I didn’t make a meal plan for this week. We are having Easter Celebrations with different family members throughout the week, so I wanted to post a family recipe instead. This will be our dinner on Monday night, and hopefully leftovers for lunch on Tuesday.
If you are not familiar with King Ranch Chicken, it is a creamy, comforting casserole that is named after the famous King Ranch–located in south Texas. Known as “The Birthplace of American Ranching,” the King Ranch currently covers about 825,000 acres (more land than the state of Rhode Island). While cattle drives are rooted deep in the King Ranch history, it’s a chicken dish that has become famous among pot lucks and new mom food-trains across the country!
This was the first recipe I made in college for my friends. It was a huge hit! Then, fast forward many years later, it was the first dinner I made for my new in-laws. Thankfully it passed their taste test as well! Whew! 😛
We like to serve our King Ranch with a side of pinto beans, tortilla chips, and salsa. I have also served with a salad for a lighter meal. Either way, you may want to double the recipe because it disappears fast!
King Ranch Chicken
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 pkg yellow corn tortillas
- 1 cup purple onion, diced
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
- 1 can Ro*Tel, undrained
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 13×9″ baking dish by spraying with your favorite cooking oil.
- Chop onions and slice tortillas lengthwise into strips.
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix the soups, Ro*Tel, and chicken broth until well combined.
- Layer 1/3 of the shredded chicken and 1/3 of the chopped onion into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Cover chicken and onion with a layer of corn tortilla strips.
- Pour 1/3 of the soup mixture over the tortillas and spread to cover. Make sure all of the tortillas have some soup mixture over them.
- Next, add 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
- Repeat layers two more times, ending with cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Let stand another 5-10 minutes to allow casserole to thicken.
I hope you enjoy this comforting classic. It’s actually even better the next day–which makes it a great MAKE-AHEAD and/or FREEZER meal. You can also play with the ingredients and add in your familie’s favorite flavors: cilantro, jalapeno, etc. You can be creative…if you don’t like onions, leave them out. It is really up to you! My family likes it as written above, but when our Cajun relatives come into town we like to spice it up with some cayenne pepper and jalapenos!
“EAT MOR CHIKEN”Chick-fil-A