20 Minute Shrimp and Tomato-Fennel Couscous is a speedy and super delicious weeknight main that celebrates fresh, flavorful ingredients. In 20 minutes, you can have it all—succulent shrimp on a bed of grains crowned with a bright and bracing tomato mixture. This meal is perfect for the craziest month of the year in which we’ve just entered. Because in the midst of gift shopping, baking, party planning, and decorating, you still need a hearty, nourishing meal!
And wine. You’ll likely need a glass or two of wine.Couscous makes for a quick, versatile grain base that easily adopts different flavor profiles. I suggest cooking the grains in either chicken or vegetable broth to really infuse it with flavor, along with any herbs or aromatics you have on hand.
If making gluten free, simply swap the couscous for quinoa, millet, or your preferred gluten free grain.The tomato topper is an invigorating mix of cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, fennel seed, fresh parsley, olive oil, and honey. Fennel seeds can be found in the dried spice section and have a sweet, anise-like flavor. Lightly toasting and crushing the seeds with either the bottom of a frying pan or mortar and pestle helps release their fragrant oils.
Fennel seeds are also believed to be a digestive aid, which is why you’ll sometimes find them in herbal tea blends.I highly recommend adding this recipe to your dinner lineup this week. It’s a low maintenance, high impact meal when speedy weeknight dinners are in high demand.
- 1¼ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
- ½ tsp. toasted fennel seeds, finely crushed
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1½ cups dry couscous
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 lb. medium or large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Combine tomatoes, 4 Tbsp. of the oil, parsley, lemon zest and juice, honey, fennel seed, ½ tsp. of the salt, and ¼ tsp. of the black pepper in a bowl. (if desired, for a kick of heat, stir in ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes). Set side.
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ¼ tsp. of the salt; cook 2 minutes, until aromatic. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous; cover. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium-high. Season shrimp with remaining ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper, and, working in batches if needed, add shrimp to pan; cook, turning once, until lightly charred around the edges, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Divide couscous evenly among 4 bowls or plates. Scatter shrimp and residual butter in pan evenly over couscous. Spoon tomato-fennel seed mixture evenly overtop.