I have to start this recipe off with – yes, I know that this is absolutely terrible for you! I am not a big fan of processed snack foods (like Doritos), however, this based on a recipe I used to eat as a kid. We loved loved loved this growing up. It was one of my personal faves as kiddo.
My good friend G and I were talking about guilty pleasure foods. We got decadent very quickly. The only way I could top her naughty food list was to pull out the big guns – Dorito Chicken Casserole, baby! I was like – have you ever had Dorito Chicken Casserole? She was like, whaaa?, R U Kidding? Nope, little lady, I kid you not! Dorito effin’ Chicken Casserole is about the best thing you can put into your mouth!
It so happened to be her birthday weekend so, I felt a little guilty pleasure food was in order. The only problem was I had not made this in like 15 years!! After a little research I found several recipes that were close to what I had eaten as a kid. After much research, I decided to up my game and gourme-ify it a little.
I recently did a recipe for barbacoa so I had that fresh in my mind. I was like, I wonder if I can do a quicker chicken version and use it as a base for my version of Dorito Chicken Casserole? Turns out the answer was YES!
I decided to use chicken thighs because they are rich and juicy. A lot of people use chicken breasts for everything. I like the thigh a little better because of how tasty they are! I had a Mexican tomato sauce in the pantry called El Pato. It’s basically a spicy Mexican flavored tomato sauce. Taco seasoning just seemed to make sense and then you can always add onion and garlic to almost anything. With that – I felt like I had a good base for my fancy version of Dorito Chicken Casserole.
Ina Garten is one of my fave cooks on the Food Network. She has a recipe for cooking a turkey that starts off really hot and then the oven gets turned down to finish the cooking. (Accidental Turkey Recipe) My turkey always turns out perfectly because of this little method. I was like – this should work for the chicken thighs too!
After a little bit of experimenting, I got this delicious taco flavored shredded chicken mixture. Honestly, I almost 86’d making the Dorito Chicken Casserole and used the mixture to do a chicken taco or burrito because it was sooo good! (I came back around a couple weeks later and made the chicken mixture to make burritos. I was right! Damn good!)
From there I just sort pieced together what I thought would taste the best. I served it up and it was literally scarfed (is that really a word) down! Let me warn you – it is seriously addicting. I ate so much that my stretchy started feel tight!
Recipe Note: Don’t Have time to Cook the Chicken?
Cooking the chicken takes up a lot of time. If you want to fast track the process you can get a pre cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and use it instead of the chicken thighs. Remove the meat from the chicken and shred it. Add this to the tomato mixture and cook in the microwave covered for about 6 to 8 minutes. Finish out per the recipe.
Serves: 6 to 8 People
- 7.5 oz El Pato Tomato Sauce (you can use regular tomato sauce)
- 1.25 oz Taco Seasoning
- 1 Yellow Onion - finely chopped
- 1 tsp Garlic - finely chopped
- 1.5 lbs Chicken Thighs
- 10.5 oz bag of Doritos
- 2 cups of Mexican Blend Cheese
- 1 10.75 oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 10.75 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
- ¼ cup of Whole Milk
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
- Green Onion
- How to Cook the Chicken - Preheat your oven to 400.
- Grab a 2qt (ish) baking dish that has a lid. No lid? No prob! You can use foil to cook the chicken thighs.
- Mix taco seasoning with tomato sauce in a medium baking dish.
- Finely chop the onion and garlic and put into tomato sauce - thoroughly mix it all together.
- Put the chicken thighs into the tomato, onion & garlic sauce - coat the top with tomato sauce too.
- Cover and cook for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Turn the oven down to 250 degrees and cook for 60 minutes.
- Trust me, it is worth the time to cook the chicken this way. It is sooo delish!
- Shred the chicken using two forks. The chicken will be very tender and juicy. This is the secret that makes my Dorito Chicken Casserole da bomb!!
- Putin' it your casserole together - Preheat oven to 350 degree.
- Grab a 4qt baking dish - Open the bag of Doritos and pour into the pan. Lightly press the Doritos into the pan. You just want to break the Doritos down a little bit. (not too much!)
- Put a hand full of cheese over the Doritos and then evenly pour the chicken and tomato mixture over everything.
- Add some more cheese to the top. YUM! It's all about layering the cheese throughout the casserole.
- Mix the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and milk together in a separate bowl (add a little bit of salt and pepper for flavor) then evenly pour over the chicken and Doritos.
- Top off with the rest of the cheese.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half - use just enough to sprinkle over the top. Approximately ½ the pint.
- Thinly slice the green onion. Add the white part to the top of the Dorito Chicken Casserole. Save the greens for garnish.
- Cover with foil and put in the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
- Remove foil and sprinkle the green part of the green onion onto the top to garnish.
- Serve it up! Don't worry about left overs - there won't be any!