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.
Old-School King Ranch Chicken Casserole
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 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.
- Combine soups, broth, Ro-Tel tomatoes and remaining chile powder; blend until smooth.
- Place a layer of tortillas (5) in the bottom of a greased casserole dish.
- Spoon in half your chicken, then layer with half of the onions, bell peppers, jalapeño, sauce, and finally cheese.
- Repeat layers, ending with cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, or until it’s just starting to bubble
- Scatter Fritos on top of casserole, and continue baking for another 10 minutes, until chips are lightly browned.