King Ranch Chicken Casserole is a favorite Southern comfort food dish! Layers of tortillas, creamy chicken and peppers, and shredded cheese. It’s an easy dinner that uses less than 10 ingredients and only 10 minutes of prep time!
Why I Love This Recipe
- Only 10 minutes of prep time!
- Less than 10 simple ingredients.
- Great recipe to use up leftover cooked chicken.
- Freezes really well – Double the recipe and make a second casserole to freeze for later.
King Ranch Casserole is a Tex-Mex casserole that is believed to be named after King Ranch, Texas. It is made out of tortillas that are layered with a creamy chicken and pepper mixture and shredded cheese that is then baked in the oven until bubbly.
The King Ranch Casserole takes about 35 minutes to cook in the oven.
The diced tomatoes with green chiles along with the canned soups give this casserole flavor, but if you want to add more spices for a kick then I like to use cumin, chile powder (or ancho chile powder), and even a little cayenne pepper for added spice.
Prepare the casserole to just before baking, then cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat from frozen, thaw first in the refrigerator overnight.
Yes, prepare the casserole to just before baking, cover and refrigerate for the day then bake as directed.
For toppings or garnishes, try sour cream, cilantro or crispy tortilla strips.
Leftovers can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze leftover portions for up to 3 months. I prefer to freeze in individual servings for faster thawing/reheating. Thaw completely before reheating.
- Halve the Recipe – If you’re feeding less people this recipe can be cut in half and baked in a 8×8 inch or 9×9 inch baking dish instead.
- Grease Well – It is important to grease your baking dish with either butter or a cooking spray. Otherwise, the tortillas will stick to the bottom.
- Overlap the Tortillas – You want to overlap the corn tortillas. You can use more or less as you prefer, but you want them layered like a lasagna.
- Spread Filling Edge to Edge – It is important to spread the filling to fit each corner, otherwise you will end up with tortilla only corners.
- Use Sharp Knife for Serving – Before serving, I like to let it cool for a few minutes then use a sharp knife to cut pieces and a spatula to lift them out.
- Cheese Variation – In place of or in combination with, I sometimes like to add Monterey Jack for a milder flavor, or Pepper Jack for a little more heat.
- Hot Tip! Don’t have enough corn tortillas? Try using tortilla chips instead!
More Easy Casserole Recipes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 green pepper diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cups chicken cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 10.5 ounces canned cream of chicken soup undiluted
- 10.5 ounces canned cream of mushroom soup undiluted
- 10 ounces canned diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 16 corn tortillas cut in half
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×13 dish with a coating of nonstick spray.
In an extra large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat and cook onion and green pepper until tender.
Add the chicken, cream of chicken soup, mushroom soup and tomatoes to the skillet and stir until well combined.
In the prepared baking dish, arrange half of the tortillas until the base of the dish is covered.
Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, spreading out evenly to each corner.
Sprinkle two cups of the cheddar cheese over the chicken mixture.
Repeat steps 4-6 again, layering the remaining tortillas, chicken mixture and cheese.
Place the casserole into the oven, uncovered and bake for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Grease the pan well, otherwise the tortillas will stick to the bottom.
- Make sure to OVERLAP the corn tortillas so they completely cover the bottom of the pan.
- Serving this dish can be difficult. I preferred using a sharp knife to cut through the tortillas all the way to the bottom.
Calories: 652kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 31gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 1249mgPotassium: 475mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1014IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 622mgIron: 3mg