King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole is creamy, cheesy, and bursting with spicy flavors. This delicious casserole is basically a Texan lasagna and is favorite family dinner recipe.

This dish comes together quickly making it perfect for weeknight dinners. Add some refried beans on the side and you have a quick and easy meal to feed the masses! For more comforting casseroles try Spaghetti Casserole, Dorito Casserole, and Chicken Enchilada Casserole.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe in baking dish

A Creamy Southern Casserole

King Ranch is the largest ranch in Texas and one of the largest ranches in the world. Though this popular Tex Mex dish did not originate from the ranch it is named after it. This King Ranch Chicken Casserole has layers of chicken, tortillas, cheese, and a creamy sauce.

It is similar to our Mexican Lasagna, but with a different flavor profile. It is perfect for using those last few corn tortillas that have been ripped up, you know what I’m talking about!

I love that this is so easy to put together, does not make a huge mess, and tastes absolutely delicious. This is sure to be on your weeknight dinner rotation. Who could resist this creamy chicken goodness?!

King Ranch chicken casserole filling

Ingredient Tips

Chicken: You could use canned chicken or the meat from a rotisserie chicken. We also have a great recipe for cooked chicken. I try to always whip up a large batch of cooked chicken to keep in the freezer that way I always have some on hand when a recipe calls for it. 

More tips:

  • Mix and match green, yellow and red peppers or you can just use one.
  • I like classic cheddar cheese, but you can use Monterey or Pepper Jack.
  • Use corn or flour tortillas depending on your preference.
  • Add sautéed mushrooms or olives.
  • Top with sour cream, diced tomatoes and sliced avocados.

How to make King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe process pics

How to Make King Ranch Casserole

PREP. Preheat the oven to 350.

COOK. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers to the skillet and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes.

SAUCE. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, Ro-Tel tomatoes, chicken broth, sour cream, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Reserve 1 cup of the sauce.

ASSEMBLING:

  • Spread ½ cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Spread half of the chicken in an even layer over the sauce, then pour half of the remaining sauce over the top.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese over the top, then layer half of the tortillas in an even layer over the cheese.
  • Spread the remaining chicken over the top of the tortillas, then pour the remaining sauce over the chicken.
  • Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese, then spread the remaining tortillas evenly over the top of the cheese.
  • Pour the 1 cup of reserved sauce over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese.

BAKE. Bake 40 minutes, until heated through and bubbling. Turn the oven to broil, and broil 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on top.

COOL & SERVE. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Crock Pot Instructions: You can easily make this casserole in the crock pot. Layer the ingredients in the crock pot as directed in the recipe. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 3 ½ hours. Remove the lid and let cook for another 30 minutes. 

Serve your casserole with:

King Ranch chicken casserole

Making Ahead and Storing Leftovers

Make ahead: This is a wonderful casserole to make ahead of time. In fact, I like to double the recipe and make one casserole for that day and then store the second casserole to be used on a busy weeknight

  • You can assemble this casserole the night before and keep it covered in the fridge before baking. 
  • You can also prepare this in a freezer safe container. Cover the pan with plastic wrap then again with aluminum foil.  Freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake.
  • Note: Cold cheese tends to bake instead of melt so whether storing in the fridge or freezer add freshly grated cheese to the top before baking.

Leftovers: Divide leftovers into individual sized portions. Store in airtight, freezer safe if applicable, containers. Casserole can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months. Reheat in the microwave, or transfer to an oven safe dish and bake in the oven until hot.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe

For more Mexican Casseroles, try:

King Ranch Casserole Recipe

5 from 8 votes
King Ranch Chicken Casserole is creamy, cheesy, and bursting with spicy flavors. This delicious casserole is basically a Texan lasagna and is favorite family dinner recipe.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 12
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 10.75 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 10.75 ounce can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 10 ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups cooked chicken cut into chunks
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 corn tortillas cut into fourths

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers to the skillet and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, Ro-Tel tomatoes, chicken broth, sour cream, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Reserve 1 cup of the sauce.
  • To assemble the layers, spread 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread half of the chicken in an even layer over the sauce, then pour half of the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheese over the top, then layer half of the tortillas in an even layer over the cheese. Spread the remaining chicken over the top of the tortillas, then pour the remaining sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese, then spread the remaining tortillas evenly over the top of the cheese. Pour the 1 cup of reserved sauce over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  • Bake 40 minutes, until heated through and bubbling. Turn the oven to broil, and broil 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  • Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    This is a wonderful recipe – simple ingredients, simple to prepare, and a definite crowd pleaser. Expect to be asked for the recipe anytime you serve it! I made a couple tweaks. I added diced onion to the pepper combo, and used half the cumin to adjust to our tastes.

  2. 5 stars
    Tastes great. It was a big hit with my husband. My toddler seemed to like it okay too. It would go great with tortilla chips. 🙂 It has a bunch of good spice, but it wasn’t too hot for my kid. I used the Mexican Cheese Blend instead of cheddar. I don’t regret it. haha

  3. 5 stars
    I just made this for the 4th time. It is so delicious! However, I have yet to cut the prep time anywhere near 20 minutes. It takes me closer to 45 to get it over-ready. 🤪 It’s worth the time, but want to warn others to allow plenty of time, especially if they have a hungry family or guests waiting.