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Spatula serving a slice of king ranch chicken casserole showing melted cheese.
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5 from 23 votes

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Hearty and comforting this King Ranch Chicken Casserole is a family favorite! Layers of crispy corn tortillas, cheese, and a creamy chicken mixture loaded with bell peppers, tomatoes, green chiles, chili powder and cumin!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: main dish
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Servings: 10
Calories: 416kcal
Author: Serene


  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup yellow onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • cup chicken broth
  • 1 (10 ounce) diced tomatoes with green chiles drained
  • cup sour cream
  • 2 lbs chicken cooked and shredded
  • 4 cups monterey jack cheese shredded
  • 18 corn tortillas yellow or white
  • ¼ cup canola oil

Optional Toppings

  • cilantro chopped
  • sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 350℉ degrees. Spray 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Once melted add the onion, and bell peppers. Allow to cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned.
  • Add in the garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Stir to coat the veggies in the seasonings.
  • Sprinkle the flour into the skillet. Stir to coat the veggies in the flour, will end up with a thick paste. Cook briefly for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in the broth and stir. Bring mixture to a boil while stirring and let simmer while stirring for about 2-3 minutes until thick. Remove from heat, allow to cool for about 2 minutes and stir in the diced tomatoes with green chiles and the sour cream. Stir to combine. Add the shredded chicken and stir until mixed. Set aside.
  • Pour the canola oil into a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Once the oil is heated carefully lay the tortillas in the oil in batches. Cook until just lightly fried, they should be flexible still and not crispy. Remove from oil and place onto a plate lined with paper towels to catch the remaining oil.
  • Once all tortillas are cooked layer 6 tortillas on the bottom of the baking dish. Layer the tortillas to cover as much of the dish as possible. Top with half of the chicken mixture then one third of the cheese. Repeat by layering 6 more tortillas, the remaining half of the chicken mixture, and one third of the cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas and the rest of the cheese.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven allow to cool for several minutes then serve warm. Can serve with additional sour cream and fresh cilantro.


  • Flour: recipe uses all purpose flour, use gluten free options as needed.
  • Chicken: use cooked, shredded chicken. This can be made ahead of time or use a rotisserie chicken. 
  • Jalapeño: gives a mild heat, can be substituted with green bell pepper if needed or omitted completely.
  • Monterey Jack Cheese: can be substituted with cheddar or other nicely melting cheese. 
Storage Instructions:
  • Make Ahead: prepare the casserole according to directions, instead of baking, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Bake according to directions, increase time as needed to have warmed throughout. 
  • Freezing: Prepare the dish according to the recipe. Allow to cool to room temperature. Wrap tightly in two layers of foil and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, remove to the refrigerator overnight. Allow dish to warm at room temperature for 30 minutes before reheating.
  • Reheating: Cover dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, remove foil then continue baking the casserole for 15-30 more minutes, or until heated through.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 713mg | Fiber: 3g