 2-3 minutes a side, then flip and repeat. Transfer the shrimp to a clean plate and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Adjust the heat under the pan so the spices don’t burn.

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.comNorth African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

Once all of the shrimp are cooked, reduce the heat to low and drain off any excess oil. Squeeze in 1/2 a lemon and scrape those browned bits off of the bottom. Add the shrimp back in, toss and heat through and keep warm.

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.comNorth African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

Around the same time, the couscous should be cooked, add it into a large mixing bowl along with the roasted veggies and any of their juices that accumulated in the pan. That, my friends, is liquid gold. Add in 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley and gently toss to combine. Season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper to your taste.

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

Spoon some of the summer vegetable couscous onto a plate and top with 5 or 6 of the North African shrimp and more minced parsley for garnish.

Do you hear that? The angels? They’re singing *ahhhhhhh*… wait. Did that sound like a scream to you? Sound effects are kind of hard to incorporate into a blog text, but it was singing I promise. 😉

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

First thing, I really love this recipe. It’s not quite like Rockwell’s version but it was so good that I don’t even care. SO much flavor! And secondly, this is good warm or cold. I took chilled leftovers to the beach and they were delicious cold! This recipe is also great for meal prepping for the week – you’re welcome.

So so in food-love with this North African Shrimp recipe. Go on and give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Enjoy! And if you give this North African Shrimp recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

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North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Israeli Couscous

Make this North African Shrimp with Summer Vegetable Couscous your next meal! Deliciously spice crusted shrimp sits on top of a garlicky roasted summer vegetable couscous. This recipe is perfect for meal prepping in advance. Enjoy it warm or chilled. Serves 4 to 6 in about 40 minutes.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: about 40 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE SHRIMP:

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1½ teaspoons Aleppo pepper (found online and in stores at Penzey's Spices)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking

1 pounds shelled and de-veined shrimp (16/20) tails on or off, thawed if frozen

juice of ½ of a lemon

FOR THE COUSCOUS:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 medium zucchini, trimmed and sliced into half moons

1 medium summer squash, trimmed and sliced into half moons

1/2 a red onion, chopped

olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves peeled fresh garlic, minced

2½ cups vegetable broth

1-3/4 cups dry, uncooked Israeli couscous

1 handful chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving

North African Shrimp recipe was adapted from an article in the Chicago Tribune.

Directions:

FOR THE SHRIMP: In a large bowl combine the fresh ginger, coriander, aleppo pepper, cumin, salt, turmeric and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Give that a stir, toss in the shrimp and let that marinate for 15 minutes on the counter or a couple hours in the fridge.

To COOK: Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, work in batches adding in the shrimp, adjusting the temperature as needed. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until a crust forms on each side before removing to a clean plate. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Once the shrimp is cooked, reduce the heat to low and drain any remaining oil left in the pan before squeezing in a little lemon juice and scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the shrimp back into the pan to heat through.

FOR THE COUSCOUS:

Place the tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash and onion onto a rimmed metal baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a couple pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Gently toss to coat and place in a 400° oven for about 18-20 minutes. Once roasted, add the veggies and their juices to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Follow the package directions for time - usually it's 8 to 10 minutes. Not all of the broth will be absorbed and it should give the couscous a sauce-like appearance.

Once the couscous is cooked, add it to the bowl with the veggies and add 1/4 cup of chopped parsley. Gently toss to combine and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place a couple of spoonfuls of the roasted vegetable couscous in a bowl and top with a few of the North African shrimp and more minced parsley for garnish.

[this post contains affiliate links.]

North African Shrimp with Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous l SimplyScratch.com

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39 Responses to “North African Shrimp with Summer Vegetable Couscous”

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    1
    Julia @ hungryandconfused — July 8, 2013 at 4:57 am

    This looks absolutely delicious!! I sometimes find couscous a bit bland, but I love how you’ve combined it with the garlic and roasted veggies.

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 8th, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

      I know what you mean, I fee the same about quinoa! But this is so not bland, promise 🙂

  2. #
    2
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — July 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

    This looks so delicious! I love having something so good at restaurant to where you have to make it when you get home.

  3. #
    3
    Tieghan Gerard — July 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

    This is beautiful, sounds delicious and is healthy? Yes, Please!

  4. #
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    Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — July 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

    This is absolutely beautiful! I love the flavors…I kid you not I must try it very, very soon!!!

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 8th, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

      Thank you Cathy! 🙂

  5. #
    5
    Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — July 8, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    LOL!! I totally laughed at your sound effects statement. It really is HARRRRRD.

    Can I just tell you how excited I am to make this dish?! Laurie, this has to be one of my new favs. You are the best!

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 8th, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

      Noooo YOU are! XO

  6. #
    6
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — July 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Mmm! I love the spices in this scrumptious couscous meal, Laurie! It looks so delicious.

  7. #
    7
    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance — July 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    This looks unbelievable! I will be on the hunt for Aleppo Pepper asap!

  8. #
    8
    Julie @ Table for Two — July 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Love these bold flavors! I could eat this up any night of the week!!

  9. #
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    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — July 9, 2013 at 12:28 am

    I am loving the flavors here! What a yummy meal!

  10. #
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    Patricia @ ButterYum — July 9, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I’m totally dying here. what size srhimp did you use?

