In a throwback to mid-century comfort food, we’re taking the liberty of reintroducing you to the casserole. However, not just any casserole will do, to really indulge in the creamy, spicy sensation of intermingled flavors that makes casseroles such a welcome weeknight standby, you need to go all out. You need to start making King Ranch casserole.
No one is certain where this familiar casserole originated, but the mystery is irrelevant because what we do know is that the inspired chef that created this dish knew what they were doing. Repeat layers of smoked chicken are stacked with roasted red peppers and sealed with a layer of crispy corn tortillas and cheese in a baking dish. Not only is it a delicious crowd-pleaser, but this casserole is a make-ahead, time-saving, genius hack.
So are you ready to learn how to make a classic and then a couple twists on the original? Here are 12.
1. King Ranch Chicken Casserole
With a little make-ahead magic, you can come home from work, slide this into the oven, and forget about things until the timer rings.
Bell pepper, diced tomatoes, and cheddar cheese just make this classic variation the old standby. Get the recipe here.
2. Pulled Pork King Ranch Casserole
Start your adventures into King Ranch by mixing things up and substituting some succulent pork for the classic chicken mixture that usually fills this casserole.
Get the recipe here.
3. Frito King Ranch Chicken Casserole
An absolute cinch to make, the unexpected Frito crust is what really spices this recipe up. Imagine how fantastic that crunch is going to be alongside creamy, spiced chicken breasts with chili powder.
This chicken casserole recipe stands the test of time. Get the recipe here.
4. King Ranch Chicken Dip
Update a mid-century casserole into a dip. How did we never think of this before? Better yet, you could even make your own tortilla chips from fried and seasoned flour tortillas.
While this recipe subs in cream cheese for sour cream, if you want to turn this dip into a dinner, just switch the two! Get the recipe here.
5. Slow Cooker King Ranch Chicken Soup
With a creamy, cheesy base studded with spice, how can you not enjoy it? Plus, making this casserole into a soup gives you the freedom to change up every bowl by adding your favorite toppings.
6. King Ranch Mac and Cheese
Combine two classic comfort dishes into one. It’s going to be very hard to improve upon this dinnertime favorite.
The cream of chicken thickens the sauce nicely, but you could also swap in chicken broth after making a simple roux if you want to nix the extra creaminess. Get the recipe here.
7. King Ranch Chicken Flautas
When ’50s Tex-Mex gets a makeover, you end up with King Ranch flautas. This may actually be the king of all the King Ranch recipes.
Similar to chicken enchiladas without the sauce, flautas should be in your weekly rotation anyways. Get the recipe here.
8. Texas Ranch Chicken Casserole
Have a hungry family? Try this Texas-sized King Ranch casserole next time you’re in a hurry. It takes less than an hour to throw together and its use of shredded cheddar cheese makes it a kid favorite.
Grab the casserole dish, preheat the oven, and you’re almost done. Get the recipe here.
9. King Ranch + Quinoa Casserole
Lighten things up and add some dense nutrition by mixing some quinoa into your casserole. You’ll love the new dimension that the grain adds, while also ensuring you’re meeting your daily values of nutrition with dietary fiber.
This is one recipe that belongs in your recipe box. Get the recipe here.
10. King Ranch Beef Casserole
Think of this like a beef taco that is bursting with a twist of 1950s Tex-Mex flavor. It’s sure to add a little flair to your dinner menu.
The cream of mushroom soup combined with the cream of chicken soup makes this rich casserole so delicious, you might forget about all King Ranch chicken recipes from this taste forward. Get the recipe here.
11. King Ranch Chicken Quiche
When French cooking tradition meets the flavors of the American Southwest, great things are bound to happen. Like this fusion quiche.
Green bell pepper, Rotel tomatoes, yellow onion, and black pepper never tasted so fancy together! Get the recipe here.
12. Keto King Ranch Chicken
Are you dying to enjoy a comforting classic while still adhering to your bikini diet? Here is the solution to all your problems, and it comes in the form of a casserole.
Get the recipe here.