No, couscous is not gluten-free.
Despite its rice-like appearance, couscous is made from semolina, which is a granule of durum wheat. Therefore, it is not gluten-free. Couscous is commonly mistaken for being gluten-free. If you see this listed on a gluten-free menu in a restaurant, Beyond Celiac encourages you to consider opting for a different restaurant.
While some varieties of couscous may be made with gluten-free grains, it is still important to ensure that safe gluten-free preparation processes have been followed. When selecting these options from a menu, ask questions about the use of other cooking ingredients that may be a source of gluten (such as bouillon, broths and roux or flour for thickening) as well as preparation practices (such as boiling gluten-free foods in the same water as wheat-based pasta). Remember – when in doubt, go without.
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