King Ranch Casserole

Whip up one of the heartiest and tastiest Tex-Mex casseroles you have ever eaten! The King Ranch casserole is a simple way to use leftover chicken and corn tortillas. Your entire family will love it!

King Ranch Casserole in a baking dish and on a plate

King Ranch chicken casserole

This is a creamy Tex Mex casserole that was made famous by the King Ranch.  At one time the King Ranch was one of the largest Ranches in Texas. Today it covers about 825,000 acres – larger than the state of Rhode Island. They are still a cattle ranch in full operation. You can actually book a tour and see them in action. How this recipe is related to this really large ranch in Texas, nobody really knows. They don’t have a restaurant or a cookbook. Maybe it’s because their ranch is located in the heart of Tex-Mex culture. Whatever the reason, this dish is incredibly delicious!

King Ranch Casserole Ingredients

King Ranch Chicken Ideas

This is a great recipe to use leftover chicken and corn tortillas. Another way to save yourself some time in the kitchen is to use chopped-up rotisserie chicken. Can you use canned chicken in it? I wouldn’t unless you don’t have any other options. The texture doesn’t turn out nearly as pleasant with canned chicken.

How to Make it Ahead of time

Best of all you can make this casserole ahead of time, as it heats and reheats well. To do this, just follow the recipe up until the step where you put it in the oven. Instead of baking it, seal it tightly and store it in the refrigerator for 5 days or the freezer for 3 weeks.

cooked chopped vegetables in a skillet

Make it Spicy

You can turn up the spice on this casserole by adding more jalapeno peppers and a touch more of the chili powder.  Don’t miss out on this Southern classic.

More southwest recipes

If you love one-dish meals that will feed your entire family, try one of these next:

A serving of King Ranch Casserole on a plate

A serving of King Ranch Casserole and a fork on a plate

King Ranch Casserole

King Ranch Casserole is a classic casserole that contains lots of chicken, corn tortillas, all in a spicy cheese sauce. 
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Recipes, King Ranch Casserole
Servings: 12
Calories: 306kcal


  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 ounces pimento peppers drained
  • 2 tablespoon chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cans 4 ounces - green chilies
  • 4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 14 ounces chicken broth
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese


  • Cook onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until they are tender. Remove from heat and stir in pimiento, chilies, and jalapeno peppers cook until tender, and then set aside.
  • Cook tortillas one at a time, in about 1/4 inch cooking oil in a medium skillet until tortillas are crisp, turning once. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • Melt butter in another saucepan. Stir in flour, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken broth all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more; remove from heat. Stir in sour cream. 
  • Arrange six of the tortillas, overlapping slightly, in an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Top with half of the chicken, and half of the cheese. Add a layer of the onion and peppers mixture.
  • Add another layer of tortillas, the remaining chicken, the remaining cheese, and the remaining peppers. Gently spoon the sauce over the casserole.
  • Cover loosely with foil. Bake in a 350 degree often for 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 12 servings.


Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 657mg | Potassium: 251mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 870IU | Vitamin C: 20.6mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 1.2mg
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About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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  1. Carli Clark

    Great recipe! I have enjoyed your recipes. However, the font is so light & hard to read, especially on a phone. Any chance you could switch to something reader-friendly?

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