Joanna Gaines’ King Ranch Chicken is a ‘delightfully messy’, rich and cheesy casserole


Joanna Gaines likes to share some of her family’s favorite recipes on her Food Network and Discovery Series + Magnolia Painting. Some of her most beloved recipes aired throughout the show’s first four seasons. One of the regularly rotating staples on the Gaines table is King Ranch Chicken, a rich, “delightfully messy” cheesy casserole that has always been a family favorite recipe.

Joanna Gaines | Food Network/Discovery+

King Ranch Chicken is a unique Texas dish

According to What’s Cooking America, common ingredients used in a King Ranch Chicken Casserole include corn tortillas, chicken, cheese, canned cream of mushroom and chicken soup, canned Ro-Tel tomatoes, and bell peppers. .

This classic casserole is similar to a layered chicken enchilada with lots of cheese placed between each layer.

Gaines discussed the recipe with other family favorites, such as Jo-Jo’s Cookies, on her Magnolia website.

“Every Texas cook I know has their version of this deliciously messy enchilada casserole that includes chicken, beans, chili peppers, salsa verde, sour cream, corn tortillas, and lots of melted cheese.” she shared.

“Perhaps the most important part of my own version is what I serve it with: crispy jicama salad flavored with lime zest and juice, smoked paprika, cilantro and diced avocado. The crispiness of this salad really complements the cheese casserole,” Gaines wrote.

Ingredients to make King Ranch Chicken

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Another Gaines family favorite is spinach tortellini soup.

The list of ingredients for making King Ranch Chicken can be long. However, making the dish is not complicated.

These bases include olive oil, onion, chicken broth, black beans, cream of chicken, and salsa verde.

You also need enchilada sauce, sour cream, paprika, garlic, kosher salt and black pepper.

Chicken breasts, fire-roasted green chiles, corn tortillas, and shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses complete the dish.

Meanwhile, assembling the dish is similar to making a casserole.

Therefore, Gaines suggests that one can use many grocery store shortcuts, including green enchilada sauce, condensed cream of chicken, and roast chicken to speed up the process of preparing the dish.

The recipe should only take about 20 minutes to prepare and 35 minutes to cook using the shortcuts.

Joanna Gaines pairs this rich chicken casserole with a spicy jicama salad

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Another family favorite from Joanna’s clan is Gaines Family Chili.

Jicama is a root vegetable. It is white inside and tastes like an apple but not as sweet. It’s a bit like a potato but with a lot less carbs.

Gaines finds this crunchy salad pairs beautifully with the casserole and cuts down on the richness of the dish. This hearty side is also a family favorite.

the Magnolia Painting star uses jicama, lime juice, zest, cilantro, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, avocados and chives to make this salad.

Mixed together, the ingredients combine their flavors. However, for this salad to be tasty, it should be refrigerated for at least one hour and up to four hours before serving.

The full King Ranch Chicken recipe by Joanna Gaines is available on the Magnolia website. It was first published in “Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering”.

RELATED: ‘Magnolia Table’: Joanna Gaines Shares Ms. Gail’s Chicken and Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe: ‘One of Our Absolute Favorites’


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