Boy is it hot out there people. We’ve been in scorching 90 degree temperatures again (hello, personal hell) which means I’ve been doing everything possible to avoid heating the house. No one wants to cook over a hot stove when it’s unbearably warm outside and more important, no one wants to eat heavy meals. Today’s recipe is (almost) no-cook and is light enough for even the hottest of days. These Southwestern Chicken Pita Pockets whip up in about twenty minutes or so (there is prep time involved) and the only cooking required is to heat up the pita bread. Even that’s optional too. Keep reading and you’ll see…
Let’s start with the chicken. This is essentially a beefed up chicken salad. I bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store that contributed the main protein for this meal and another recipe I’ll be sharing soon. You only need about two cups of cooked chicken chopped or shredded and an average rotisserie chicken will give you around four. It’s a great way to save a few bucks since four chicken breasts at the butcher will average around the same price as a whole rotisserie chicken. The chicken gets tossed with corn, you can use frozen, canned or fresh corn cut off the cob. If you use frozen, let it thaw and drain first. I used the canned variety. Toss the chicken with the corn, black beans, romaine lettuce, buttermilk ranch dressing, olives, tomatoes and cheese. I prefer the flavor of buttermilk ranch but if you like a bit more tang to your dressing, regular ranch will work fine as well. Let that sit while you prepare the pitas.
Pita pockets are pita bread with slits in the center to create little pocket holes. They’re a great sandwich alternative and can be found in the bread aisle. There’s not much of a difference than regular bread nutrition-wise but it’s somehow lighter to me. Warming the pitas up for a few seconds over a grill pan will make them more pliable and wake the flavor up a bit but if you want to skip heat altogether, it’s not necessary. Grab a pita pocket, stuff it with the chicken salad, and voila! You have a quick, tasty dinner that won’t feel like a brick has sunk to your stomach. Great for summertime, right?! Hopefully these scorchers will only be occasional occurrences but if the weather since May is any indication, we’ll be having one hot summer. With that said, be ready for more easy peasy recipes that are low to no heat. It’s going to be a light summer when it comes to food.
Southwestern Chicken Pita Pockets
2 cups cooked Chicken, shredded or diced
1 cup Corn
14 oz. Black Beans, drained and rinsed well
2 cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped
½ cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
6oz. sliced Black Olives
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
4 Pita Pockets
1 - In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, corn, black beans, romaine lettuce, black olives, cherry tomatoes, buttermilk ranch and cheese.
2 - Warm each pita pocket by heating 2-3 minutes per side on a grill pan. Fill each pocket with the chicken mixture and serve.