Peppery Meat Loaf with Couscous

Peppery Meat Loaf with Couscous
Peppery Meat Loaf with Couscous
This image courtesy of Colin Ericcson

Editor's Note: If you've never cooked with couscous before, then this recipe for Peppery Meat Loaf with Couscous is one you need to try! This contemporary take on the beloved dish will be a welcome addition to your meal planning. This recipe for meat loaf with couscous boasts an assortment of additional ingredients, including Italian sausage, red bell pepper, and herbs and spices. The result is a flavorful beef recipe that is easy to make and one that you will want to make for months to come. This meat loaf recipe can be served with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables for a delicious and filling dinner.

I love the range of mouth-watering tastes in this recipe, which combines old-fashioned meat loaf with Mediterranean flavors such as red peppers, paprika, cumin, and coriander. Serve this with baked potatoes in their skins and a tossed salad.

Makes8 servings

Cooking MethodBaking



Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get Together

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationHealthy


Taste and TextureMeaty, Savory, Spiced


  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup reduced-sodium beef stock or water
  • ¾ cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • 8 oz. Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium tomato sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (see Notes below)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. In a saucepan, bring water and beef stock to a boil. Gradually stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat and set aside or let stand until couscous is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork before using.

  3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, sausage, onion, bell pepper, parsley, eggs, all but 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce, paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne and couscous. Using your hands, mix until well blended. Transfer to a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and spread remaining 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce over top. Bake in preheated oven until temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour.


Substitute spelt or barley couscous for the whole wheat version.

For the best flavor, toast whole cumin and coriander seeds and grind them yourself. To toast seeds, spread in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar or a spice grinder and grind.


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