King Ranch is, hands down, the best casserole ever. Cheesy, creamy, and Rotelly. Doesn’t get better than that. Too bad it takes an hour to prepare, not to mention the bake time!
Well, my family loves it so much that I had to find some shortcuts and health-cuts. This version takes about 10 minutes to prep and contains about one-quarter of the fat and calories of the original classic. It cuts out the traditional onion and green pepper, but with the Rotel, we can’t tell the difference. It’s also a great dish to make ahead and then pull it out of the fridge to bake.
I don’t always advocate for canned chicken breast, but in this dish, I promise it’s just as good as using fresh cooked or rotisserie chicken. You absolutely cannot tell the difference with all the creaminess, and it saves loads of time.
On a similar note, I’m not a huge fan of canned soups either. But for a few of my ultra quick-fix meals, I use the lower-sodium, lower-fat canned soups. And every once in a while, there is a dish where it hurts too much to substitute that good old fashioned cream of soup. My own super momma would be proud.
Despite the bad rap that some low-fat makeovers actually do deserve, this one doesn’t sacrifice flavor. Along with its blend of southwestern spices, there’s a slight kick from the tomatoes with green chilies, but not at all spicy. My kids lap this up like it’s ice cream for dinner. Way up there on the yummy scale. If you don’t believe me, give my husband a call. He just stood in the middle of the kitchen the other night, scooping extra spoonfuls out of the pan while shaking his head and mumbling, “Damn, that’s good….”
Yep. Shake that booty.
Quick King Ranch Casserole
Serves 4 to 6
- Prep time – 10 minutes
- Bake time – 25 minutes
- 2 cans chicken breast (or 2 cups cooked chicken breast)
- 1 can (reduced sodium/fat) cream of chicken soup
- 1 can (reduced sodium/fat) cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies (such as Rotel or store brand equivalent)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups grated mozzarella
- Fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a medium pot, combine chicken, both cans of soup, Rotel, and spices, stirring until well blended and breaking up larger pieces of chicken
- Allow mixture to simmer on low heat
- Meanwhile, spray a 13×9 (or slightly smaller) baking dish with cooking spray
- Stack six corn tortillas in one hand, and tear off bite size pieces over the baking dish.
- Spread the tortilla pieces evenly over the bottom of the baking dish, then spread half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Repeat process with remaining six tortillas, remaining half of chicken mixture, and remaining 1 cup cheese.
- Bake (uncovered) for 25 minutes. (If casserole has been refrigerated, bake for 40 minutes.)
- Garnish with fresh cilantro