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The King of Casseroles: King Ranch Chicken

Updated June 14, 2018
The King of Casseroles King Ranch Chicken
The King of Casseroles: King Ranch Chicken
This image courtesy of sixsistersstuff.com

Nothing beats The King of Casseroles King Ranch Chicken, when you're searching for a satisfying weeknight meal. This king ranch chicken recipe incorporates tortilla chips, chicken, diced tomatoes, onion, and more. Two types of cream soup and shredded cheese make this king ranch chicken casserole dish extra cheesy and creamy. This recipe serves a crowd, so you can make it for guests, or enjoy leftovers the next night. No more worrying about the fussy eaters in your family. This cheesy, chicken casserole is perfect for pleasing those with a finicky palate. If some of the ingredients don't appeal to them -- like tomatoes or onions -- simply leave them out, or bake them into one half of the casserole instead. You can make this for a larger casual dinner, or as a weeknight main dish. It works well for both.

King Ranch Chicken is a well-known and popular Tex-Mex casserole. It gets its name from King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the United States, located in the southern part of Texas near Kingsville. While named after it, the recipe was not actually ever made on King Ranch, as far as anyone can confirm. The recipe itself is pretty hefty. It includes layers upon layers of cheese, chicken, canned tomatoes, tortilla chips, and cream of mushroom and chicken soups, among other ingredients. Likely another reason for the heavily weighted name. This dish is a staple in Texas and is quite a popular item at church and potluck functions, frat houses, and Sunday night suppers. It is assumed to be Texas' take on Chicken a la King, and most people will tell you, it's better. It brings more to the table with it's zesty addition of diced Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chilies, cans of comforting, creamy soups and the added crunch of tortilla chips in every bite. If you haven't hopped on board the King Ranch chicken casserole train, you probably should.



 

Serves8

Preparation Time10 min

Slow Cooker Time LOW4 hr

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I love your recipes but you don't have any nutritional stats? I have a son and daughter-in-law that are Diabetic and I need to know the carbohydrate count!

Hi there! Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately we don't have nutritional stats, but it's definitely something we're willing to look into and see if we can add.

My husband is from Texas and on a couple of occasions when visiting, his family would present this as a dish at family gatherings. I do have to say the meal is very satisfying and everyone seems to enjoy it. Growing up in the north, the dish is quite different from our usual family recipes. I may give it a while in the slow cooker just to have him feel to home.

The history that comes along with this recipe is enough inspiration for me to try it. I love chicken, cheese, and an easy recipe. Two types of cream soup - chicken and mushroom, Yum. I can't wait to give this slow cooker recipe a try and if it is a tasty as it looks, with my crowd there will be no leftovers.

I've made this dish for almost 50 years. The original recipe called for tortillas but was adapted to use chips (especially stale ones! Especially if being cooked in the microwave!) The only difference is that Della also used a can of cream corn. AND she lived ON the King Ranch!! The dish does freeze well but should be thawed before heating...the jalapenos will be a bit spicier though.

Sounds so good but what comes to mind is how unhealthy this meal really is. Does it include a cardiovascular roto rooter?

I grew up eating this as a child in Texas in the 1950s and 60s. About the main difference in the way she made it and your recipe was that she used actual corn tortillas. I still to this day, almost 69 years old, eat King Ranch Chicken 2-3 times a week. One of my very favorite foods.

I, also from Texas, have been making this for 40 years or more. I also use corn tortillas. Absolutely love it. My heart is in perfect condition and I am 75 years old.

I might try this recipe using a meatless substitute for the chicken. There is no longer any reason to eat animals and birds that have been abused and slaughtered. There are wonderful meatless substitutes on the market.

One reason to eat birds and animals is because they taste good and all humans evolved eating them.....If 10,000 generations ate animals it's in your DNA....Why try to pull a charade on evolution....?

You are right dquinn. I have tried being vegan and it does not work for me. My I.Q. goes down. I can't think as well when I eat meat. I go stupid. All I need to fix me up is a good meal of good quality beef. Beef liver really does a good job. Then I go to good quality chicken, and fish such as salmon and sardines. Once a week for one or two, occasionally three of these items, does the job.

Seriously dear, leaving one star on a meat casserole recipe simply because you don't eat meat is low balling because it makes it look like the recipe stinks when you haven't even tried it yet.

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