A casserole that is a favorite stick-to-your-ribs comfort food among Texans. You will find King Ranch Chicken Casserole served at many potlucks, school cafeterias, funerals, and church socials. It is considered the quintessential Texan potluck dish. It is said that if the Texas State Legislature were to declare a State Casserole Dish, it would be the King Ranch Chicken Casserole!
The common ingredients used in this casserole are corn tortillas, chicken, cheese, canned cream of mushroom and chicken soups, canned Ro-Tel tomatoes, and bell peppers. This classic casserole is like a layered chicken enchilada with lots of cheese heaped between each layer. The end result is creamy cheesy goodness! You can eat the casserole with a fork, but is also makes an excellent party dip with some tortilla chips. There are a few unproven theories on the origins of the King Ranch Casserole as either the creation of a Junior League member, a suggested recipe featured by Campbell’s soup or a recipe entered in a national cooking content. The timing of all these theories coincide with post World War II cooking in the 1950’s. Canned soups provided more cooking convenience for housewives to free up their time. The creation of casseroles across the country came from the need for housewives to find inexpensive and filling ingredients to feed a large family or church congregation. King Ranch Chicken Casserole was also among one of the recipe staples that First lady, Ladybird Johnson, wife of President Lindon B. Johhson, liked to have served at her LBJ ranch in Stonewall, Texas. Read more interesting history on the post.