King Ranch Chicken Casserole


This classic King Ranch chicken casserole is bursting with chicken, corn tortillas, tomatoes, peppers, and cheesy goodness. From what I hear, it's impossible to go to any sort of potluck in Texas and not see one of these.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
1 9x13-inch casserole

It's hard to describe King Ranch casserole to those who've never experienced its deliciousness, but we'll try: It's an ooey, gooey, cheesy, spicy, and oh-so satisfying combination of pantry staple ingredients you probably already have on hand. This top-rated recipe for homemade King Ranch casserole is beloved by the Allrecipes community — try it today to see what all the fuss is about.

What Is King Ranch Chicken Casserole?

King Ranch chicken is a Tex-Mex casserole with unknown origins, though it's assumed the dish is named after King Ranch, Texas. The casserole consists of pulled chicken, canned soup, green chiles, corn tortillas, sour cream, veggies, and lots of cheese.

King Ranch Casserole Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this community favorite recipe:

An onion and two bell peppers are sautéed in vegetable oil. You can add a poblano for an extra hint of heat.

Canned Soup
You'll need two cans of soup: Condensed cream of chicken soup and condensed cream of mushroom soup.

Canned Tomatoes and Chile Peppers
A can of diced tomatoes and green chile peppers gives the casserole its signature flavor.

Chicken Broth
Use store-bought or homemade chicken broth.

Sour Cream
A couple tablespoons of sour cream makes the sauce rich, creamy, and slightly tangy.

Spices and Seasonings
Cumin, ancho chile powder, dried oregano, and chipotle chile powder gives this King Ranch casserole spicy, savory, earthy, and subtly smoky flavors.

You can use any type of cooked chicken — this is a great opportunity to get rid of leftovers! For a shortcut option, try rotisserie chicken.

This recipe calls for shredded Cheddar cheese, but some reviewers recommend using Pepper Jack for even more heat.

Use corn tortillas cut into quarters. Some reviewers use Doritos or tortilla chips for a fun, crunchy twist.

How to Make King Ranch Chicken Casserole

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's what you can expect when you make this King Ranch chicken casserole:

Sauté Veggies

Sauté the onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper until they're warmed through.

Make Cream Sauce

Stir together the sautéed vegetables, canned soups, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, sour cream, and spices in a large bowl until the ingredients are well-combined.

Assemble the Casserole

Spread a few tablespoons of the sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Top the sauce with about half the chicken. Spread half the sauce over the chicken, then top with ⅓ of the cheese. Arrange a layer of tortillas over the cheese. Add remaining chicken, then top with the remaining sauce (reserving ½ cup). Top with ½ of the remaining cheese and remaining tortillas, then with the reserved sauce, and the remaining cheese.

Bake the Casserole

Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F until bubbling. Set the oven to broil, then cook for another few minutes until the top is golden.

What to Serve With King Ranch Chicken Casserole

It's not necessary to serve King Ranch casserole with anything, as it's an incredibly satisfying dish on its own. If you'd like to pair this casserole with a side (or two!), explore these mouthwatering recipe collections:

15 Quick and Easy Side Dish Salads
22 Top-Rated Side Dish Recipes Ready in 15 Minutes
20 Grandma-Approved Side Dishes

Plus, peruse our entire library of Side Dish Recipes.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"It's really cold out and I wanted to make something different so I looked for King Ranch chicken," says Judy McCauley. "I used this recipe and it was wonderful. I made enough to freeze so we can enjoy it later. Everyone thought I was a wonderful cook. Try it, you'll love it too."

"Great recipe, I have used it several times and continue to tweak it to suit our tastes," raves Michael Davis. "Try it with smoked chicken for a really awesome twist!"

"The first time I made this, I followed the instructions perfectly," according to Jessica Jenkins. "We had some people over for dinner and there were no leftovers. My husband asked that I make it again that same week! Now that I've made it a couple of times, I add a jalapeno just for a little kick."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 medium white onion, diced

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (such as RO*TEL®)

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder

  • 1 (3 pound) cooked chicken, torn into shreds or cut into chunks

  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese

  • 10 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into quarters


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Saute onion and bell peppers in the hot oil until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

    Overhead shot of diced onion and bell peppers being cooked and stirred in a pot

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Add both cans of condensed soup, diced tomatoes with chile peppers, chicken broth, sour cream, cumin, ancho chile powder, oregano, and chipotle chile powder; mix until sauce is well-combined.

    Overhead shot of casserole sauce being mixed in a bowl with peppers and onions

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Spread a few tablespoons of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Layer with 1/2 of the chicken, 1/2 of the sauce, 1/2 of the Cheddar cheese, and 1/2 of the tortillas.

    Overhead view of a baking dish with layers of ingredients for King casserole, topped with tortilla chips

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Spread the remaining chicken over the tortillas. Spread all but 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce over the chicken, then top with another 1/3 of the Cheddar, and the remaining tortillas. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup over top, and sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar.

    A layered baking pan with King casserole ingredients, topped with shredded cheese, as seen from above

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  6. Bake casserole in the preheated oven until bubbling, about 40 minutes.

    Overhead shot of baked King Ranch Chicken Casserole in a dish

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  7. Turn on the broiler and broil until the top is golden, 2 to 3 more minutes.

    A finished golden brown King Ranch Chicken Casserole in a baking dish

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

    looking down at a casserole dish of king ranch chicken casserole, garnished with fresh herbs, pepper slices and sour cream, next to a plate with lime wedges


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

479 Calories
28g Fat
25g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 479
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 890mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 35mg 173%
Calcium 276mg 21%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 407mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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