King Ranch Chicken is a cheesy casserole layered with a rich and creamy sauce, flour tortillas, rotisserie chicken, and cheese. Try my Cornbread Cowboy Casserole for another hearty dish!
King Ranch Chicken
If you are looking for a family-friendly dish that will leave everyone at the table satisfied, try this King Ranch Chicken! It is a perfect weeknight meal or a meal that you can prepare ahead of time to enjoy on those busy nights. The sauce, tortillas, chicken, and cheese melt together beautifully and deliciously.
Sauce: The sauce is a sour cream and cream of chicken soup-based sauce with onions, bell peppers, and diced tomatoes with green chilis. And, you can make your own chicken stock to use in the sauce. If you don’t have cans of cream of chicken soup, you could use condensed cream of mushroom soup or a combination of the two instead.
Chicken: Rotisserie chicken is the way to go with this recipe. You can sometimes find it already shredded at your local grocery store. Or, you could buy a whole one to shred or make your own rotisserie chicken. You could also use leftover chicken or even canned chicken.
Cheese: I used mild cheddar cheese, but other kinds of cheese would work, too! Give Monteray Jack a try, or spice it up a little bit with pepper jack cheese.
Tortillas: Many King Ranch Chicken recipes use corn tortillas, but we preferred flour tortillas. Of course, you could use either.
Why is it Called King Ranch Chicken?
King Ranch Chicken is named after the largest ranch in the United States, King Ranch, located in Texas. However, there isn’t actually a direct link between the two. Even though the origin of the name is a myth, the goodness of the cheesy casserole is the real deal!
Can I Make King Ranch Chicken Ahead of Time?
Yes! As I stated above, this is a great recipe for making ahead of time. You can assemble the casserole, wrap it in plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to bake the next day, let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking it in the oven.
How to Freeze King Ranch Chicken
If you are not going to bake the casserole the next day, freeze it after it has been assembled. Wrap it tightly in both plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Label and date the packaging; it will last up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Before placing it in the oven, again, let it sit out at room temperature for about half an hour.
How to Store this Casserole
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
King Ranch Chicken
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced (½ cup)
- 1 small green bell pepper diced (½ cup)
- 2 cans (10.5 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilis
- 1 cup (240 g) chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups (420 g) rotisserie chicken, chopped, divided
- 3 cups (339 g) mild cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
- 6 flour (8 inches each) tortillas, cut into quarters, divided
- parsley, for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- To a large skillet over high heat, add butter. Once the butter has melted, add onions, red pepper, and green pepper. Cook until softened (about 5-8 minutes).
- Add soup, tomatoes, chicken stock, sour cream, chili powder, and cumin. Mix together until combined. Remove from heat.
- Add ¼ cup of the sauce to the bottom of the prepared baking dish, spreading it out in an even layer.
- Top the sauce with 12 quarter pieces of the tortillas, 1½ cups of chicken, 2 cups of the remaining sauce, and 1½ cups of cheese. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, chicken, sauce, and cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.
- Broil for 1-2 minutes. (To brown the cheese- this is optional.) Remove from the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes. (It may seem runny at first, but it will set up.)
- Serve garnished with parsley.
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.