King Ranch Chicken


I slapped this together yesterday for my contribution to the Garden Club’s Christmas Luncheon. I figured you needed the recipe now because beginning January 1, there needs to be some serious dieting going on around here.

This is a great dish to take to a party this time of year because of the red and green in it. Plus it’s always a big hit.

I scoured several cookbooks and the Internet and mostly the recipe is the same. I did add a secret ingredient, that I will tell you about. Now let’s get started.

Here’s what you’ll need

Whoops! Forgot the cheese…

Speaking of the cheese, I always prefer sharp in everything. More zing, baby.

Remember I was talking about my secret ingredient? Well here it is.

The Holy Grail

This is a Handsome Handy Man smoked chicken. It is absolutely fabulous and makes this dish taste different from the rest. If you can’t get your hands on a smoked chicken, as least buy a rotisserie one that’s got more flavor. Really adds to the dish.

Shred the chicken

Remove the skin and start shredding. It will make your animals very happy when you give them the scraps. Trust me, I know.

Chop up the vegetables

By the way, this was the last of my onions from The Funny Farm and some of the end of the peppers, so this is an authentic Hill Country dish.

Next, heat the oil and saute the vegetables until they are tender.

Saute about 5 minutes until the onions are clear

Remove from heat, then add the chicken and spices.

Next time I would do this differently

You have to add the Rotel and soups with this and combine everything. Next time I would put the soups, Rotel and spices in a bowl together and mix them before putting them in here. It was hard to mix the other way and to make sure everything was well blended.

The Hard Way

By the way, look at the Cream of Chicken soup. Hey Campbell’s, there is no color in nature that resembles that nuclear reactor glow yellow that your soup has. Might want to take that one back to the lab.

All mixed up and ready to go

Luckily the glowing yellow is gone now. Next, we’re going to play the lasagna game and layer, layer, layer. I’d throw in a Mexican Hat Dance when layering..

Slice up the tortillas

The recipe called for you to shred them into one inch pieces, but I was on the move to get this made and I didn’t have time to shred. I sliced them and not a single person noticed. Make it easy on yourself and do this.

Start the layers with tortillas

You are going to do 3 layers, so use a third of what you’ve got for each layer. I put a little more than a third of the cheese on the very top and I wanted it too look nice and cheesy and browned.

Add Chicken Mixture

I used a spatula as it is thick and the spatula made it easier to spread.

Add the cheese

Now repeat the whole thing 2 more times, ending with the cheese.

Ready to pop in the oven

Doesn’t take too long to bake. Remember I was rushing to get this to a party all hot and bubbling, so at this point, the kitchen was a wreck. I whirled around to start the clean-up and saw this.


Looks like he was going for the glowing yellow leftovers from the Cream of Chicken Soup. Wonder if he’ll glow in the dark tonight…

Well 35 minutes and a clean kitchen later, here’s the finished product.

See all the red and green in there? Very festive!

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 TBP canola oil
2 cups chopped (or shredded) cooked chicken
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided

Saute onion and bell pepper in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and add chicken. Combine next 7 ingredients and then mix with chicken and vegetables.

Cut (or tear if you’re bored) tortillas into 1 inch pieces; layer 0ne-third of tortilla pieces in bottom of a lightly greased 13 X 9 casserole dish. Top with one-third of the chicken mixture and 2/3 cup cheese. Repeat 2 more times.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.

Can be frozen for up to a month. Just let thaw in the fridge overnight and then bake as directed. Serves 8 or more.

Feeling fat yet? Keep eating for in January we diet!

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time.

Mikie Baker

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2 Responses to “King Ranch Chicken”

  1. Kathy Moore says on :

    This looks delicious! Is it a main dish, served on a plate, or more like a dip with chips?

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Mikie Baker says on :

    It’s a main dish meal – a casserole. Serve it with a salad and enjoy!

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