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King Ranch Casserole

King Ranch Casserole

During my trip to the 47th Annual Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain, Georgia this August, I came across a booth that sells instant casseroles in a pouch. “Just add chicken, cream cheese and milk,” the vendor told me. She gave me samples after samples of casseroles. One particular casserole stood out because of its name and taste. It was the King Ranch casserole. Apparently King Ranch is a pretty common casserole and it’s basically an enchilada casserole.
I Googled the name King Ranch and there were varieties of recipes to try. None of the recipes call for ranch dressing.  I couldn’t help but wonder, “Where is the ranch?” Well, let me tell you. Its origin comes from the great state of Texas. That makes sense because everything in Texas is bigger and “ranchier”. It’s possible that the dish was named after a ranch in Texas the size of Rhode Island. This dish had chicken, corn tortilla, cream of chicken and cream of mushroom and a bunch of other veggies and spices that is too long to list.  It was clear that this dish is the king of all casseroles. I know it’s something I need to try to make…my own version that is. Don’t get me wrong, I bought some casseroles from the vendor after they stuffed me like a fat pig. I support crafty meals especially if it’s package in a pouch ready to eat in 30 minutes or less.
I was determined to make my own King Ranch casserole with the simple ingredients from my pantry.  Although I like fresh ingredients I prefer quick simple recipes.  It  was my mission to put the ranch back in King Ranch in some way.  In the pantry were two cans of cream of mushroom, two cans of white chicken chunks,  three cans of Rotel and a half eaten bag of Doritos…wait for it…Cool Ranch! I also have a box of cream cheese and two types of shredded cheeses in the fridge. So here I go heating up the Rotel and adding the ingredients.  Once the cream of this and that is mixed, I crumbled the Doritos and started layering my casserole. Doritos then sauce, Doritos then sauce until I filled up the dish and sprinkled cheeses on the top. I baked it for 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Take that ya’ll! Your kids will love it, you’re husband will be fed and your mama will be proud.  The tangy cool ranch is enough to draw attention to the distinguished flavors but that one can of hot Rotel will light your taste buds on fire. And the burn is good! The creamy sauce  definitely makes it a classic comfort food. Now that’s what I call a King Ranch Casserole.
Now it’s your turn. Try my recipe or create your own twist on the original recipe. Let me know how it goes. Let’s do this!
  • 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes (Hot)
  • 2 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes (Mild)
  • 2 cans of Campbell’s cream of mushroom
  • 8 oz 1/3 less Fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 2 cans of Publix’s white chicken chunks (drained)
  • Half a bag of regular size Doritos Cool Ranch (lightly crumbled)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a deep sauce pan, mix the cans of Rotel, cream of mushrooms, chicken chunks and cream cheese together on medium heat until fully melted and mixed.
Crumble Doritos in clean casserole dish.  Make a thin layer. Layer the sauce with Doritos until full. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses on top and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool and serve.

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