Photo of Couscous spring vegetable stir-fry by WW

Couscous spring vegetable stir-fry

Total Time
17 min
11 min
6 min
Nothing says spring like the combination of asparagus and lemons. Here, we’ve used them to make a bright tasting stir-fry that can serve as side dish for entrées like grilled or roasted chicken and pork. Or, you could toss in some cannellini beans and use vegetable broth in the place of the chicken variety for a meatless main dish. Look for skinny, pencil asparagus for this recipe because with the 1/4-inch diameter they stir-fry quickly. They’re often easier to find during the spring months. If you can only find asparagus on the thicker side, like ½-inch or thicker, cut the stalks into ¼-inch-thick slices.


Fat free chicken broth

14 Tbsp, divided (3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp)

Uncooked whole wheat couscous

4 oz, (see note below)*

Peanut oil

4 tsp, or vegetable oil, divided

Sliced almonds

3 Tbsp


1 large, thinly sliced

Jarred minced garlic

1 Tbsp


2 cup(s), trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces**

Uncooked parsnip

1 cup(s), thinly sliced

Grated Pecorino cheese

3 Tbsp

Lemon zest

2 tsp, (zest of 1 lemon)

Table salt

¾ tsp


1 item(s), large, cut into 4 wedges


  1. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of broth and 1/4 cup cold water to a boil covered over high heat. Stir in couscous and 1 tsp of oil. Cover, and remove from heat. Set aside for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  2. In a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet add almonds and stir-fry over medium heat 2 or 3 minutes or until almonds are lightly toasted. Remove to a small dish. Heat wok over high heat until a bead of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in remaining 3 tsp of oil. Add shallot and garlic, and stir-fry 10 seconds or until fragrant. Add asparagus and parsnips and stir-fry 1 minute or until asparagus are bright green. Swirl in remaining 2 Tbsp chicken broth and stir-fry 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender crisp. Remove from heat, add couscous, pecorino, almonds, lemon zest, sprinkle on salt and stir to just combine. Serve with a wedge of lemon. Yields 1 cup per serving.


For cooking the couscous a 1-quart saucepan is best. *Four ounces of the couscous we used was equal to 3/4 cup. The amout of liquid used to cook the couscous is based on this measurement. Check the volume of the couscous you're using -- if 4 ounces yields a different measure than 3/4 cup, be sure to adjust the amount of cooking liquid accordingly, following package instructions.