King Ranch Chicken Casserole (from The Southerner's Cookbook)
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10-12
  • ½ C butter (divided into: 5 tbsp, 3 tbsp)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ C all purpose flour
  • 2 C milk (I used whole)
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 2 4.5oz cans of diced green chilis
  • 1 28oz can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 4 roasted poblano peppers (seeded and chopped) See tutorial here.
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 8oz sliced white mushrooms
  • 3 shredded boneless chicken breasts (instant pot or slow cooked works best)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 3 C pepper jack cheese
  • ¼ C fresh cilantro
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a large baking dish.
Make the Sauce
  1. Melt 5 tbsp of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper and whisk for one minute.
  2. Whisk in the flour and then slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly until smooth and not lumpy.
  3. Cook until thickened (whisking often), about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the green chilis, Rotel tomatoes and chopped roasted poblano peppers.
  5. Set aside.
Prepare the filling
  1. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions and mushrooms are soft.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the shredded chicken.
Assemble the casserole
  1. Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with ½ C of the sauce mixture. Place 6 of the corn tortillas over the sauce.
  2. Top with half of the chicken mixture.
  3. Top with the remaining sauce.
  4. Top with half of the shredded cheese and half of the cilantro.
  5. Top with the remaining 6 corn tortillas.
  6. Top with the remaining chicken mixture.
  7. Top with the remaining cheese and cilantro.
  8. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
  9. Allow the casserole to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Adapted and inspired from The Southerner's Cookbook by the editors of Garden & Gun
Recipe by This Gal Cooks at