King Ranch Casserole…dinner last night

Last night I made King Ranch Casserole for dinner. It is something I love to eat but Hubby hates it. I love almost any casserole for that matter!

Growing up my mom usually made some sort of casserole for dinner because it was cheap and filling. According to my mom, as long as you have rice or pasta, some sort of cream soup, plus meat (any type – even canned) you can make a meal. Throw in some veggies as a side dish and Voila! A fast, filling, economical and somewhat healthy meal!

My version of King Ranch casserole uses corn chips instead of tortillas. Tortilla get too soggy and gummy for me. On the plus side, you can use really old stale chips and the dish still comes out yummy! Here is my recipe for King Ranch Casserole in an 8″x 8″ dish.

small bag of tortilla chips – corn or white, any kind/brand
bag of shredded cheese – I use Monterrey Jack/Colby mix but can use Mexican/Taco mix
1 can Rotel (or generic) diced tomatoes (I use mild but use your taste preference)
1 can of cream of chicken soup – can be cream of celery or mushroom too
chopped onion
1 deboned chicken – can use canned chicken in a pinch

In a bowl, mix the soup with the tomatoes. Add milk or water if you want thinner sauce. Be sure to mix well. Put chips down as 1st layer. Be sure to cover all of the dish bottom. Shred chicken & scatter over chips. Sprinkle as many onions as you want. Sprinkle shredded cheese next. Then pour some of the soup mix on top. Add another layer of chips, chicken, onions, cheese, & sauce mix. Keep layering until you reach the top of the casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese on top sauce layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until cheese is brown.

To make a larger dish, use 2 cans of soup, larger bag of chips, more cheese, etc.  You stew a broiler chicken, debone it and use the meat in the dish. Or cook up 2-3 chicken breasts and cut into small pieces or shred. You can also add jalapeno peppers to the layers to kick up the heat factor. The beauty of the dish is that you can add what you want – even veggies like corn or black beans – and it will still come out pretty good!

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