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King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Review Recipe
a close up shot of King Ranch Chicken Casserole with a fork grabbing a piece
This delicious King Ranch chicken casserole is packed with creamy layers of chicken, cheese, and tortillas to create the ultimate easy meal.
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Table of Contents
  1. King Ranch Chicken Casserole Ingredients
  2. How to Make This King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

I don’t think anything smells better than this King Ranch chicken casserole cooking in the oven. The Texas-inspired classic comfort food is the perfect dish, loaded with layers of tortillas, chicken, cheese, and creamy gravy that will be a guaranteed family favorite.

a close up shot of King Ranch Chicken Casserole on a plate with a fork grabbing a piece

King Ranch Chicken Casserole Ingredients

King Ranch Chicken Casserole raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 1 chopped bell pepper (any color, I used a red bell pepper)
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can of cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 (10-ounce) can of mild Rotel, undrained
  • 3 cups shredded cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 12 soft taco-size corn tortillas, quartered
  • 4 cups freshly shredded Colby and Monterey jack cheese (divided into 1½ and 2½) 

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CHICKEN: You can substitute shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken for the boneless skinless chicken breasts in this delicious recipe.

BELL PEPPER: You can use any color of bell pepper that you wish in this Tex-Mex dish. 

CHEESE: You can substitute pre-shredded cheese for freshly shredded cheese, but it will not be as creamy. Pre-shredded cheese adds cellulose to the cheese and has a powdery texture.

SPICY: To add a bit of a kick, use spicy Rotel tomatoes instead of mild, and pepper jack cheese instead of the milder cheese the recipe calls for.

How to Make This King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

This dish can be assembled up to a day before baking. Cover in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store in the fridge overnight. Take out about 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, and let it come to room temperature.

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 375°F.

STEP TWO: Add the olive oil, chopped onion, and chopped bell pepper to a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions, and bell peppers are softened. Remove from the heat.

onions and bell peppers cooked in a pot

STEP THREE: Whisk in the undiluted cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, and the undrained Rotel. Whisk until well combined.

cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, and the rotel whisked in a pot

STEP FOUR: Stir in the shredded chicken and chopped cilantro.

shredded chicken and cilantro stirred in a pot

STEP FIVE: Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with half of the quartered corn tortillas.

PRO TIP:

A pizza cutter is a great way to easily cut the corn tortillas into quarters.

STEP SIX: Spoon half of the creamy chicken mixture over the bottom layer of corn tortillas.

half chicken mixture spooned over the bottom layer of the corn tortilla

STEP SEVEN: Sprinkle 1½ cups of the shredded cheese over the chicken layer.

STEP EIGHT: Layer the remaining corn tortillas over the cheese layer.

tortillas layed over the cheese layer in a baking dish

STEP NINE: Spread the remaining chicken filling over the corn tortillas.

STEP TEN: Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the chicken mixture.

shredded cheese sprinkled over the chicken mixture

STEP ELEVEN: Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve while hot.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your casserole as the suggested cooking time approaches.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole baked in a baking dish

How To Serve

This tasty dish is the perfect choice for busy weeknights. Serve your King Ranch casserole with a spoonful of sour cream on top and a simple Caesar salad or cucumber salad on the side to complete your meal. 

Our Amish casserole and cabbage roll casserole are two more great recipes for cozy dishes that we know you will love.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers of this easy casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze this baked cheesy casserole for up to 1 month. Allow the casserole to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and serving. 

a close up shot of King Ranch Chicken Casserole with a spatula grabbing a piece

Layers of hearty but simple ingredients, all smothered in a creamy sauce, make this gooey cheesy comfort food an obvious choice for a quick and easy meal option. With plenty of zesty Tex-Mex flavors, this family-friendly casserole will surely be a winner.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why is this casserole called “King Ranch” casserole?

The original King Ranch chicken recipe is named for King Ranch in Texas, one of the largest ranches in the United States. The dish itself doesn’t have any known ties to the ranch, but it certainly has plenty of Tex-Mex flavor.

Is this dish spicy?

While it has plenty of flavorful ingredients, this easy recipe is perfectly kid-friendly and isn’t spicy at all.

Can I assemble this King Ranch chicken recipe ahead of time?

You can assemble this dish up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking and serving.

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a close up shot of King Ranch Chicken Casserole with a fork grabbing a piece

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

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This delicious King Ranch chicken casserole is packed with creamy layers of chicken, cheese, and tortillas to create the ultimate easy meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
  • 1 chopped bell pepper, any color (I used a red bell pepper)
  • 10.5 ounces cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 10.5 ounces cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 10 ounces mild Rotel, undrained
  • 3 cups boneless skinless chicken breast, shredded and cooked
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
  • 12 soft taco-size corn tortillas, quartered
  • 4 cups freshly shredded Colby and Monterey jack cheese, divided into 1½ and 2½

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Add the olive oil, chopped onion, and chopped bell pepper to a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions and bell peppers are softened. Remove from the heat.
  • Whisk in the undiluted cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, and the undrained Rotel. Whisk until well combined.
  • Stir in the shredded chicken and chopped cilantro.
  • Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with half of the quartered corn tortillas.
  • Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the bottom layer of corn tortillas.
  • Sprinkle 1½ cups of the shredded cheese over the chicken layer.
  • Layer the remaining corn tortillas over the cheese layer.
  • Spread the remaining chicken mixture over the corn tortillas.
  • Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the chicken mixture.
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve while hot.

Notes

  • This dish can be assembled up to a day before baking. Cover in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store in the fridge overnight. Take out about 30 minutes before you are ready to bake, and let it come to room temperature.
  • A pizza cutter is a great way to easily cut the corn tortillas into quarters.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your casserole as the suggested cooking time approaches.

Nutrition

Calories: 737kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 1658mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1355IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 687mg | Iron: 5mg
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