Southwestern couscous bake

Several weeks ago, we discovered our heater was broken just as a cold spell hit Austin (and while our Food Goob Mini was feeling under the weather with a virus, unfortunately; he wore four layers of clothing to bed that night!). We’d been cooking most meals with the Instant Pot in mass quantities since our Food Goob Mini was born so that we’d have ready made frozen dinners on weeknights, but given the circumstances we wanted to use the oven to cook that night so that we could warm the house. Not having ingredients for any recipes on hand, we raided our fridge, freezer, and pantry for random leftover ingredients to make something up. As it turned out, we loved it and are making it again this weekend as a freeze is hitting Austin. 

  

Southwestern Couscous Bake

Ingredients

  • 2 8.8 oz bags Central Market Israeli couscous (the kind that cooks in 10 min)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can green chile stewed tomatoes
  • 1 12 oz bag steam-in-bag super sweet corn, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/2 bag spinach
  • 1/2 bag frozen chopped onions
  • 2 pints mini tomatoes, halved 
  • Coarse ground salt
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • Paprika, liberal sprinkling
  • Crushed red pepper, sprinkling
  • Cumin, liberal sprinkling
  • Yellowbird hot sauce, a few shakes
  • 4-6 C cheddar cheese
  • 2 C Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 lb thin cut chicken breasts + ingredients from this recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare the shredded chicken according to this recipe using an electric pressure cooker.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the couscous with water according to the package instructions. Note that the instructions on the bag are, awkwardly, for cooking about 2/3 of the bag. To save you the calculations, you’ll need 5 C water (2.5 C per bag) to cook two bags.
  4. While the couscous is cooking, saute the onions, fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, black beans, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and hot sauce in olive oil until the tomatoes soften.
  5. After fluffing the cooked couscous with a fork, use the fork to mix in a little olive oil to prevent the couscous from sticking too much, then the corn, spinach, and tomato mixture. If the chicken isn’t ready, cover the mixture until it is, then add it.
  6. Use olive oil to grease two 9×13 baking dishes, then spread the mixture evenly between the two.
  7. Top each dish with shredded cheddar cheese and shredded Colby jack cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.
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