King Ranch Casserole

Whip up one of the heartiest and tastiest Tex-Mex casseroles you have ever eaten! 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.

Nobody knows how this recipe is related to this really large ranch in Texas, nobody. 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!

Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Vegetable oil
  • Diced pimento peppers
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Corn tortillas
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Canned green chilies
  • Chili powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Chicken broth
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cooked chicken
  • Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
King Ranch Casserole Ingredients

How to Make King Ranch Casserole

  1. Cook onions and garlic in oil until they are tender.
  2. Add pimento, green chilies, and jalapeno peppers. Cook until tender, then remove the pan from the heat.
    cooked chopped vegetables in a skillet
  3. Cook tortillas one at a time in a medium skillet with a little oil until tortillas are crisp, turning once.
  4. Drain cooked tortillas.
    Fried corn tortillas on a rack
  5. Melt butter in another saucepan.
  6. Stir in flour, chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  7. Add the chicken broth all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then for 1 minute more.
  8. Remove the broth mixture from the heat and stir in sour cream. 
  9. Arrange six of the tortillas, overlapping slightly, in an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish.
  10. Top with half of the chicken then half of the cheese.
  11. Add a layer of the onion mixture.
  12. Add another layer of tortillas, the remaining chicken, the remaining cheese, and the remaining peppers.
  13. Gently spoon the sauce over the casserole.
  14. Cover loosely with foil.
  15. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  16. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
King Ranch Casserole in a baking dish

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.

Make it Spicy

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

A serving of King Ranch Casserole on a plate

More Southwest Recipes

Favorite Casserole Recipes

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

Check out more of my easy casserole recipes and the best Southwest, Tex-Mex, and Mexican food recipes here on CopyKat!

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 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Recipes, King Ranch Casserole
Servings: 12
Calories: 306kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 ounces diced pimento peppers drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper
  • 4 ounces green chilies (2 cans)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 14 ounces chicken broth
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until they are tender.
  • Add pimento, green chilies, and jalapeno peppers. Stir and cook until tender, and then set aside.
  • Cook tortillas one at a time, in about ¼-inch of 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 then remove from heat and 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, half of the cheese, and half 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 at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

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
Tried this recipe?Mention @CopyKatRecipes or tag #CopyKatRecipes!

About Stephanie Manley

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 CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com'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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