One Pot Cacio e Pepe Israeli Couscous

Cacio e Pepe is one of the simple pleasures in life that is oh-so-satisfying and delicious. It also just happens to be one of my favorite foods on planet earth.  Literally meaning “cheese and pepper” the dish tastes like it’s loaded with butter and cream and it’s simply not. This One Pot Cacio e Pepe Israeli Couscous focuses all on technique and getting it just right is actually quite an art, even though the ingredient list might be deceiving. It takes pan sauce making precision to get it just right. 

One Pot Cacio e Pepe Israeli Couscous

So yeah, even though I’ve mastered my own Cacio e Pepe at home, it’s just really hard to write out a recipe and ensure it turns out perfect in everyone’s kitchen… which makes this recipe developer very frustrated. So while I still work on writing the perfect, foolproof recipe I thought of a rather genius idea… this One Pot Cacio e Pepe Israeli Couscous. It’s pretty epic, too.

I really enjoy Israeli couscous, or pearl couscous, for its soft slightly chewy texture. Because it is made from wheat flour, it is not a gluten-free food; however, it is vegetarian and vegan. Israeli couscous also has a low glycemic index, making it a wholesome and high-fiber food. When it is cooked down in water, the starch from the couscous really adds a nice, creamy texture to the pot– making it the perfect candidate for a faux cacio e pepe, and this is the exact inspiration for this dish. 

One Pot Cacio e Pepe Israeli Couscous

By simply stirring in the cheese and pepper with this starchy water combination, the end result mimics the flavors of a classic cacio e pepe and makes it foolproof! 

So here, you can either keep it simple — like cacio e pepe is designed to be — and serve it alone or hey, you do you! Serve alongside grilled steaks for a fancy date night or even top with some seared shrimp or scallops for a nice touch of seafood. You really can’t go wrong!

One Pot Cacio e Pepe Israeli Couscous

One Pot Cacio e Pepe Isreali Couscous

Serves: 2
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • 1.5 cups Israeli couscous, uncooked
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino, plus more for serving parmesiano reggiano is fine
  • 1 tsp parsley, finely chopped


For the Israeli Couscous

  • In a medium pot over high heat, add the Israeli couscous and water. Bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a light simmer. Let cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until liquid has absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. 
  • Once the liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, remove from heat. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir in the pecorino and mix until combined.
  • Top with 3 turns of freshly cracked black pepper,  a sprinkle of freshly grated pecorino and parsley.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • Reply
    August 4, 2022 at 10:41 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve had this recipe on my list to make forever, and I finally had the time and ingredients to make it today. WOW! So simple and so good. I served it with some shrimp and summer vegetables. Thanks for al the great recipes!

    • Reply
      August 7, 2022 at 2:56 pm

      Glad you loved this easy one!

  • Reply
    October 8, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    This is a tried and true recipe in our house! So amazing.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    5 stars
    So full of flavor. A new favorite side for us

  • Reply
    August 17, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    5 stars
    I don’t normally leave comments but just had to come back and say how stellar this was. Great directions. So tasty.

    • Reply
      August 17, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      why thank you so much for taking the time to rate and comment!! Means a lot to me and I am so glad you love the recipe!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    5 stars
    This is addicting, creamy, and delicious! Holy cow! I may have eaten almost the whole pot by myself.

  • Reply
    Dj Brown
    November 25, 2020 at 12:13 am

    5 stars
    I just made this. Sub out the water for chicken bouillon. It was fantastic!!

    • Reply
      December 3, 2020 at 3:03 am

      Excited to try this! What did you serve it with?

      • Reply
        December 3, 2020 at 12:42 pm

        You can either serve alone, I love adding some loosely chopped arugula. OR this pairs well with a pan-seared white flakey fish (halibut is my fave) or some seared scallops! It’s also great with a steak!

    Leave a Reply & Rating

    Recipe Rating

    You Might Also Like

    SDC Instagram