Let’s be real: In a world of casseroles, the cheesiest one is king.
And in my house, the crown goes to this creamy, cheesy Mexican couscous casserole. It’s made with chicken and black beans and salsa and sour cream and DID I MENTION THE MELTY, OOEY-GOOEY CHEESE. Because there’s a lot of it in there. And I kind of love it.
The great folks of Sargento® are hosting a “Chopped At Home” contest, where entrants cook at home using a selected “basket” of ingredients (just like the show, y’all!) including Sargento shredded cheese that is cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese, for a chance to win $10,000 (!). They also asked a few bloggers including yours truly to come up with a recipe in the “Chopped” style by using four ingredients: boneless chicken tenders, salsa, couscous and Sargento Off the Block 4 Cheese Mexican shredded cheese (which is a tasty, quick-melting blend of Monterey Jack, Mild Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses).
My contribution? The cheesiest of all the casseroles that comes together in less than an hour. BOOM SHAKA LAKA.
Of course, if I were really on the “Chopped” show, I think putting cheese in anything I make would be taking the easy route — because it would always win (along with any combination of peanut butter and chocolate, amiright). But that’s the thing we all know about cheese: It’s DELICIOUS. And this particular blend of Mexican cheeses is my new favorite way to get cheese into my life. I’ve been putting it in and on everything, from this casserole to grilled cheese, quesadillas, omelettes and pasta salad. I love the way it melts but it’s also just as yummy un-melted and tossed into cold dishes. Or placed directly from the bag to my mouth. That method has been pretty tasty, too.
While I know the warmer springtime weather is giving us all the itch to eat more light and quick meals that keep us out of the kitchen, there are still those lingering chilly days left when all I want to do is cozy up to a plate of casserole goodness. And since cheese never goes out of season, I can see myself coming back to this zesty, creamy, flavorful dish all year long. Top it with fresh cilantro, serve it with avocado or extra sour cream and salsa, scoop it up with tortilla chips and wash it down with a margarita — all of the above I have done and will do again.
Along with eating that cheese straight from the bag. Can’t stop/won’t stop.
P.S. Don’t forget about that chance to win $10,000, friends! Head over to the “Chopped At Home” contest website for more details on how to get yo’ hands on some serious moolah.
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup milk
- 1 lb cooked boneless chicken tenders, shredded
- 2 cups salsa
- ½ cup couscous, prepared according to package directions (about 2 cups prepared)
- 2 (8 oz) packages Sargento Off the Block 4 Cheese Mexican shredded cheese
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Chopped cilantro, for topping (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, stir sour cream and milk until mixture is smooth and heated through.
- In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, salsa, prepared couscous, 1 package Sargento Off the Block 4 Cheese Mexican shredded cheese and black beans. Add sour cream mixture and stir to combine.
- Spread mixture into prepared casserole dish. Top with half of second package of Sargento shredded cheese (about 1 cup).
- Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes; uncover and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until mixture is bubbling and cheese on top is melted. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over top of casserole just before serving.
Available in 30 versatile varieties, unique blends and distinct cuts, Sargento Shredded Cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. For more inspiration, check out the Sargento Pinterest page Pinterest.com/sargentocheese/ or visit Sargento.com for more information. The Chopped at Home Challenge gives viewers a chance to create their best recipe using the selected basket ingredients, including Sargento Shredded Cheese, for a chance to win $10,000!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.