Rating: 4.5 stars
448 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 303
  • 4 star values: 98
  • 3 star values: 31
  • 2 star values: 8
  • 1 star values: 8

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.

Recipe Summary

cook:
45 mins
total:
1 hr 15 mins
prep:
30 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
1 9x13-inch casserole
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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 Casserole
King Ranch Chicken Casserole | Photo by Chef John

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: 

Vegetables
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. 

Chicken
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. 

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

Tortillas
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

King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Credit: Maureen Karamales

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: 

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

Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

Nutrition Facts

479 calories; protein 32g; carbohydrates 24.9g; fat 28g; cholesterol 99.5mg; sodium 890.3mg. Full Nutrition
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