Fancy-Pants King Ranch Chicken Casserole

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As a food blogger, lover of food, and occasional food snob, it may be taboo to say this—but I love casseroles. They’re homey, they’re easy to prep, they taste good, and they make great leftovers. They can also be great in adapting recipes for people who can be lazy (definitely referring to myself here); for instance, I make stacked enchiladas/enchilada casserole waaaaay more frequently than traditional enchiladas because I just get annoyed with the filling and rolling.

King ranch casserole is sort of like an enchilada casserole, but the sauce is a little creamier than your standard enchilada sauce. The reason Lisa dubbed this casserole “fancy pants” is because the sauce doesn’t use any cream of ___ soups. And if you have butter, flour, and broth, that’s pretty much all you need to make your own cream of soups, anyway. This particular sauce is studded with red bell pepper, poblano, and green chiles that are in the canned tomatoes, so it’s moderately, but not terribly, spicy.  It’s nice and creamy from the half and half and has just a little tang from the sour cream and lime juice. Basically, I could eat this sauce on top of pretty much anything and be pretty damn happy about it.

I decided to make two individual servings of these in my little cast iron skillets, because 1. I don’t use them enough and 2. They’re pretty much the perfect size for a tortilla. The rest got placed in a casserole dish and baked, and made faaaabulous leftovers. The kind of leftovers that you really want to eat for breakfast but are diligent and wait until lunch so you don’t get stuck buying lunch.

 

 

Fancy-Pants King Ranch Chicken Casserole

  • I have to admit, I LOVE casseroles also. There’s something that just screams comfort about them. I made a not-so-fancy king ranch casserole for my parents once…complete with cream of soup…and they LOVED it. So I’m sure they’d LOVE this even more!

  • Oh yum! This was not what I thought King Ranch casserole was and I’m so glad for that! This looks and sounds really great.

  • I love this fancy pants and all.

  • Yum this screams pregnancy comfort food to me right now. Hopefully I can make it for dinner this week. 😉

  • Love this fancy pants version of King ranch chicken casserole!

  • Can you please tell mei hOw many servings are in this recipe, and if I can freeze it
    . I am a transplanted Texan and this sure looks good. Thanks, Bonnie crim

    • elly

      Bonnie, I would say about 8-10. I’ve never tried freezing it, but I think you would be OK. The sour cream/half and half might give me pause just because I am not experienced at freezing creamy/dairy things, but I think with the layers and everything you should be okay.

  • Leigh Frattolillio

    Made this last night with ground turkey because I didn’t feel like cooking chicken. I flavored the meat with lime, ancho chili powder and cilantro. I also added beans to the meat. Really good. Thanks!

    • elly

      Oh, good idea to use ground turkey! Glad you enjoyed it.