Closet Cooking Logo

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole


My collection of shredded chicken, from leftover roasted chickens, was growing and I wanted to use some of it to clear some space in my freezer. (Ice cream season is coming and I will need that space!) After searching around for a while I came across the concept of a king ranch chicken casserole which sounded really good. A chicken ranch casserole seems to be a creamy chicken casserole with texmex flavours that is layered like a lasagna using corn tortillas. I had been thinking about doing something with a creamy poblano sauce for a while and this seemed like the perfect time to.

Most of the recipes that I came across called for canned creamed soups to form the base of the sauce but I was determined to do it without them. I started by sauteing the vegetables in more butter than I would normally use so that I could sprinkle in some flour to form a roux and thicken the chicken stock. I finished the creamy part of the casserole off with some milk and sour cream for a bit of tanginess. For the texmex flavours, I used those poblano peppers and some jalapeno peppers, canned chopped green chilies, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano and cilantro. With all of the chili heat in the dish I thought that some corn would go well to take the edge off. Of course it is really hard to not top off a texmex dish like this with some ooey gooey melted cheese.

The king ranch chicken casserole was easy to make and it was super tasty! I over filled my baking dish and some of the sauce bubbled over. Luckily I always bake things like this on a baking sheet so I was saved from having to clean up a big mess in the oven. The chicken casserole was nice and creamy and cheesy and good! This dish is packed with so many of the texmex flavours that I like so much and it sure is a winner in my books. I am looking forward to enjoying the leftovers for lunches over the next few days.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

(makes 6+ servings)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
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 (toasted and ground)
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup of chicken broth
2 cups chicken (cooked and shredded)
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup corn
1 lime (juice)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
10 corn tortillas
2 cups cheese (grated)

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a pan.
2. Add the onion, red pepper and poblano pepper and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic jalapenos, chili powder and cumin and saute unto fragrant, about a minute.
4. Mix in the flour and cook for a few minutes.
5. Add the chicken broth and simmer until the liquid thickens.
6. Add the chicken, tomatoes, green chilies, milk and oregano and simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and stir in the corn, lime juice, sour cream, cilantro, salt and pepper.
8. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce over the bottom of an 8 inch square baking pan.
9. Top with a layer formed with 1/2 of the tortillas.
10. Top with a layer of 1/2 of the the sauce.
11. Top with a layer of 1/2 of the the cheese.
12. Top with a layer of the remaining tortillas.
13. Top with a layer of the remaining sauce.
14. Top with a layer of the remaining cheese.
15. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the sides are bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Similar Recipes:
Texmex Lasagna
Corn and Black Bean Tortilla Pie
Lasagna
Crockpot Chicken Santa Fe

62 comments:

Jessica said...

I cooked a whole chicken last week and shredded it to freeze - this will be a wonderful dish to enjoy some of it with. Thanks for making a roux and NOT using the nasty creamy soups.

Donna-FFW said...

OMG!! Absolutely a culinarywork of art.. delicious, Kevin..

Natalie said...

That is some pretty serious Chicken Casserole! Awesome.

Treehouse Chef said...

This is the most delicious chicken casserole that I have ever seen!

Walt. said...

how much chicken should you use?

What's for Supper? said...

Yeah....this looks really good. But how much chicken should you use?

elly said...

This looks really good! I've heard of king ranch chicken but have never tried it. Looks like I should!

Sharon said...

Awesome recipe!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Genius! I have some frozen shredding chicken that I want to use...this is it! Bravo on not using canned cream soups. I can see this dish on my dinner table this week. You don't mention how much chicken to use, but I can guess. I'm sure you'll be posting how much anytime soon.

Looks really good!

Mead Chick said...

That looks seriously good. As a huge fan of TexMex myself, I think I'll be using this recipe in the future!

Anonymous said...

Yum....every girl in Texas and Oklahoma has King Ranch Chicken in her recipe bag of tricks; glad to see it has wandered north of the border. Really one of the more delicious tastes treats my mother in law ever made.

Leela said...

I was going to ask too how much chicken to use, but others have already mentioned the missing ingredient. I have a HUGE bag of cooked chicken breast (saved up from all the rotissertie chicken I've bought -- I only eat the dark meat) in the freezer and this is such a wonderful way to use it.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A scrumptious casserole! So comforting!

cheers,

Rosa

alice said...

This looks awesome Kevin. I only make one chicken casserole using those dang cream of chicken soup cans.. I would prefer as you did here. Can't wait to try this.

Julia said...

I have a rotisserie chicken begging to be baked into this wonderful casserole. I loved that you took the time to make everything from scratch and didn't rely on shortcuts. I think my family will love this. Thanks for posting!

Anna at Mediocre Chocolate said...

Oh, that looks amazing. All the flavors of enchiladas without all that tedious rolling and mess! Yum! Bravo for skipping the canned condensed crud, too.

Ann said...

Thats a great healthy casserole Kevin...Happy Easter to you..

tamilyn said...

It looks amazing Kevin. Something familiar, but kicked up a notch.

Jamie said...

This looks delicious. I really love these rich, creamy casserole dishes and I have never seen one like this. Yum!

Kevin said...

Doh! I can't believe that I missed the main ingredient. I have added the 2 cups of cooked and shredded chicken to the recipe.

Robin Sue said...

I do love a good King Ranch! Yours looks fantastic!

Carrie said...

This looks great! All of those flavors sound awesome.

And I'm so glad that ice cream season is on its way!!

Jescel said...

yum! this looks soo good. smart move on your part to elimated the canned soup. don't like using them either.. and speaking of ice-cream, well i got one for ya! check out my blog.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Kevin - That looks scrumptious. How great that you conserve all those small bits of chicken and didn't use a commercially prepared soup.

