The Lexingtonienne



Here is a step-by-step parents’ guide for making King Ranch Chicken Casserole. First, a note. While your child naps, it is recommended that you do all the prep you can do. Cook and shred the chicken. Chop the vegetables. Measure out your spices. Slice the tortillas. If your child does not take a nap, it is recommended that you order pizza. OK, let’s get started!

First, set the baby in her highchair with a fancy plastic bowl to play with. (Do not worry about wiping off her face after she just ate dinner.)

8 1/2 months

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat.


Pick up the bowl from the floor.

8 1/2 months

Add onions and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

onions sauteing

Pick up the bowl.

8 1/2 months

Pick up the bowl.

8 1/2 months

Pick up the bowl.

8 1/2 months

Pick up the bowl.

8 1/2 months

Give the baby a drink of water.

8 1/2 months sippy cup

Add green pepper and cook for about 5 more minutes.

onions and green pepper

Give the baby a straw.

8 1/2 months

Add garlic and chicken broth.

chicken broth pour

Give the baby a Sophie the Giraffe.

8 1/2 months

Pick up the Sophie.

Sophie on the floor

Stir in spices, mushroom soup, chicken soup, broth, and tomatoes.

chicken casserole stuff

Pick up the Sophie again.

8 1/2 months

Allow soup mixture to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7-8 minutes.

the sauce is the boss

Hand the baby a Cookie Monster action figure.

8 1/2 months

Pick up Cookie Monster.

8 1/2 months

Make motor boat sounds with the baby.

8 1/2 months

In a lightly greased casserole dish, spread half of the shredded chicken. Top that layer with half the soup mixture.

chicken shreds

adding sauce


Give the baby a whisk.

have a whisk

Next, sprinkle on 1 cup of shredded cheese. Top with half the tortilla strips. Repeat the layers one more time, then sprinkle the top with 1 more cup of cheese.

adding cheese

tortilla strips

Turn to pick up the whisk, but see that the baby is still happily playing with it. It seems to be her favorite toy. A sign?

8 1/2 months

Bake at 350 for about 1 hour.

casserole in the oven

Clean up your kitchen.

toys on the floor

And that is how you make King Ranch Chicken Casserole in 57 easy steps.

king ranch chicken casserole

See? So easy.

8 1/2 months

chicken casserole

Adapted from Southern Living

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (32 oz) container chicken broth
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 3 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2 inch strips

Preheat oven to 350.

Place the chicken breasts in a heavy pot and cover them with the chicken broth. Cook over high heat just until the broth starts to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Once it is cooked, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Reserve 3/4 Cup of the cooking liquid and discard the rest (or save it and freeze it for later use).*

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender (about 10 minutes). Add green pepper and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Stir in garlic along with 3/4 C reserved cooking liquid. Add spices, soups, and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a lightly greased 13×9 casserole dish, layer 1/2 of the shredded chicken, followed by 1/2 the soup mixture, 1 C cheese, and 1/2 of the tortillas. Repeat one more time, then top with the remaining cup of cheese.

Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are bubbling.

This would be great with a dollop of sour cream on top!

*You can cook the chicken in advance. You could also shred the meat from a store-bought roast chicken and use 3/4 C canned chicken broth in lieu of reserved cooking liquid.



  • Comment by Ali — August 29, 2011 @ 1:32 pm


  • Comment by Maggie — August 29, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

    I just might make this for dinner guests on Sunday….it looks great !….have you thanked Eleanora for all the exercise she provides you while you cook??

  • Comment by Hannilou — August 30, 2011 @ 2:44 pm

    It was really good — kind of like a Mexican-style lasagna — and would have been truly easy if I weren’t also entertaining you-know-who.

  • Comment by Seester — August 31, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    Yum! Ellie B is so cute! No blog announcement about her crawling?!

  • Comment by Hannilou — August 31, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    Trying to figure out how to post the video, Spoiler Alert. The videos always trip me up.

  • Comment by Elizabeth — September 5, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

    Hannah! You are too funny. Haven’t checked up on your blog in awhile and I’ve been missing it. You are so talented!!!

  • Comment by Elizabeth — September 5, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

    And Eleanora is super cute! 🙂

  • Comment by Liz — September 8, 2011 @ 7:16 am

    I just found your blog while trying to find a Stanley J’s potato salad recipe hack. I LOVE this post. I have a 16 month old and cooking with him around is very challenging. You really captured it!

  • Comment by Hannilou — September 8, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    Thanks, Liz! And btw I made an attempt last summer at Stanley’s potato salad that was pretty close (and it was really good!) but I am going to try again soon. I think I can get closer to the real thing. I’ll be sure to share it!

  • Comment by Hannilou — September 8, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    Thanks, Elizabeth! Hope you and your family are doing well 🙂

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