King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Some recipes are so simple and so yummy, you almost want to kick yourself for forgetting about them for long stretches of time.  King Ranch Chicken is one of those recipes for me.

You get the comfort food aspect of casserole, the fun of lasagna-style assembly, and the deliciousness of things covered in cheese.  What more is there to love?  This week I was scheduled to bring meals to a couple of families, so I turned my kitchen into a chicken factory and got to work boiling, chopping, layering, and baking!  Tripling this recipe was quite easy – just make sure to use a very large pan when sautéing the veggies so you don’t run out of room for the sauce.

The casserole is rumored to have originated from the famous King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas. My paternal grandmother was an alumna of the teacher’s college now known as Texas A&M Kingsville, so naturally, this was one of her regular dinner staples! Southern Living calls this a church covered dish classic, and when I suggested I would bring it for my Yankee friend, she said she obviously didn’t have enough church suppers in her life. I think it’s just a shortage of Texan grandmothers!

Layers in progress…

Substitutions: I used butter instead of margarine.  For the chicken, I boiled boneless skinless chicken breasts for about 20 minutes, then cut them into large bite-size pieces once they cooled.  I also used kitchen scissors to cut the tortillas into pieces.

You can kick up the heat with Ro*Tel Hot or hot sauce, if you like things spicy!

This recipe adapted from the one found on the Ro*Tel website.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Cooking spray
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 can (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 can (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
12 corn tortillas (6 inch), torn into bite-size pieces
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat, then add bell pepper and onion; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in both soups, undrained tomatoes and chicken.

In your dish, layer one-third each of tortillas, chicken mixture and cheese. Repeat layers twice more. Bake uncovered 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

2 thoughts on “King Ranch Chicken Casserole

  1. Unknown

    As the above mentioned Yankee friend I can confirm this was delicious!!! We ate it wrapped up in tortillas which meant it was fun for my 3 year old and easy one handed eating for me while I fed my newborn.


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