Food & Drink Magazine

Baked Wonton Cups with Queso, Southwestern Chicken Salad & Cranberry Guacamole

By Weavethousandflavors

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - 02 
Be grateful I don't know where you live or else I'd be knocking on your door insisting you fix these!

It all started when I received a free sample of Tyson, Grilled & Ready Southwestern Chicken Breast strips as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker's program. I have been tossing several ideas in my head for weeks now just because of the versatile nature of the product.

What can you not do with ready and grilled chicken breast strips? And in so far that there are a million options, there is room for a dizzying amount of confusion. I began with the thought for pies leading to fajitas, crostatas en route to pizzas only to begin with a blossom of an idea &  land right here on the foot steps of,  Baked Wonton Cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad & Cranberry Guacamole Topping.

Why this and no other you ask?

It seemed silly really to begin with a product that could be used in a jiffy, at a moment's notice only to turn it into some culinary saga that would take forever in sweat equity to bring to the table. Kinda nullifies the whole point of picking up these Tyson, Grilled & Ready chicken breasts at the supermarket to begin with, non?

This brings home another important point that instead of poking and prodding and brooding as we so often like to do with an idea, sometime it's best to leave a thought in the subconscious long enough so it can shave off the excess, leaving you with the most appropriate and all together satisfying solution.

This solution dearies is far from mundane I assure you. The crisp oven baked wonton cups, lined with queso fresco cheese, filled to the brim with a dazzling chicken, southwestern black bean & corn salad only to reach a taste crescendo, when topped with a sweet and tart cranberry guacamole is sure to put a spring in your step especially, when quite unknown to those around you've pulled it off in less than 30 minutes!

I say bring on that pitcher of margharita and we'll all have something to sing and dance about!

 

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Ingredients

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Prepare Ingredients
 

Gather the ingredients- 1 # 6 oz packet Tyson, Grilled & Ready Southwestern Chicken Breast strips, can of black beans, small can corn kernels, lemon, small red onion, ground cumin, hot hungarian paprika or cayenne pepper, salt, ripe avocados, garlic cloves, cilantro leaves, dried, sweetened cranberries, vegetable oil, Queso Fresco cheese, 1 packet (min. 24-36) store-bought wonton wrappers. 

Also required is non-stick spray & 1 # 12 cup muffin pan

Prepare the ingredients -

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Chop chicken strips

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Prepare salad
 

Tyson, Grilled & Ready Southwestern Chicken Breast strips - Chop into 1/4" pieces and set aside.

Black beans - Empty into a sieve and run tap over the beans to wash. Drain.

Corn kernels - Empty into a sieve to drain. Set aside

lemon - Juice and set aside

Red onion - Peel, cut away ends and finely chop to yield 1/2 cup.

Cilantro - Wash and finely chop leaves.

Ripe avocados - Halve, remove and discard seed. Slash each half to form a grid into the avocado fruit (not cutting into the skin). Scoop out with a spoon into a bowl.

Garlic cloves - peel, discard skin and finely chop

Queso Fresco cheese - Crumble and set aside.

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Prepare Guacamole

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Combine Guacamole
 

In a small bowl, combine the cut avocadoes, dried cranberries, 1/2 tsp salt, juice of 1/2 lemon and cilantro leaves. Combine with the spoon, mashing a little as you stir. Taste and adjust salt and refrigerate till ready to use.

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Assemble salad
Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Combine salad

In a large mixing bowl, add the drained black beans, corn, chopped chicken, 2 tbs lemon juice, chopped onions, cumin, paprika/cayenne pepper, salt and vegetable oil. Stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside in the refrigerator till ready to use.

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Line pan with wontons
 
Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Bake wonton cups
 
 

Spray the muffin pan with non-stick baking spray. Line each cup with 2 wonton wrappers staggering the edges so the edges of the 2 do not meet.

Bake for about 7 minutes.

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Line wonton cups with Queso

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - Bake filled wonton cups
 
 
Remove from the oven and add 1 tbs crumbled Queso Fresca cheese in each muffin cup. Fill each cup with 2 tbs-full heapful of the chicken and bean salad.

Once all the wonton cups are filled, return the muffin pan to the oven for about 6-1/2 minutes just until the Queso cheese has melted.

Wonton cups with Southwestern Chicken Salad - 03
 

Top each cup with 1/2 tbs heapful cold cranberry guacamole and serve immediately.

Were it possible to read with your eyes closed, that's what I'd ask you to!

Imagine for a moment sinking your teeth into a crisp wonton wrapper shell and then the first burst of chicken, bean and spices as it first hits your mouth. Just when you have savored this first moment, you sink your teeth into the guacamole and now oh! the sweetness of the cranberries comes out to play with all the other crispy, spicy flavors and textures and there is nothing to do but go hmmmm.......words? who needs words?

 

Recipe for

Baked Wonton Cups with Queso, Southwestern Chicken Salad & Cranberry Guacamole

Makes 12 cups with leftover salad or 18 wonton cups

Preparation time - 15 minutes

Baking - 14-15 minutes 

Shopping list 

1 # 6 oz packet Tyson, Grilled & Ready Southwestern Chicken Breast strips

1 can black beans

1 small can corn kernels

1 lemon

1 small red onion (to yield 1/2 cup finely chopped)

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp hot hungarian paprika or cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2 ripe avocados

3 garlic cloves

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, packed

1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries

1 tbs vegetable oil for salad

More vegetable oil for basting wontons

4 oz Queso Fresco cheese

1 packet (min. 24-36) store-bought wonton wrappers

Also required is non-stick spray & 1 # 12 cup muffin pan

Preparation- 

Tyson, Grilled & Ready Southwestern Chicken Breast strips - Chop into 1/4" pieces and set aside.

Black beans - Empty into a sieve and run tap over the beans to wash. Drain.

Corn kernels - Empty into a sieve to drain. Set aside

lemon - Juice and set aside

Red onion - Peel, cut away ends and finely chop to yield 1/2 cup.

Cilantro - Wash and finely chop leaves.

Ripe avocados - Halve, remove and discard seed. Slash each half to form a grid into the avocado fruit (not cutting into the skin). Scoop out with a spoon into a bowl.

Garlic cloves - peel, discard skin and finely chop

Queso Fresco cheese - Crumble and set aside.

Cooking Method - 

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

In a small bowl, combine the cut avocadoes, dried cranberries, 1/2 tsp salt, juice of 1/2 lemon and cilantro leaves. Combine with the spoon, mashing a little as you stir. Taste and adjust salt and refrigerate till ready to use.

In a large mixing bowl, add the drained black beans, corn, chopped chicken, 2 tbs lemon juice, chopped onions, cumin, paprika/cayenne pepper, salt and vegetable oil. Stir to throughly combine. Set aside in the refrigerator till ready to use.

Spray the muffin pan with non-stick baking spray. Line each cup with 2 wonton wrappers staggering the edges so the edges of the 2 do not meet.

Bake for about 7 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add 1 tbs crumbled Queso Fresca cheese in each muffin cup. Fill each cup with 2 tbs-full chicken and bean salad.

Once all the wonton cups are filled, return the muffin pan to the oven for about 6-1/2 minutes just until the Queso cheese has melted.

Top each cup with 1/2 tbs cold cranberry guacamole and serve immediately!

Enjoy! 


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