Instant Pot Chicken Couscous

Instant Pot Chicken Couscous, also known as Marmahon con Pollo, is a staple in Honduran cuisine. This delicious recipe is now made easier by using the Instant Pot. A perfect family meal that will be ready in no time and is sure to be a new family favorite!

chicken couscous on a large white plate

Marmahon con Pollo or Chicken Couscous is a delicious meal from my home country, Honduras. Using Pearl Couscous, or Israeli Couscous, you can recreate one of my favorite foods growing up. I had never attempted making it, but now that I use an Instant Pot, an electric pressure cooker, I was thrilled with how easy it is to make.

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In Honduras, couscous, or “marmahon” is usually eaten with chicken. My sister would venture out and make it with beef as well, which inspired me to also create an Instant Pot Couscous with Ground Beef Recipe. It is delicious!

close up of chicken israeli couscous in a serving bowl

If you have been using my recipes for a while, you know I love easy, and this Instant Pot Couscous with Chicken is no exception. You will use already cooked and shredded chicken for this recipe. You will love how fast you can have a delicious and hearty meal on the table for your family to enjoy!

chicken and israeli couscous on a plate

What is Couscous?

It took some research and several years before finally realizing I could buy “marmahon” here in the States. Based on the comments I’ve been seeing from my readers, I see I’m not the only one. The equivalent to marmahon is Pearl Couscous, also called Israeli Couscous.

side view of chicken and couscous on a plate

Pearl couscous is essentially little toasted pasta balls. Couscous is made of semolina or wheat flour and tastes like pasta. They were created in Israel in the 1950s due to a rice shortage. Couscous is very versatile and you can cook it like you would pasta.

Essential Items

Here are some essential prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.

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Can I Make Instant Pot Couscous?

Absolutely! It takes very little time to cook couscous in the Instant Pot and it comes out perfect every time. I love that it’s a one-pot clean-up, and there’s no need to drain the liquid, much like pasta.

close up of homemade chicken couscous

It’s usually a dum- and-start meal when you’re making couscous, but there have been times I used the saute feature successfully with it as well.

What can I Serve With Couscous?

You can serve couscous as a side dish or as a main course when made with chicken or beef. As a side dish, it will pair well with just about any meat or even fish. As a main meal, you can serve couscous with a side of salad or bread.

instant pot chicken couscous

Any way you make it, you will enjoy it! I’m a big fan and I consider it a comfort meal. Maybe because it reminds me of home.

If you need step-by-step directions for cooking Instant Pot Couscous with Chicken, keep reading below. If not, feel free to scroll down to the recipe card and get started making this delicious and super easy recipe.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Couscous

Here you’ll learn, step-by-step, how to make this Israeli couscous with chicken recipe in the Instant Pot. This Instant Pot recipe is such a simple dish to make because it only requires a few ingredients that you just dump in the Instant Pot and start cooking. This is a dump meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights when you need a delicious dinner ready in minutes.

What’s the best thing about this couscous recipe?

My family absolutely loves the pearl couscous, savory chicken, and vegetables in this recipe. It fills the kids up and makes their tummies happy. We never have leftovers with this one.

Step 1: Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Couscous

As I said, this simple couscous recipe uses simple ingredients like pearl couscous, pre-cooked and shredded chicken, diced carrots and peas, and chicken stock. To give this recipe it’s wonderful flavor, I use a special spice packet that’s sold at most grocery stores.

  • Israeli Couscous: These tiny pasta balls are so wonderful. Plus, they’re so easy to make in the Instant Pot and are perfect for just about any pasta dish. You should be able to find Israeli Couscous, also known as Pearl Couscous, in most of your local supermarkets. It’s also available at Walmart and Trader Joe’s.
  • Pre-cooked and shredded chicken: Most supermarkets carry pre-cooked and shredded chicken. If you can’t find any at your local supermarket, you could shred a rotisserie chicken or use my shredded chicken recipe to make the chicken ahead of time.
  • Frozen Peas and Carrots: The frozen peas and carrots add lots of wonderful color to this dish, plus some sweetness and nutrition. And, you can’t beat how easy they are to prepare.
  • Unsalted Chicken Stock: I use unsalted chicken stock in almost all of my recipes because it lets me control the amount of sodium that goes into the dish.
  • Seasonings: I use a packet of Sazon Goya with Azafran for this recipe and it gives the couscous, chicken, and veggies such a wonderful flavor. You can find Sazon Goya at most of your local supermarket and Walmart.

Step 2: Layer the Ingredients into the Instant Pot

First, add the shredded chicken to the pot, then layer the pearl couscous and frozen peas and carrots on top.

Step 3: Prepare the Chicken Stock

Measure out 3 cups of unsalted chicken stock and add the salt and packet of Sazon Goya with Azafran to it. Stir in the seasonings until they fully dissolve into the stock.

Step 4: Pour the Seasoned Stock into the Pot

Next pour the seasoned chicken stock over the ingredients in the Instant Pot.

Step 5: Close the Instant Pot and Set the Cook Time

Close the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to ‘Sealing’, select the ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ function, make sure the pressure level is set to ‘High Pressure’, and set the cooking time to 6 minutes.

Step 6: Open the Instant Pot

Once the 6-minute cook time has completed, perform a quick pressure release (QPR) by immediately turning the pressure release valve to venting. After all of the pressure has been released and the pin has dropped, open the Instant Pot and mix the couscous and other ingredients.

Serve and Enjoy Your Chicken Couscous

That was super easy, right? Now it’s time to get that hungry family fed!

