King Ranch Chicken is a classic Tex Mex casserole that’s cheesy, flavorful, and SO easy to make! Layers of tortillas and cheese are made delicious with a creamy chicken filling that’ll have your fork going back for more and more.
King Ranch Chicken
As we ease out of the summer and into the fall, it’s time to whip out all of those hearty casserole recipes! Once that temperature drops, nothing satisfies more for dinner than a comforting casserole straight from the oven. One of my absolute all-time favorites is this easy king ranch chicken casserole! A creamy, super flavorful chicken mixture is layered with tortillas and plenty of cheese before being baked to perfection. This is an easy dinner recipe that is pretty filling, but so good you’ll want to go back for more no matter how full you are. Aren’t those dinners just the best?
Whether you’re headed to a potluck or just need something filling for dinner, a good casserole always gets the job done! Some of my favorite recipes include Easy Tater Tot Casserole, a classic Tuna Casserole, and Easy Taco Casserole.
What is King Ranch Chicken Made of?
This casserole is made of onions, peppers, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, cheese tortillas and diced tomatoes with green chilis. You also need shredded chicken and can use a rotisserie, or even Crockpot Shredded Chicken.
How to Make King Ranch Chicken
Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
1. Sauté the veggies. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and peppers until softened.
2. Make the creamy sauce. Grab a large mixing bowl and combine the onion and pepper mixture from the skillet, cream of mushroom and chicken soups, diced tomatoes, cumin and chile powder. Reserve ¾ c. of this sauce for later.
3. Layer the casserole. On the bottom of your prepared baking dish spread ½ c. of sauce mixture. Then spread ½ of the chicken over the sauce. Top chicken with half of the remaining sauce and then ⅓ of the cheese. Spread a layer of corn tortillas (½ the tortillas) over the cheese. Spread remaining chicken over the tortillas, top with remaining sauce (except reserved sauce) then ⅓ of the cheese, remaining tortillas, and the reserved sauce and remaining cheese.
4. Bake. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.
Storing/Make Ahead Instructions
Note that you can make this casserole ahead of time, but the tortillas might be a little more mushy.
Prepare the casserole up to 3 days before you plan on serving it. Allow it to completely cool to room temp after assembling it, then cover with plastic wrap or a cover on your pan. Place it in the fridge. When ready to bake it, simply place it in the oven and bake according to the recipe. It may take 10-15 minutes longer due to the fact it’s cold.
If you’d like to freeze the casserole, follow the same directions but place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve it, remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge. Allow it to slowly thaw before baking.
Ingredient Notes for King Ranch Chicken
Chicken – This is a great recipe to use up any leftover chicken you may have in the fridge. If you don’t feel like cooking the chicken yourself, you can always grab a rotisserie chicken from the store that’s already ready to go!
Seasonings – This recipe calls for cumin and chili powder. If you’d like, you can sprinkle in more spices like cayenne powder, crushed red pepper flakes or more chili powder to turn up the heat.
Yellow Onion – I like to use a yellow onion for this recipe because it has a little bit of natural added sweetness. However, a white onion will also work just fine.
King Ranch Casserole
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion peeled and diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper diced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper diced
- 10.75 oz Can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 10.75 oz Can Can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
- 10 oz Can Rotel
- 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 2 Cups Cooked Shredded Chicken
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 12 Corn Tortillas cut into quarters
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion, red and green peppers until softened about 7-10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the onion and pepper mixture, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, rotel, sour cream, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, ad salt and pepper to taste. Stir until completely combined. Reserve ¾ c. of sauce for later.
- Spread ½ c. of sauce on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spread 1⁄2 of the chicken over the sauce. Top chicken with half of the remaining sauce and then ⅓ of the cheese. Spread a layer of corn tortillas (½ the tortillas) over the cheese. Spread remaining chicken over the tortillas, top with remaining sauce (except reserved sauce) then ⅓ of the cheese, remaining tortillas, and the reserved sauce and remaining cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.