Bright yellow casserole with large pieces of chicken and beans

Lady Bird Johnson’s King Ranch Casserole

After mentioning Ro-Tel in an interview, Lady Bird Johnson is credited with putting the canned tomato brand on the U.S. map in the early 1960s. The former first lady was known to use Ro-Tel in a few recipes, including her King Ranch Casserole. This simple dish, which serves six, comes from Johnson’s recipe archives at the LBJ Library and Museum in Austin.

King Ranch Casserole

1/4 cup margarine
1 large onion, chopped
1 10 oz. can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 10.5 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1 10.5 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup chicken stock
10 corn tortillas
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup grated Colby cheese

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt margarine over medium heat. Add onion and cook until transparent. Add tomatoes, soups, and stock. Cook, stirring until thickened. In a large flat casserole dish, layer tortillas, chicken, and sauce. Top with cheese and bake 30 minutes.

Read more: Ro-Tel’s Origin Story: From the Rio Grande Valley to Pantries Across the U.S.

From the February 2023 issue
The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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