RECIPE: One-pan shrimp and couscous makes an easy, customizable dinner

Sheet-Pan Shrimp and Couscous. Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Combined ShapeCaption
Sheet-Pan Shrimp and Couscous. Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thawed frozen shrimp and couscous are two ingredients I turn toward most often for weeknight meals. They both cook in minutes and can be served in countless ways. But it wasn’t until recently that I started to cook them together.

Combined in a rimmed sheet pan and baked with a flavorful broth, both ingredients cook in a remarkably similar amount of time. The shrimp gives the mild-flavored couscous briny depth, and the gentle heat of the oven keeps the couscous from turning too soft and mushy. Add an ultra-quick marinade for the shrimp and a smattering of fresh herbs, and you’ve got a meal that’s easy to customize.

A few tips to ensure success: Choose extra-jumbo shrimp (16 to 20 shrimp per pound) to make sure they don’t overcook in the oven, and then give them a minute or two in the marinade to begin absorbing the seasoning while you assemble the couscous. In addition, be sure to seal the sheet pan tightly with aluminum foil to trap the steam from the broth during the first 10 minutes of cooking.

For this recipe, I combine the shrimp with olive oil, salt, and lime zest and juice, and then serve the dish topped with fresh mint. However, you can modify this mixture to suit whatever you’ve got on hand. Lemon, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley or oregano would be equally delicious, as would rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and basil. The world is your, er, shrimp.

ExploreMore 5:30 Challenge recipes
Combined ShapeCaption
Sheet-Pan Shrimp and Couscous. Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Chris Hunt

Sheet-Pan Shrimp and Couscous. Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Chris Hunt

Combined ShapeCaption
Sheet-Pan Shrimp and Couscous. Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Sheet-Pan Shrimp and Couscous
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined extra-jumbo (size 16-20) shrimp, thawed if frozen
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 limes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • On the side: Steamed asparagus or broccoli
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack positioned in the middle.
  • While the oven heats, combine the shrimp with 1 tablespoon oil, the zest of half of a lime, the juice of a whole lime, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Spread the couscous in an even layer across the bottom of a rimmed sheet pan. Pour the broth over the couscous, keeping the couscous evenly coated. Lay the shrimp on top of the couscous, then drizzle any remaining marinade in the bowl over the shrimp. Cover the sheet pan tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Bake, covered, until the shrimp have just turned opaque, about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until the shrimp are fully cooked and any remaining liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  • Use a fork to gently fluff the couscous around the shrimp. Squeeze the juice from the second lime over the shrimp and couscous. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and scatter the mint over the top. Serve immediately with steamed asparagus on the side. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 506 calories (percent of calories from fat, 19), 41 grams protein, 58 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 10 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 332 milligrams cholesterol, 427 milligrams sodium.
ExploreFood news and must-try recipes

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.