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 9th, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

      Gosh Patricia… I can’t remember! I just bought two pounds worth, they were small-ish without being too small… sorry 🙁

  11. #
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    Kathryn — July 9, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I’ve just realised that your posts haven’t been showing up in my reader for the last couple of weeks – such a treat to go through them all now! The flavours in this sound totally wonderful.

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 9th, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

      What’s up with that Kathryn? By chance are you using Feedly? I’ve had someone else tell me that.. ugh! Hope you are doing well my friend!

  12. #
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    Lonnie Thaler — July 9, 2013 at 10:53 am

    This is the best cooking tutorial I’ve ever seen. Aside from having the best recipe, the tutorial is very detailed with great images. I will bookmark this site. Thanks a lot! I will try this wonderful recipe. 🙂

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 9th, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

      Thanks Lonnie! You are too kind 🙂

  13. #
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    Jackie {The Beeroness} — July 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I’m totally behind with intoxicatingly being a word. And least-ly.
    This totally reminds me of Morocco. Minus the creep-tastic (also a word) rug vendors and the BMW driving drug peddlers.

  14. #
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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — July 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    This sounds amazing. Love all the spices. I have never actually had Israeli couscous before, need to get on it!

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    Bianca — July 9, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Is there any other pepper that I could use to substitute?

    • simplyscratch replied: — July 9th, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

      Bianca I would try ancho chili 🙂

  16. #
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    Kim Curay — July 10, 2013 at 3:19 am

    What a unique recipe that I’m dying to try! Just by the looks of it, I can already tell how delicious it is! Wow… I’ve always loved shrimps so when it is added in a dish, I get goosebumps, literally! Thanks for showing how it is cooked, will definitely try it once I have all the ingredients because they’re a bit hard to find here in my location. Keep posting more shrimp dishes, will surely come back for more!

  17. #
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    Lisa G — July 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight, delicious! And pretty quick to put together. Thanks for another great recipe! I subbed regular red pepper flakes for the aleppo and it had some nice heat.

  18. #
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    alfie — July 19, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Then far more friends can easily talk about this issue

  19. #
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    Lisa — August 12, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Great! Easy and so flavorful. Decided to try it while trying to figure out what to get at the store on my way home from work! so glad I tried this recipe.

  20. #
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    Ellen Renee — August 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I made this for dinner last night…it was soooo good! Thank you for such a delicious treat. I added mushrooms to the veggie mix (zuc, sqash, onion, cherry tomatoes) and that was a great combo. My non veggie loving teenage son was crazy about the shrimp (husband was a big fan too) – so now I have a lot of roasted veggies leftover – but that is fine. Nice easy side dish to warm up for dinner. We will be enjoying this again in the future. A note to others who may want to try the recipe…nearest Penzeys is 3 hours away…I do mail order my spices from them but try to do a big order before the cooking holidays so I just used 4 parts smoked sweet paprika to 1 part cayenne pepper to use for the aleppo pepper. I will be adding that to my list this fall so that I can make the recipe as is.

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 13th, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

      Hi Ellen! I’m so glad to hear you liked this meal and thank you so much for coming back and leaving a comment! Have a great day 🙂

  21. #
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    10ml e liquid — January 10, 2014 at 4:51 am

    Raising awareness is an excellent thing but, what you’ve accomplished with this specific
    blog page is far ahead of that – it is nail biting information that needs
    prompt action. I wish more men and women read your projects.
    I am sure positive changes could be made via this.

  22. #
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    a cook — June 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Hi. I cook at the restaurant you ate this dish at. We make it a little different but you get the idea. I like your version of it.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 25th, 2014 @ 10:11 am

      Get out of town! My friend and I LOVED everything we had their and I’m a little envious you know the recipe ha-ha! 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  23. #
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    sara — April 22, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I LOOOOOVE penzeys Aleppo pepper. I use it on pretty much everything. get some Fox point seasoning from penzeys too and then use the two of those things for all vegetable and potato roasts 🙂

  24. #
    24
    Jamie — May 3, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    I live in GR and I too am in love with the African shrimp. Unfortunately they recently took it off of the menu so I went searching for a copy cat recipe. I do know that Rockwell’s used an African spice called Berbere in the dish so I used that in my marinade (from Penzey’s as well) and it turned out great. Thanks! And if you’re looking for that authentic Rockwell’s flavor, try the Berbere next time. Beware it is rather spicy!

  25. #
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    Denimo — May 14, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Damn girl!! This is the real thing… real delicious looking! I already have plans tonight or I’d be making this, but it’ll be on my menu soon… very soon. 🙂

  26. #
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    Chelai — June 20, 2018 at 7:55 am

    This recipe looks delicious. My husband is allergic to shrimp. Is there another seafood or protein that you think will be a good substitute?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — June 20th, 2018 @ 10:19 am

      Hi Chelai! I havent tested it yet, but I think salmon or a firm white fish would work. The only change I would make is to leave the filets whole and spread the spice mixture on one side (or both if you have enough) before cooking. Please keep me posted on how this worked for you! Enjoy!

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    Katie — June 30, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    I made this dish with tofu using the same marinade and it was delicious! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — July 2nd, 2018 @ 9:17 am

      Oooh! I never thought to try tofu! How brilliant are you!? I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe, Katie! Thanks for taking the time to try it! 🙂

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