Couscous on the Go

By Crystal Atamian

For winter outdoor activities, our favorite on-the-trail recipe is couscous. We use it as a warm, healthy lunch when we are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or snowboarding. All you need is a Hydroflask (or insulated thermos) full of boiling water and a pre-mixed couscous meal in a heat-tolerant container or Tupperware. Finding a container that holds the heat is the key to a hot meal.

INGREDIENTS (feeds 1–2 people)

1/2 cup couscous

Chopped vegetables

Chopped up protein like ham, tofu, chicken or steak (often leftover from a weekday meal)

Chopped green onions

Some chicken or beef bouillon seasoning (Better-Than-Boullion paste works great)

Spice mix of salt, pepper and garlic, along with any other spice that fits (see below)


The meal is infinitely customizable for whatever you have on hand. I love making this with leftover burrito meat (shredded or ground), chopped bell pepper, corn, green onions and chili powder.

However, my favorite is shredded chicken, black beans, green onions, and red bell pepper with some added paprika and cumin. If I have little in the way of leftovers, I add frozen corn and peas, shredded carrots, bell pepper and chopped kale with garlic. Be creative.

On the trail or in the lodge, add the boiling water until it just covers the couscous. Stir well and cover. Wait 3–5 minutes, stir again and enjoy!

Cover photo courtesy Crystal Atamian

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