Once upon a time, rice and pasta reigned supreme as the side dish staple for American dinner plates. But as the country collectively became more adventurous, new foods came onto the scene and have never left since. One of those foods was couscous. Over the last several years, the Mediterranean semolina quickly found its way off supermarket shelves and into pantries across the country. And why not? It’s super easy to make, extremely versatile and can be a healthy substitute for heartier carbs. Check out these 20 exciting + yummy couscous recipes to mix up your meal routine.

1. Roasted Asparagus Salad With Israeli Couscous: This chilled salad with roasted asparagus is the perfect refreshing dish to bring to a summer picnic or to whip up when you’re looking for something light + flavorful. (via Feasting at Home)

2. Mediterranean Harissa Stew With Purple Sweet Potato: If you’re craving something warm and hearty, consider whipping up this Mediterranean stew. The harissa, cumin, coriander and cinnamon create an out-of-this-world flavor that goes deliciously with the sweet potato and Israeli couscous. (via Vegan Miam)

3. Couscous-Stuffed Onions: Tired of the same old vegetable and couscous mix? Try stuffing it into a red onion and baking it for an extra savory kick. Plus it looks so pretty! (via Foto e Fornelli)

4. Mediterranean Couscous Salad: This light and fluffy salad features bright vegetables and a citrusy vinaigrette that will simultaneously delight and refresh your palette. (via Food Faith Fitness)

5. Sriracha BBQ Chickpea Couscous: If heat is what you’re looking for, heat is what you’ll get with this. The sriracha and homemade BBQ sauce pack a mean punch, and the chickpeas and couscous will leave you full and satisfied. (via In Vegetables We Trust)

6. Caprese-Style Stuffed Tomatoes With Balsamic Reduction: Swap in this mozzarella and basil tomato recipe the next time you have a hankering for pasta. It’s got all the same herbaceous goodness with half the carbs. A win-win if you ask us! (via Apples and Sparkle)

7. Roasted Fennel and Israeli Couscous Salad: Any combination of roasted vegetables tossed with a carb base works, but when you throw roasted fennel, toasted hazelnuts and goat cheese with your couscous, you’re basically taking dinner to another level. (via Love and Olive Oil)

8. Grilled Vegetable Couscous: Roasting vegetables is great, but since it’s summer and all, why not grill them? This recipe calls for corn, portabello mushrooms and all colors of peppers. (via Proud Italian Cook)

9. Couscous Cakes: With a few eggs, you can transform pretty much anything into a patty. But if you’re going to be doing that anytime soon, consider making them with couscous. It’s great as is with a little bit of yogurt sauce or alongside grilled salmon to create a complete meal. (via Feastie)

10. Couscous Stuffed Mini Eggplant: By now you’ve learned that stuffing couscous into a vegetable is a great way to prepare it, but this might take the cake. The herb-dressed couscous with mushrooms pair handsomely with the eggplant and a zesty shallot cream. Heavenly! (via The Veg Life)

11. Poached Eggs Over Toasted Couscous: Got some leftover couscous? Toast it in a pan, throw some poached eggs and garlicky greens in and you have the perfect weekend brunch. (via Love and Lemons)

12. Smokey Sweet Potato Cous Cous Mushroom Veggie Burgers: Add some extra oomph to your typical veggie burger with the addition of couscous. It’s a great way to bulk up your patties, while keeping them healthy and flavorful. (via Hippopotamousse)

13. Chicken Mango Curry Couscous: Take your tummy on a tropical vacation with this curry chicken and mango couscous salad. (via Fashionable Hostess)

14. Chorizo, Chicken and Chickpea Soup: You may not think to put couscous into a soup, but it’s the perfect alternative to pasta or rice, especially in this chorizo, chicken and chickpea stew. (via Ren Behan)

15. Couscous Paella With Shrimp: Traditional paella can take hours to make, but when you use couscous, it’ll take you 15 minutes. Everyone has time for at least 15 minutes. (via The Dinner Mom)

16. Stuffed Romano Peppers With Turkey and Israeli Couscous: These stuffed peppers may look small, but the flavor is big. There are over six different spices, from cumin to turmeric, mixed into the couscous and ground turkey. (via Ricotta and Radishes)

17. Cucumber, Mango and Avocado Israeli Couscous Salad: This is a salad built with all kinds of textures: chewy Israeli couscous, creamy avocado, sweet mango, spicy chile, fresh cucumber and mint — need we say more? (via Foodess)

18. Israeli Couscous With Heirloom Carrots: The tanginess of the pomegranates, crunchiness of the nuts and sweetness of the heirloom carrots create a harmonious bite that’ll have you coming back for more. (via Highgate Hill Kitchen)

19. North African Spiced Shrimp and Roasted Summer Vegetable Couscous: Couscous is no longer bland nor basic with this North African mix of exotic spices, including aleppo and turmeric. (via Simply Scratch)

20. Avocado, Cherry Tomato and Apricot Couscous Salad: The addition of apricots add a sweet and fruity punch to this fresh and savory couscous salad. (via Food Porn Vegan Style)

How do you like to prepare your couscous? Dish in the comments below!