AKA: Chicken Nachos Casserole
I consulted a bunch of different recipes for this casserole, and came up with my own version, using a from-scratch soup mixture instead of canned soup, and a combination of Seitan and Cannellini beans in place of the chicken. If you prefer, you could use all Seitan or all Cannellini beans – just double the amount.
If you want to use real chicken, use about 3 cups of diced chicken (or turkey!) in place of the Seitan and beans, and of course, chicken bouillon or broth in place of the vegetarian.
Vegetarian King Ranch Chicken Casserole
¼ cup vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil)
¼ cup butter
½ cup flour
4 mushrooms, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups water
2 teaspoons McKay’s chicken-style seasoning*
1 (10-oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 (15-oz) can Cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 (8-oz) box WestSoy seitan (red or blue box), torn into bite-sized pieces.
2 to 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (14.5 oz) bag tortilla chips or strips
chopped green bell pepper and/or onion (optional)**
Preheat oven to 350F.
Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and salt and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for another minute or two, until they soften. Add the milk, water, and chicken-style seasoning. Cook and stir until bubbly and thick. Add the tomatoes, beans, and seitan.
Put 1/3 of the tortilla chips on the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the mixture from the saucepan, then 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat twice. Sprinkle the top with chili powder and garlic salt to taste.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
*You can use another brand of vegetarian chicken-style bouillon powder, or use 1 ½ cups vegetarian chicken style broth instead of the 1 ½ cups water.
**If you want to use green bell pepper and/or onion, saute it in 1 Tablespoon of the oil (from the ¼ cup) until soft. Set aside, and add it to the mixture along with the beans and seitan.