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

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

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

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.

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

Credit: Chris Hunt

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Credit: Chris Hunt

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