King Ranch Chicken Casserole is a one dish meal that is creamy and cheesy with a touch of spicy heat in a tomato cream sauce. It is a Tex-Mex skillet recipe that finishes off under the broiler for a browned cheesy topping.

This casserole is great great family dinner to serve on it’s own, or leave out the tortillas and serve it over pasta or rice or inside of these Homemade Flour Tortillas.

Overhead shot of King Ranch Chicken Casserole in a skillet just after it was removed from the broiler.

Why Is It Called King Ranch Chicken Casserole

While I already knew this was a delicious recipe, I wanted to know why it was called King Ranch Chicken Casserole. So, I went on a search to find out. 

What I found out was kind of disappointing! It is a Tex-Mex Casserole, named after a large Ranch in Texas (hence King Ranch). However, it apparently has no ties to the ranch itself and apparently has an unknown history. What I found out was kind of disappointing! It is a Tex-Mex Casserole, named after a large Ranch in Texas (hence King Ranch). However, it apparently has no ties to the ranch itself and apparently has an unknown history. 

King Ranch Chicken Casserole in a serving dish.

My Own Version Of King Ranch Chicken

The ingredients in this King Ranch Chicken Casserole are generally made with creamy canned soup, such as chicken or mushroom and include a can of tomatoes with chilies in them. 

I’m not a huge fan of using canned soups in recipes. Especially when you can make your own creamy sauces. So, make my own sauce what I did for my version of King Ranch Casserole.

Peppers and onions with the gravy sauce in the skillet.

What You Need To Make This Recipe

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Cooked Chicken, you can use chicken breast that you cooked on your own, or you can use rotisserie chicken.

Red Bell and Jalapeno Peppers, I chose to use a whole jalapeno pepper in place of the can of tomatoes with chilies. I wanted the recipe to have a little more spice than you get with the chili tomatoes.

Chicken broth, I like to use this chicken broth concentrate and make my own broth. It is far more economical than buying a box of chicken broth and only using 1 cup of it.

Flour is used as a thickener for the sauce in this recipe, along with cream cheese, which also makes it creamy.

Corn Tortillas to stir into the casserole is optional.

Diced tomatoes are fine to use plain since there is jalapeno in this casserole recipe, but feel free to add a little more by using the canned tomatoes with chilis.

Creamy cheesy gravy with chicken and peppers in the skillet.

Tips and Substitutions

  • This recipe has a very good potential as a low carb recipe. Just leave out the tortillas and the flour. Add another ounce of cream cheese or 1/4 cup of heavy cream to the sauce and allow it to simmer and reduce. It should naturally thicken.
  • Substitute green bell pepper for the jalapeno, and a milder King Ranch Chicken casserole recipe.
  • Leave out the corn tortillas and serve the casserole over rice.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole in a tan and orange bowl.

Other Tex-Mex, or Mexican Recipes To Try

Cheese Enchiladas with Red Sauce

Green Chicken Enchiladas

Grilled Stuffed Burritos

Homemade Taco Sauce

Homemade Taco Seasoning


Mexican Breakfast Burrito

Mexican Casserole

Pico de Gallo

Pineapple Agua Fresca

Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita

Roasted Shrimp Enchiladas

Tres Leches Cake Recipe

Turkey Tostadas

pinnable image for chicken ranch casserole.

*If you made this recipe for King Ranch Chicken Casserole, please give it a star rating*

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

A delicious chicken dinner with a cheesy and spicy sauce.
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 341kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast cubed
  • 10 ounce diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 6 inch corn tortillas cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped (optional)


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and red bell pepper. Cook for 7 minutes, or until vegetables have softened.
    sauteing onions, garlic, and peppers in a skillet.
  • Sprinkle the vegetable mixture with cumin and flour. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
    flour sprinkled on sauteed vegetables.
  • Add the chicken broth to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute, or until broth has thickened slightly.
    bringing the chicken broth to a simmer.
  • Add the cream cheese and stir until melted.
    cream cheese in the thickened vegetable mixture.
  • Add the chicken, tomatoes, tortillas, and salt. Stir to combine.
    chicken and tomatoes added to the skillet.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and broil on high for 2 minutes, until cheese has melted and browned. Sprinkle with cilantro (if using).
    sprinkling the cheese on top of the chicken mixture.



Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 564mg | Potassium: 576mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1430IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 188mg | Iron: 3mg

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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