king ranch chicken casserole.

Did y’all know that today is Christina’s 30th birthday? Good gracious is she old! I am looking forward to celebrating her when she visits in a couple weeks – I see copious amounts of champagne and baked goods (and maybe a Chick-Fil-A spicy chicken biscuit) in our future.

Anyway, this past weekend I decided I wanted to make a casserole to have in the fridge for easy leftovers. Our schedule is a little crazy and we are not sitting down together for supper as much, so it’s nice to have a ready-made option ready to go. We are big fans of the King Ranch casserole – in fact, for many years this has been my go-to recipe. It’s fine and easy, but it relies heavily on canned, condensed soups and it tastes pretty… processed. When I came across Kevin’s recipe, I knew it was going to become a staple in our household. And it did not disappoint.

This is, in no way, a one-dish recipe. You can use rotisserie chicken in lieu of cooking your own, and frozen corn rather than cutting it off the cob, to take a few steps out of the way. But there’s nothing complicated about this casserole and you should not be intimidated by its long list of ingredients. Once you get all the veggies chopped, it’s smooth sailing.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Closet Cooking via Green Grocer

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup corn
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
10 corn tortillas, torn (I used flour tortillas)
2 cups cheese, grated (I used a mixture of cheddar and pepperjack)

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare an 8 inch square baking dish with non-stick spray.

Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions, red pepper and poblano and saute until tender. Add in garlic, jalapeno, chili powder and cumin, and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Mix in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick (5-7 minutes).

Add chicken, tomatoes, green chilies, milk and oregano and simmer for 15 minutes. (note: I used skim, which I would not do again.)

Remove from heat and stir in corn, lime juice, sour cream and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place a thin layer of the chicken mixture in the bottom of the baking dish and top with half of the tortillas. Top tortillas with half the remaining chicken mixture and half of the cheese. Repeat the layers once more, ending with the cheese.

Place carefully in the oven (you might want to put it on a baking sheet if you’re close to overflowing) and bake 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is golden and the casserole is bubbling. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting into.

Now, let me get back to planning the agenda for Tina’s visit,


3 thoughts on “king ranch chicken casserole.

  1. I just made this for a ready dinner for a busy day tomorrow for company.
    There wasn’t room in my 8×8 pan for the second layer of torn tortillas.
    I’m afraid it will be very saucy with only a few tortillas.. I used flour tortillas as you suggested.. Any thoughts.. Maybe I’ll add Fritos on top??

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