If you’re looking for a dish that your family, friends and potluck guests will devour — and then beg you for the recipe — put this comfort-food casserole on the table.
Every bite of this hearty meal delights with flavorful layers of melted cheese, spicy chicken, Tex-Mex sauce and corn tortillas.
Unlike the original King Ranch chicken casserole recipes, our updated version replaces canned soup with a rich homemade sauce made with butter, cream and sour cream. We also brighten the flavor profile with lime zest and cilantro. In line with tradition, however, we keep the iconic combination of fresh peppers, canned tomatoes and green chilies.
A bit of history: The King Ranch chicken casserole hails from the 1950s, when casseroles were the rage for family dinners because of their easy preparation and money-saving convenience. The dish’s exact origin is hotly disputed, though. Texans claim it as their own — after all, the famous King Ranch is in Texas, and many Junior League cookbooks feature some version of it. You’ll find it served at homes, potlucks and restaurants across the Lone Star state. The owners of the King Ranch, however, take no credit for the recipe (the ranch is famous for its beef, not chicken).
Once you dig into this easy enchilada-like casserole, you won’t care where it came from. You’ll just be glad it’s on your table and in your belly!
Make-ahead tip: Double this King Ranch chicken casserole recipe and make two casseroles: one for now and one to put in the freezer for later. For the fix-and-freeze casserole, simply assemble the ingredients according the recipe and allow the casserole to cool. Wrap tightly in heavy-duty foil, label, and freeze for up to three months. To reheat, allow the casserole to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then bake as directed.