King Ranch Chicken is a delicious Tex Mex casserole with a tasty blend of chicken, rotel tomatoes, cheese and cream of mushroom soup. This is an easy family dinner ready to eat in under an hour with very little work.
The result is a cheesy, flavorful meal with a little kick that your family will ask for over and over. You can prepare it using rotisserie style chicken, making it an even easier meal to whip together. The rotisserie chicken adds delicious flavor and richness to this casserole.
My sister-in-law, Linda is famous for her King Ranch Chicken. I first experienced this delightful dish at her house long, long ago and she shared her recipe with me. It has become a staple meal in our home for those busy weeknights when a quick, filling dinner is needed.
What is King Ranch Chicken made of?
This casserole is loved for its tasty flavors and ease of ingredients. This simple dish is made using flour or corn Tortillas layered with cooked and shredded chicken, cheese, diced tomatoes, spices and a can of either cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup.
Its origins aren’t truly known, but it is believed to have been named after the famous King Ranch in Texas, one of the largest ranches in the United States.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe
The original recipe calls for boiling a whole chicken, cooling it, and then pulling the meat off the bones. Now our local grocery stores have pulled chicken meat ready to use. That makes this recipe much easier to prepare.
We sped up the time it takes to make this casserole with store bought deli chicken, canned soup and pre-made flour tortillas.
What type of Chicken do you use for King Ranch Chicken?
Traditionally a boiled and shredded chicken is used for this casserole, but rotisserie chickens provide a quick and flavorful option if you want to save yourself the time. We are sharing other suggestions that you can use below
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts, or frozen chicken tenderloins can be cooked ahead, cooled and chopped for this recipe. You will need to add your favorite Mexican spices to add more flavor.
- Canned chicken will also work in this casserole. However, you want to use low sodium canned chicken to prevent the meal from becoming overly salty.
What do you serve with King Ranch Chicken?
King Ranch Chicken makes a delicious dinner that everyone loves, and it is easy to enjoy with a variety of sides. We are sharing a list of our favorites.
- Warm Tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa
- Our Skillet Cornbread
- Mexican street corn
- Authentic Mexican rice
- Mexican style green beans
- A fresh green salad
- A side of our Homemade Refried Beans
- Our Simple Cilantro Lime Rice
- Roasted stuffed jalapeno peppers
Here is our printable recipe card for King Ranch Chicken. Please also watch our recipe demonstration video for this recipe in the bottom of the recipe card.
King Ranch Chicken is a cheesy chicken casserole with a bit of Mexico. Add Rotel Tomatoes and homemade tortillas to flavorful saucy chicken, topped with cheddar cheese for an excellent, slightly spicy casserole dinner. Put some homemade refried beans on the side for a filling, delicious meal
- One 3 lb. chicken Boiled, cooled and deboned (2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast or pulled rotisserie chicken)1 Can Cream of chicken soup
- 1 Can Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1/2 Cup chicken broth
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes
- 8 8 inch flour tortillas-torn
- 1 Cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl Mix soups with the chicken broth and rotel tomatoes.
- Place torn tortillas into the bottom of an OILED 9 x 13 casserole dish until the bottom is covered.
- Layer half the sauce mixture over the tortillas and half the chicken.
- Repeat layers and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the casserole dish.
- Bake 30 minutes COVERED until bubbly. Remove cover and broil the top five minutes or until the casserole is browned.
- Serve hotfrom the pan.
Substitutions for the chicken...
What kind of chicken do you have on hand? It may work just fine for this recipe.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts ,or frozen chicken tenderloins, can be cooked ahead, cooled and chopped for this recipe. You will need to add your favorite Mexican spices to add more flavor.
- You can also Easily make this recipe with pulled Rotisserie chicken meat. (Pull your own meat and make bone broth from the bones with your instant pot for massive savings). This is the meat I use. It's so easy to do when you make it ahead and freeze it.
- Canned chicken will also work in this casserole. However, you want to use LOW SODIUM canned chicken. It gets a bit salty otherwise.
Add homemade refried beans on the side for a filling, delicious and nutritious meal.
Need this recipes low carb? Try low carb tortillas. They are not as buttery or rich as my homemade tortillas but they are just fine for a healthier version of this dinner. And buying tortillas for sure is simpler than making them. 🙂
Storing the leftovers:
This recipe makes great leftovers and will hold in the fridge a week if properly covered.
Reheat in single servings in the micorwave or Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
Amount Per Serving Calories 436Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 144mgSodium 844mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 38g
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