Coffee ice cream that tastes 100% like the real thing … and creamy cheesy casserole dishes are the two things I miss the most since becoming allergic to cow’s milk 20 years ago. I’m still working on the coffee ice cream, but I have nailed my comfort casserole craving with this Dairy-Free Gluten-Free King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe!
I had never heard of King Ranch Chicken until I moved to Texas. A good friend and former client of mine in Fort Worth used to bring leftover King Ranch Chicken Casserole for lunch when I was at her office. The smell (and how much she clearly enjoyed it) inspired me to go home and create a dairy-free version. That was back before my blog … and I didn’t write it down (oh, the horror!)
I LOVED my dairy-free version, but because I didn’t write it down, I didn’t remake it again until earlier this year. My husband CAN (and does) eat plenty of dairy, and he loved it too. 🙂
To make it gluten-free, this recipe uses corn tortillas. If you don’t have gluten issues, you can use flour tortillas if you prefer them. For the chicken broth, make sure you use one that is gluten-free (sadly, not all are).
For the chicken, boil 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts. It makes the chicken tender and easy to shred. And while the chicken boils, you can chop and sautee the vegetables and make the “cheese” sauce. You can also use this cheese sauce for other recipes – it’s delicious with some pasta, for example.
And what if you don’t have a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance? You can use real milk and real cheese where the recipe calls for coconut milk creamer and Daiya shreds.
Speaking of coconut milk creamer … one of the reasons I love to use the plain So Delicious coconut milk creamer in many of my recipes is that it’s thicker and creamier than regular almond, soy or coconut milk and, unlike coconut milk in a can (which I also often use), it has zero coconut taste. Sometimes that slight coconut taste is perfect (i.e., in Thai food dishes, cakes, whipped toppings, etc), but it’s not something I want in a Mexican dish like this Dairy-Free Gluten-Free King Ranch Chicken Casserole. It can be difficult to find, although I can usually find it at Kroger Signature stores, Central Market and Whole Foods. I usually buy several at a time because the closest one of these stores is almost a half hour from me, and they typically last several months in the refrigerator (check the expiration date).