Jeff said...

Nice addition to kill the need of canned cream crap.

I now do the throw the casserole dish on top of another pan because boil over has had me cursing and scrubbing more than once.

lisaiscooking said...

Sounds like a delicious combination!

sugarlens said...

I love how you made a casserole without using Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup!

Looks delish. Very creative. I bet it tasted good!

oneshotbeyond said...

I've heard of this recipe. What a great comforting recipe. The photo is great!

Gloria said...

OH my God Kevin this look absolutely delicious and tasty, nice picture,Gloria

Pam said...

This is my kind of casserole - looks great Kevin.

Cheryl said...

I have heard of King Ranch Casserole before but had no idea what it was!

CakeJunkie said...

Sounds yummy.
Just thought I'd share that if you don't want to go to the trouble of layering you can always use crushed tortilla chips and just mix it all together. (I save the random pieces in the bottom of the bags that are too small for anything else and stick them in the freezer so they don't go stale...when I have enough I make a casserole.)
I made something pretty similar to this last night. We top it with guacamole and sour cream and eat it using chips as our eating utensil...yummy!

Helene said...

This looks so comfy and yummy Kevin.

unconfidentialcook said...

Oh my, if this isn't right up my alley....I just love the idea of using those tortillas in the casserole, plus all those tex-mexy spices. Yum. And, btw, those pistachio-lamb chops look beyond divine! I lovelovelove the chops and racks (and their prices) from Costco. I'm going to do the pistachios next time. Thanks, as always.

Jennifer said...

I love shredded chicken.

I make a tortilla chicken soup that uses shredded chicken.

I actually will cook the chicken in my crock pot with chicken broth and when I get home, it just falls apart! I use it for chicken tacos, or my soup, but I think my family would go ga ga over this dish!

Thanks Kevin, you are always so creative!!

Kirby! said...

KING RANCH CASSEROLE!! This was the first meal I ever made by myself. My mom used to cook this, and it was always my favorite, so when I set out to make dinner for my roommates in college when I was 19, I called up my mom and got her recipe. It's a lot like this one! I should crack it out again! It always reminds me of home :)

tastymealsathome.com said...

Super Hearty! Hey Kevin, we might try to a variation of your recipe with steak

Steph said...

That looks so good! I can't wait for icecream season either!!

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

This looks great, and that's saying a lot coming from a vegetarian! (I'm a meat lover at heart, what can I say.) Definitely forwarding it to my family. :)

And yes, must make room for ice cream!!

Kerstin said...

Looks like the perfect comfort dish to take to a potluck - yum!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

I cannot wait to dig into this one - I am printing and adding the missing ingredients to my shopping list - It will go great with the Cornbread recipe I just posted!!

Chef Fresco said...

I love King Ranch casserole- probably one of my most favorite dishes ever! I've always wondered where that name comes from. . .

Katrina said...

That's a great looking casserole!

Melynda said...

Yum, and not a can in sight! thanks

Carolyn Jung said...

I am so making this! I even have extra corn tortillas in the freezer just waiting to be used for something like this.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I want this for supper now...thanks!

duodishes.com said...

Whoaaaa, that's a mighty big piece of casserole there!

Jan said...

Looks and sounds fab, Kevin. What a great way to use up leftover chicken. A very happy Easter to you.

Shelly said...

Wow this kicks the crap out of the sad King Ranch Casserole I made! Looks delicious!

Dishesdone said...

This looks delicious! Love comfort food!

and_she_makes_four said...

Kevin, bravo, another beautiful dish. My husband loves chicken casserole, I must try this! Thanks for blogging this!

Your friend,

Jenifer
Jaime and Jen DISH

Deborah said...

I'm trying to clear my freezer for the same reason! I've had a similar casserole before and loved it.

mikky said...

wow... this is a winner, kev... :)

Julia said...

I just wanted you to know that I made this last night for my hubby and son. They DEVOURED it!

To help make it a little more diet friendly, I replaced Pam for the butter, used half the cheese and replaced it with reduced fat, replaced the milk and sour cream for non-fat versions, and cut the number of tortillas to 4 instead of 10.

Seriously, I've never seen them eat something so quickly. Thanks again for posting this!! This will be one of those recipes that I'll know by heart before I know it. :)

Jaime said...

i love that your recipe doesn't use cream of ___ soup!

Spryte said...

Wow!!! Your version looks GREAT!

I'm definitely saving to delicious!

Anonymous said...

It's kind of hilarious that you posted this...my mom grew up about 9 miles from King Ranch (yes, it's a real place in south texas) and it's where the recipe came from. I didn't think anyone from anywhere North of Dallas would know about this. Especially with the actual name!!

Randi Lynne said...

I used jasmine rice instead of the tortilla layers and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in place of jalapenos. This warm dish was perfect on a cooler, rainy day. Delicious!

Purple D said...

I was looking for a recipe without the cream soups and voila! I found one! I even plan to use whole wheat flour, hoping the taste will blend with the taste of corn tortillas.

Yum! Thanks for the recipe.

Vanessa said...

Wow that doesn't look anything like the soupy mess we make down here in the South.. not 30 minutes away from the King Ranch. Cannot wait to try your take on this comfort food!! Your's looks amazing!

zen chest said...

This is really nice! I would love to try this one. This is really pretty amazing!

Gail L said...

Love this recipe with all the fresh vegetables in it and no cream soup or flour tortillas! I have made this recipe several times and everyone has asked for the recipe! I double layer the corn tortillas & the taste of corn comes out a little better! Thx so much Kevin for coming up with this recipe!

Post a Comment