This King Ranch Chicken Casserole is an oldie, but a goodie! It’s a Tex-Mex casserole that’s a combo of pulled chicken, corn tortillas, peppers, onions and tomatoes in a creamy, cheesy sauce that’s to die for! This recipe is made from scratch and you need to get this on your dinner menu ASAP!
It’s time to break out the stretchy pants folks because all willpower heads right smack out the door when this King Ranch Chicken Casserole hits the table!
Seriously…it’s sooooo good! You’re going to NEED to make this Tex-Mex casserole ASAP!
The jury is still out as to who really created the King Ranch Casserole. Word on the street is that its name comes from the largest ranch in the United States, King Ranch in South Texas. There is no definitive connection between the dish and the ranch though.
The original recipe calls for pulled chicken, canned soup, green chiles, cheese, corn tortillas sour cream and a few other veggies. I decided to go the extra mile and make the canned soup from scratch. It’s so easy and much less sodium because I use low-salt broth.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole Ingredients
- yellow onion
- red bell pepper
- poblano peppers
- jalapeño pepper
- diced tomatoes
- chili powder
- cayenne powder
- all-purpose flour
- low-sodium chicken broth
- 6-inch corn tortillas
- shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- shredded cooked chicken
- sour cream
- kosher salt
How to make this King Ranch Chicken Casserole
First, you’ll melt your butter in a large skillet and then add your onions, red bell pepper, poblanos and jalapeno and cook until everything is softened, about 8-10 minutes.
Next up, you will add your garlic, diced tomatoes and spices and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often so you don’t burn the garlic. You will add your flour next and cook for about 1-2 minutes and then slowly add your broth until the mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
At this point, you’ll remove your skillet from the heat and stir in your sour cream and your shredded chicken until everything is smooth and creamy and well combined.
I decided to use the same cast iron casserole skillet, so I transferred the mixture to a bowl and rinsed the skillet before starting my layering. You could also opt to use a 13×9 baking dish at this point.
You’ll spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of whatever dish you’re using followed by 5 of the tortillas ripped into small to medium-ish pieces. Then you will spread half of the remaining sauce over the tortillas followed by half the cheese. Top the cheese with the remaining 5 ripped tortillas, then the remaining sauce, and the leftover cheese.
You’ll bake for about 40-45 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the sauce begins to bubble.
What to serve with this Casserole
- tortilla chips
- ranch-style beans
- green salad
This casserole is ridiculously delicious and such a family-friendly meal. It’s absolutely perfect for upcoming Cinco de Mayo too!
Please let me know if you give the recipe a try. And if you have any questions about the recipe, just drop a comment below. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for King Ranch Chicken Casserole
You can make this in a 13×9 baking dish or a 3.6 quart deep cast iron casserole as pictured. Mine is made by Lodge.
I buy my chicken already cooked and shredded from my local market. You’ll need 4 cups. If your market doesn’t carry it you can cook your chicken yourself and shred. You’ll need about 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts.
I used 6-inch yellow corn tortillas for this recipe, but you could use white corn tortillas instead.
More Delicious Casserole Recipes to Enjoy
King Ranch Chicken CasserolePrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup poblano pepper, finely chopped
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 10 6-inch corn tortillas, yellow or white
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 1 13x9 baking dish or a 3.6 quart cast iron casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions, red bell pepper, poblanos and jalapeno and cook for 8 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, chili powder, cayenne and kosher salt and continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the all-purpose flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Slowly add the broth and let the mixture come to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes until somewhat thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream and chicken.
- To your prepared dish, spread a small amount of the sauce. Top with 5 of the tortillas, torn into small-medium size pieces. (as picture above) Spread have of the remaining creamy chicken mixture over the tortillas. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top with remaining town tortilla pieces, remaining creamy chicken mixture, then remaining shredded cheese. Bake until lightly browned on top and bubbly, about 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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