I am not sure of the exact origin of King Ranch Casserole. The name of it comes from King Ranch, which is one of the largest ranches in the world. But I am not sure if its origin is from King Ranch. But the casserole is usually made with canned soup, mainly Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. I recall having this casserole frequently when I was a kid. It is similar to an enchilada casserole, but has a rich and creamy sauce.
I veganized this casserole and it has the flavor of what I remember. The hubby had never had this casserole before and he loved this. He even went back for seconds. I always take that as a compliment. The omnivore hubby is not afraid to say when he does not like something I prepare for dinner. This casserole is omnivore approved.
I discovered a product, which has probably been around for a while, that I love. It is Delight Soy Nuggets. They have a variety of products, but I have only tried the nuggets. The nuggets are a great chicken substitute. I have used them in faux chicken salad sandwiches and now in this recipe. I found these in the frozen foods section in Whole Foods. They are definitely worth trying if you have an omnivore in the house and want a something that has the taste and texture of chicken.
I will add a photo soon.
Vegan King Ranch Casserole
1 cup raw cashews
Water for soaking cashews
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 package Soy Delight Chick’n Nuggets, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoons Unbleached Flour
2 cups Water
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon No Chicken
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can Rotel (chopped tomatoes with green chilies)
12 Corn Tortillas
1 cup Vegan Cheddar, like Daiya
Cover cashews with water and soak for at least 2 hours or longer if possible.
Heat oven to 350 F and cook chicken for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add onions, celery and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add garlic, chick’n and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Next add flour and cook for a few minutes, until veggies are tender.
Add water and Better Than Bouillon. Cook until thickened. Add thyme, salt and pepper. Next add Rotel (undrained) and cashew cream.
Oil a large casserole dish.
Put a cup of the chicken mixture in bottom of casserole dish. Cover with half of the tortillas, tearing tortillas to fit the bottom of the dish.
Put half of the remaining Chick’n mixture on top of tortillas. Add half of vegan cheese. Add another layer of tortillas and then the other half of the Chick’n mixture. Top with the remainder of cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on the top.