Within a few bites, my family asked me to put this healthy Cheesy Chicken, Salsa & Couscous Soup recipe in our regular dinner rotation. Done! Thank you to Sargento Cheese for helping me share this recipe with you.
Have you ever watched reality adventure shows and wondered how you would do if you were dropped off in the middle of the forest, with nothing but a knife and a couple of matches? I run through that same kind of scenario in my head whenever I watch Chopped on The Food Network.
I’m in the appetizer round and we open our secret baskets to find squid, licorice, zucchini and quail eggs. What do I make?
The thought of that makes me break into a cold sweat. But my boys…they are all about the Chopped battles and we have staged two epic ones in our own kitchen. Brother against brother. My husband and I chose the ingredients and the boys had 30 minutes to whip up something tasty and unusual, highlighting the four secret ingredients. They both came up with completely different dishes (the beauty of the concept!) and were so proud of themselves.
So, when I was challenged to come up with a dish, using four ingredients, Chopped-style, I knew I couldn’t refuse…at least not without getting flak from my boys.
The ingredients? Sargento® Off the Block 4 Cheese Mexican, chicken tenders, salsa and couscous.
I can do this, I can do this. Gloves on, in the corner of the ring, ready to come out fighting…and go!
Saute the chicken tenders, cook some savory vegetables (onions, carrots and celery) and simmer in broth along with a helping of salsa. The broth becomes rich and flavorful, the perfect nest for the tender chicken, black beans, whole wheat pearl couscous (bigger and heartier than regular couscous) and a good-sized helping of the creamy 4 cheese Mexican cheese (Monterey Jack, mild cheddar, queso quesadilla and asadero cheeses).
If my husband and two boys made up the panel of judges, I would be the certain $10,000 winner, and not just because I bribed them with bowls of wontons and sweet potato noodles (their favorites). They all went back for seconds and begged me to make the soup again on another night. Done!
Cheesy Chicken, Salsa & Couscous Soup Recipe
- 2 teaspoon olive oil divided
- 1 pound chicken tenders cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 carrots cut into semi-circles
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup salsa
- 5 ¼ cups fat-free chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup black beans
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pearl couscous
- 1 cup Sargento off-the-block 4 Cheese Mexican shredded cheese
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- In a large nonstick saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil in the saucepan.
- Add the onion, carrots and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cumin. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the salsa, chicken broth and water. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the corn, black beans and pearl couscous. Cook until the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the cheese until melted. Stir in the cilantro. Serve.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.