Casserole with King Ranch Chicken

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Casserole with King Ranch Chicken

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.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole | Photo by Chef John.

What Is King Ranch Chicken Casserole?

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:

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.

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

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

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:
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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

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