Cooking on a Budget,  Housemade,  Recipe

Kat’s King Ranch Casserole

Like many casseroles, the typical King Ranch has condensed soup of some kind, but we are not fans of that style of cooking. I’ve developed a version that is much more to our liking, is budget-friendly, makes for great leftovers, and includes many of my husband’s favorite flavors.

I don’t often measure ingredients when I’m cooking, but here’s the basic way to make it:

Kat’s King Ranch Casserole (sans condensed soup!)

  • 2-3 cups crushed tortilla chips (but you could also use corn tortillas)
  • 1 1/2 cups + salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups + shredded cooked chicken (but you could do beef, pork or turkey – ground or shredded)
  • 1 cup + shredded cheese
  • creamy ranch dressing

This dish is all about layers, and making sure the tortilla chip layers have enough liquid to keep them moist. I do thin layers of everything until I run out.

Follow this order to build your casserole:

  1. spread a thin layer of salsa over bottom of dish
  2. sprinkle thin layer of crushed chips
  3. spoon salsa over top
  4. drizzle with ranch
  5. sprinkle cheese
  6. sprinkle shredded chicken over rop
  7. Repeat layers 2-6 until out of chicken & tortilla chips
  8. Finish top of casserole with dollops of salsa and a generous sprinkle of cheese

Cover tightly with tin foil and bake at 350F for about 40 minutes. Everything is cooked already, but you want to cook it for the full 40 minutes so that the tortilla chips can absorb all of the liquids and the flavors can get melded together.

Here’s what it looks like after it’s baked.

I know it doesn’t look like much, but this is a dish my husband and I can’t get enough of. It would make delicious leftovers…. if there were anything left. =)

This dish would be great topped with the typical taco toppings – fresh lettuce, tomatoes, fresh salsa and sour cream.


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