Mexican King Ranch Chicken Casserole Recipe

Updated on March 3, 2020
Margie Lynn profile image

Margie's been an online writer for several years. Her articles focus on great Southern-style recipes for any occasion.

A Delicious Twist on an Old Favorite King Ranch Casserole

King Ranch chicken has been popular on family dinner tables and in lunchrooms across the South for decades. This recipe adds a bit more Mexican flavor to liven things up. The original dish comes from the King Ranch in south Texas, one of the largest ranches in the U.S. Recipes for this dish vary, but the basics include tomatoes, cream of mushroom and/or chicken soup, peppers, and shredded chicken, all in a casserole lined with tortilla chips. It can be a little bland in my opinion, so this spiced-up Mexican version just tastes a little better to me. It goes perfectly with some cornbread and a nice green salad.


  • 1-3 pound chicken, boiled or baked, de-boned, diced
  • 1 dozen corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomato and green chilies
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups (8-ounces) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the onion and the bell pepper in hot oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the diced chicken to the onion and the bell pepper mixture.
  3. Add the cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, tomatoes and green chilies, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and the black pepper.
  4. Line a greased 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish; layer one-third of the corn tortillas pieces in the dish.
  5. Top with one-third of the chicken mixture. Top the chicken mixture with one-third of the cheddar cheese.
  6. Repeat the layers twice.
  7. Bake for 1 hour in a 350 degrees Fahrenheit oven.

Tips From Margie Lynn

  • Use a pizza cutter to cut the tortillas. A cutter makes it so easy!
  • May substitute Rotel tomatoes and green chilies with 1(10 ounce) can tomato soup, undiluted, plus 1 tablespoon chili powder.
  • You may freeze the casserole up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and bake as directed.

Bonus Recipe: How to Bake a Chicken

Perfect for Mexican King Ranch Chicken

This simple method for baking a chicken is time-tested and hassle-free. You can serve the good parts any way you want, and also use the baked chicken in the casserole. I usually bake the chicken in the morning or even the day before, since it does take a little bit of time. King Ranch casserole isn't hard to make, but you don't want to be trying to bake a chicken at the same time as you make the casserole!


  • 3 pounds chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and outside. Use a paper towel to pat dry.
  3. Place the chicken in a baking pan, rub inside and outside of chicken with olive oil. Mix together, salt, paprika, black pepper, and the cayenne pepper if using. Sprinkle inside and outside of the chicken.
  4. Place in the preheated 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 40 minutes until the meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let cool 15 minutes and serve.

You can't go wrong with relatively simple comfort food. It's also about ease. Some cook to impress. I cook for people to enjoy the food.

— Al Roker

Have you ever had King Ranch Chicken?

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© 2016 Margie's Southern Kitchen


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    • Sehar Nadeem profile image

      Sehar Nadeem 

      7 months ago from Stoke On Trent

      Looks yummy. Will give it a try

    • Margie Lynn profile imageAUTHOR

      Margie's Southern Kitchen 

      2 years ago from the USA

      This is very good and very popular recipe! Hope you will like it! Have a great day!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      This recipe reminds me of a wonderful "packet" recipe that sells way overpriced at semiannual craft fairs around here. I would always get their King Ranch Chicken Recipe pack, just add canned chicken and cream cheese I believe. Yum. I always wanted the real recipe.


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