King Ranch Chicken Casserole

The BEST King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.comThis Texan classic, creamy cheesy King Ranch Chicken Casserole is a guaranteed mood enhancer for cold winter evenings.

The Absolute Best Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe |
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Over the holidays I visited my brother in Texas.

I’m always enamored by the vast variety of regional specialties found in Texas. It’s seems Texas pride reaches into every element of life, especially local dishes.


My brother introduced me to a Texas casserole I had never tried before, King Ranch Chicken Casserole.

Ultra Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe |

King Ranch, one of the largest and most historically innovative ranches in the world, was founded in the 1800’s by a runaway, Richard King, who made a name for himself later in life in both the steamboat industry and ranching.

These days many things are named after the epic King Ranch, from lavish leather car interiors and furniture, to creamy casserole recipes.

How to Make Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe |

I’m not sure there’s a final word on whether King Ranch Chicken Casserole actually originated at King Ranch, or whether it’s just a popular Texan title to tag on.

Either way, this ultra creamy enchilada style chicken casserole is a massive hit with anyone who tastes it.

Epic in its own right.

Easy to Make Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe |

When researching King Ranch Chicken Casserole, I found most recipes include condensed cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup.

However, I’m not really a fan of adding processed condensed soup to any recipe. I find you can get better flavor and texture with fresh ingredients.

So I started from scratch with sour cream, green chiles, and tomatillo salsa verde, then tossed it with fresh cilantro and chopped chicken. The result was a super silky casserole base with a hint of spice.

Best Ever Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe |

The creamy chicken fillings is layered in a casserole dish with shredded cheese and torn tortillas, then baked until golden and bubbly.

The creamy sauce saturates the tortillas forming tender decadent layers of spicy cheesy goodness.

Amazing Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe |

I think my Texan friends would approve of my King Ranch Chicken Casserole recipe.

It has a definitive Tex-Mex flavor, an overall luxurious quality, and can be thrown together in minutes to feed the masses.

Best Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe |

King Ranch Chicken Casserole is a wonderful freezer make-ahead meal, and is also handy for potlucks and tailgating.

My brother would tell you it’s best with Cholula, a popular hot sauce in Texas, doused over the top.


King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Yield: 12-16 servings

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:25 minutes

5 / 5 (4 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole loaded with chicken, tortillas, cheese, and green chiles. This zesty King Ranch Casserole Recipe is packed with comfort.


  • 5 cups chopped cooked chicken (use leftovers or a rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 16 ounces jarred tomatillo salsa verde (mild or hot)
  • 13.5 ounces chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 cups shredded mexican style cheese
  • 20 white corn tortillas


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the butter, onions and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften.
  2. In a large bowl mix the sautéed onions and garlic, chopped chicken, sour cream, salsa verde, chopped green chiles, cilantro and cumin.
  3. Tear the tortillas into rough pieces. Spoon one-quarter of the chicken filling in the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded cheese. Then spread a single layer of torn tortillas over the top. Repeat 3 layers high, using up all the tortillas. Spread the last one-quarter chicken filling and 1 cup of cheese over the top.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Wait at least 5 minutes before cutting. Serve warm!

Nutrition Information

Yield: 12-16 servings, Serving Size: 16

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 318 Calories
  • Total Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.7g
  • Cholesterol: 73mg
  • Sodium: 509mg
  • Carbohydrates: 20.4g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Sugar: 2.5g
  • Protein: 21.5g
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27 comments on “King Ranch Chicken Casserole

  1. [email protected]posted January 20, 2016 at 6:36 am Reply

    Sounds so very American and delicious! 

  2. Lizposted January 20, 2016 at 8:51 am Reply

    Thank you. Sounds really good, but really fattening.

    • Sommerposted January 20, 2016 at 9:10 am Reply

      Hey Liz, LOL! It is a splurge, but you could make the same recipe with low fat sour cream and low fat cheese. :)

  3. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountainposted January 20, 2016 at 9:39 am Reply

    Now, this is only way to get over the hump! Great recipe, Sommer! 

  4. naomiposted January 20, 2016 at 10:20 am Reply

    My boys would love this cheesy, hearty casserole!

  5. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted January 20, 2016 at 10:36 am Reply

    Now that’s one yummy looking casserole! 

  6. Mariaposted January 20, 2016 at 11:20 am Reply

    I love any meal you can make ahead and stick in the freezer!

  7. marlaposted January 20, 2016 at 12:21 pm Reply

    My family will LOVE this casserole!!!

  8. Emily @ Life on Foodposted January 20, 2016 at 2:09 pm Reply

    Oh my goodness this sounds delicious. And so perfect for a cold night.

  9. Stephanie @ Stephanie's Az kitchenposted January 20, 2016 at 4:31 pm Reply

    My boys would love this and make ahead meals are huge for my family during the week. Lol might sneak some kale in there too

  10. Sharon @ Grits andPineconesposted January 21, 2016 at 1:58 pm Reply

    I have made this dish many times with cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup. But, I can’t wait to try your version. It looks delicious! 

    Rating: 5
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  17. Tacy Tposted February 27, 2017 at 4:10 pm Reply

    For a real splurge – make it with Doritos instead of corn tortillas. Nacho cheese and regular. YUMMO.

    Rating: 5
    • Sommerposted March 1, 2017 at 7:14 pm Reply

      Niiiiiiiiiiiice! I’m going to have to try that. :)

  18. Ericaposted August 28, 2017 at 1:41 pm Reply

    Has anyone successfully assembled, frozen and then baked at a later date? Thinking about making this for a friend who just had a baby. I thought about assembling it and taking it to them the same day. That way they could immediately bake and eat or put in the freezer for later? Suggested baking times from frozen? Thanks all!

  19. T Jposted September 21, 2017 at 11:04 am Reply

    Does this freeze well?

    • Sommerposted September 21, 2017 at 2:11 pm Reply

      Hi TJ,

      Absolutely! Just wrap it very well, so it doesn’t get freezer burn. :)

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  21. Deborah lynchposted November 4, 2017 at 11:48 am Reply

    Easy and wonderful. Everyone loved it. 

    Rating: 5
  22. Tamara Carpenterposted November 29, 2017 at 11:55 am Reply

    Can you make this the day before and heat up? Do the corn tortillas need to be heated prior to placing in dish?

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  24. Julieposted June 13, 2018 at 2:17 am Reply

    PENOMINAL! I actually already commented on the recipe posted before hitting “read me” I posted a picture as well. IT’S A KEEPER! Followed as it said, no changes, after all if I changed it, I wouldn’t be reviewing for others on this specific recipe! I hate when people do that crap. If you don’t make don’t review, want opinions on the recipe at hand.

    Rating: 5