I really hope that you have a chance to make this super easy Instant Pot recipe for your family. I always loved it as a kid, now my kids love it, and I know that yours will love it also. If you do try this recipe, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below.

Instant Pot Chicken Couscous


4.76 from 25 votes
Cooking Method(s)
  • Pressure Cooking
Pressure LevelHigh
Program SettingManual / Pressure Cook
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
6 minutes
Total Time
11 minutes
Recipe by: Valerie Cooper
Pearl couscous, shredded chicken, peas, and carrots come together to make a quick and easy Instant Pot dump meal that’s full of flavor.
chicken couscous on a large white plate

Essential Equipment

  • instant pot
  • stackable measuring cups



  • Layer The Ingredients In The Pot: First, add the shredded chicken to the pot and then layer the pearl couscous on top. Next layer the peas and carrots on top of the shredded chicken and couscous.
  • Add The Chicken Stock And Seasonings: Add the salt and Goya seasoning packets to the chicken stock and stir them in until the seasonings are fully dissolved into the stock. Pour the seasoned stock over the ingredients in the pot.
  • 6-Minute Cook Time: Close the Instant Pot, set the pressure release valve to ‘Sealing’, and then set the cook time to 6 minutes on ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’, ‘High Pressure’.
  • Quick Pressure Release: Once the 6-minute cook time has completed, perform a quick pressure release (QPR).
  • Open the Pot: Once the remaining pressure has been released and the pin has dropped, open the Instant Pot and mix the couscous and chicken together.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 480mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2245IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg

Common Questions & Answers

What is couscous? Couscous is a tiny pasta made of semolina flour and water. The pasta is pressed and rolled into tiny beads that are then dried. There are two kinds of couscous: couscous and Israeli couscous. Couscous is very tiny granules of pasta that look like grains. On the other hand, Israeli couscous is made of much larger granules – about the size of a pearl. This is why Israeli couscous is also called pearl couscous.

Is couscous healthy? Yes, couscous can be a healthy option when it is eaten in moderation and doesn’t replace your intake of whole grains. Though it is a great source of two important minerals, selenium and potassium, it lacks the fiber and other important nutrients that whole grains can provide.  However, whole wheat couscous is also available and is more nutritious and packs more than double the fiber of regular couscous.

How do you cook couscous in the Instant Pot? Couscous is very versatile and super easy to prepare. You’ll want to cook it with water or broth and add whatever seasonings you wish. The nice thing about couscous is that it absorbs the flavors that you cook it with. It is perfect for making on the stovetop or in an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with garlic bread. This recipe is great with some garlic bread. I like to brush slices of french bread with butter, sprinkle them with garlic powder, and Italian seasoning and then toast them in the oven.

Serve with a salad. This recipe is great served with a simple garden salad with your favorite dressing.

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31 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chicken Couscous”

  1. 5 stars
    I realized that I hadn’t made this in a while so I made another half batch of it and it’s great! I now keep Israeli Couscous as a staple item and I hadn’t before! Thanks for a great one! I’ll make this one time and time again as time goes by!

  2. I’m from Honduras as well, I had forgotten about Israeli couscous and chicken.
    The way I remember it was a meal made by the Turcos.
    I eat couscous often as a salad, the Israeli way with lots of parsley, red onion, tomatoes and lemon.
    I tried your version and is tasty.
    I find it strange, I left Honduras almost 40 years ago. This is the first time I tried and made something.
    I copy recipe from Central America but never attempt to make them.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Lily! I’m glad you enjoyed it! You are correct, they usually make it with whole pieces of chicken, like a leg, etc. I tried to make it easier! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. I have lots of other Honduran recipes you should try!

  3. I’ve made this twice now. The first time the only couscous I could find was the stuff in the box from Near East. I got my very first burn message in the IP with that stuff and it was semi-ok. Then, finally, like a year later or so I got the right stuff from Amazon and then made it and it was great! I still have half of the cannister and will be making this again soon! Thanks for introducing me to couscous because before I saw your recipe I had no idea what it was! I’d seen an old Benny Hill sketch where he talks about couscous and said it was more like something else. It’s good stuff! Thanks again!

  4. Valerie, lo mismo me paso. Me mude a Canada ya hace 10 años sin saber que se podia comprar “marmahon”. Este fin de semana compre uno de esos dinner subscription boxes y, oh sorpresa, venian los ingredinete para Israeli couscous…te imaginaras mi felicidad !!

  5. I can’t find the sazon Goya con azafran. Can I use a different packet? My store has Goya Coriander & Annatto Seasoning. Or is there another seasoning I can use?

  6. This is the most delicious cous cous I’ve ever had!!!! Hubby was equally impressed! Followed the directions exactly and it came out amazing! Thank you so much for this recipe!!!

  7. This recipe was a complete failure! Before it even can to pressure it sent a burn notice and it was stuck to the bottom. Fallowed recipe exact.

    1. Hi Rebecca! I’m sorry to hear this happened. This recipe should definitely not cause a burn message. It doesn’t have any tomatoes which usually are a problem, and nothing is sauteed before pressure cooking since the chicken is already cooked. It has plenty of liquid and as long as you put in the ingredients in the right order you shouldn’t have a problem. I just made it a couple of days ago myself. Did you use pre-cooked chicken? Add the right amount of liquid? Use pearl couscous? Put the ingredients in the order I said above? I’ve had a lot of people make this recipe from Facebook and all have been successful so I’d love to get to the bottom of why it didn’t work for you. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Mine did too. It’s because of the couscous being on the bottom. The burn sign will go away though and it’ll start up

    2. My instant pot was doing this for other recipes. It’s a chip malfunction and needs to be returned. They’ll take it back no questions asked. 🙂

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