Summer of 60 Pins, #19: King Ranch Casserole

The Story: King Ranch Casserole was one of the mainstays on the menu when I was growing up. The other night, Food Network reran an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It's the one where Guy visits the Monument Cafe, one of my favorite places to eat. King Ranch was one of the featured recipes, and my friend Molly and her husband Randy got their 3 seconds of fame when they got to rave about it on national TV.

The Monument owner mistakenly referred to the origins of King Ranch Casserole. The origins aren't clear, but Texas Monthly tried. Anyway, it turns out that my sister Amy does not like the Monument's casserole because it's not like Mom's. The episode just made me hungry, so I finally got around to making it tonight.

Here's the recipe:
I like to put everything in a square electric skillet. It holds a lot of ingredients, and I can stir without making a huge mess. A lot of people swear by the can of Rotel, but I use a whole teaspoonful of chili powder instead. I also use about 1 1/2 cups of cheese instead of the 16 oz. And while my mom boiled, cooled and shredded chicken breasts, I usually stop by my nearby HEB+ for a deli chicken. Here's what the sauce looks like:
I layer starting with the tortillas on the bottom because they don't stick to the pan. A lot of my friends like flour tortillas, and I usually do, but I prefer corn tortillas in this casserole. It's a necessary step to tear the tortillas so that they touch the edges:
I used two layers of tortillas, sauce and cheese. If I am making this in my crockpot, I use three layers.

Most old reliable recipes will instruct you to "bake at 350 until bubbly". This takes about 20 minutes for King Ranch. The first time I checked the oven, the cheese was melted, but I didn't take it out until the sauce was bubbling up around the edges.
Here's the finished product!
The Good: Three of the four of us will eat it. The casserole is a comfort food. Easy to assemble and cook.

The Bad: J won't eat it.

Summary: There's a reason King Ranch Casserole is a Texas classic - it's delicious, easy to make, and can be personalized.

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1 comment

  1. I just like the way Mom makes it. I'm a traditional girl.


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