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Recipe for King Ranch Chicken Casserole

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To me, good casseroles taste good, are easy to assemble, and don’t require dirtying more than 2 pots. And that’s if you’re not paying attention. That said, sometimes you don’t know if you’re about to make a good dish, especially if it’s new. But then there are the classics. The ones that have been around for generations, like this recipe for King Ranch chicken casserole.

Many people believe that King Ranch chicken casserole has been around for at least 80 years. Since it’s prepared with both condensed chicken and condensed mushroom soups, this seems a likely time frame. That’s because Campbell’s introduced condensed mushroom soup in 1934, while condensed chicken soup came out in 1947. And both types of condensed soups feature in King Ranch chicken casserole.

casserole dish with layers of tortillas and mixture of food

Others believe the recipe originated at King Ranch, the largest ranch in the world. Although the owners deny this allegation, because they’ve focused on beef, not poultry. Therefore, nobody really knows the exact beginning of this timeless southern casserole.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Ingredients:

layer of shredded chicken on a casserole dish
  • 1 1/2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • **22 corn tortillas
  • 10.5 oz can each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup
  • 1 c each of diced onions and diced bell pepper
  • 10 oz of Rotel
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 c shredded Mexican blend cheese

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Instructions:

layer of cheese in casserole dish
  • Spray 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Next, line the dish with a layer of corn tortillas.
  • Then saute´ onions and green peppers in butter over medium heat. When soft, add soups and chili powder. Stir till well combined.
  • Pour layer of soup mixture over tortillas, then layer with shredded chicken, and then layer with shredded cheese. Repeat layers. When done, pour over all the Rotel.
  • Then bake one hour in 350° oven.
King Ranch chicken casserole with tortillas and tomatoes

**I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who’s been making King Ranch chicken casserole for at least 40 years. And her recipe calls for a 2-3 lb fryer chicken, but I don’t like having to deal with that mess. I find it’s much easier working with chicken breasts. In addition, most of the classic recipes call for only a dozen corn tortillas, which makes me think I distribute my layers sparingly.

Also, I boil my chicken, which makes shredding so much simpler. However you can buy a roasted chicken and shred that instead. It’s really up to you and what’s easier. Furthermore, you can add more heat to spice things up. And then there are newer varieties of the recipe which call for chips instead of tortillas. But the idea is still the same: a comfort food that’s easy to make.

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By KS

I breed pure Black Ameraucana chickens and Easter Eggers that are Black Ameraucana mixed with either Cuckoo Maran or Barred Rock. And I donate eggs to people or organizations in need.

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