I’m always enamored by the vast variety of regional specialties found in Texas. It seems Texas pride reaches into every element of life, especially local dishes.
My brother introduced me to a Texas chicken casserole I had never tried before, King Ranch Chicken Casserole.
History Of Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole
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.
I’m not sure there’s a final word on whether Texas King Ranch 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 King Ranch Chicken Casserole Made From Scratch
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 is a super silky casserole base with a hint of spice.
Homemade King Ranch Chicken Casserole
The creamy chicken filling 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.
I think my Texan friends would approve of this Easy 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!
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.
Get The Full Texas King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe Below!
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Creamy King Ranch Chicken Casserole loaded with chicken, tortillas, cheese, and green chiles. This zesty King Ranch Casserole Recipe is packed with comfort, not canned soup!
- 5 cups chopped cooked chicken (use leftovers or a rotisserie chicken)
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 large onions, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, 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
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.
In a large bowl mix the sautéed onions and garlic, chopped chicken, sour cream, salsa verde, chopped green chiles, cilantro, and cumin.
- 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 layering the chicken filling, cheese, and tortillas three layers high, using up all the tortillas. Spread the last one-quarter of chicken filling and 1 cup of cheese over the top.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Wait at least 5 minutes before cutting. Serve warm!
This chicken casserole does freeze well! Leave it out at room temperature to thaw completely before baking.