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I’m returning to Texas this week for vacation, so I thought I’d celebrate early by making a Texas standard: King Ranch Casserole. There are several recipes out there for fancy or healthy king ranch casserole, where you sauté the onions and peppers  or use cream cheese as a substitute. But honestly, when you want to make a gooey, cheesy casserole, you are looking for a quick dinner that will satisfy and not take up a lot of time in the kitchen. So old-school, canned soup version it is.

Easy King Ranch Casserole

Do you like how I converted my too-large lasagna pan into a square casserole pan using foil?

Old-School King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Homesick Texan

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast meat (1 full breast from a medium chicken), skinned, de-boned, cut into quarters
  • 2 tsp. of chile powder (divided)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced
  • OPTIONAL: 2 jalapeño, seeds and stem removed
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes
  • 2 cups Fritos (or other tortilla chip), crushed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season chicken pieces with 1 tsp. chile powder, cumin, and salt. Heat skillet to medium-high, coat with 1 tsp. oil and cook chicken, 6-8 min. per side until cooked through. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then shred into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Combine soups, broth, Ro-Tel tomatoes and remaining chile powder; blend until smooth.
  4. Place a layer of tortillas (5) in the bottom of a greased casserole dish.
  5. Spoon in half your chicken, then layer with half of the onions, bell peppers, jalapeño, sauce, and finally cheese.
  6. Repeat layers, ending with cheese.
  7. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until it’s just starting to bubble
  8. Scatter Fritos on top of casserole, and continue baking for another 10 minutes, until chips are lightly browned.
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