This Gal Cooks

King Ranch Chicken Casserole (from The Southerner’s Cookbook)

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NOT a sponsored post. I just love The Southerner’s Cookbook. ♥︎

Let’s dive into a giant pan of King Ranch Chicken Casserole. Seriously. This recipe makes one gigantic batch of super delicious and creamy king ranch chicken casserole. It’s the kind of chicken casserole you want to make over and over again. It’s filling and did I mention it’s super delicious?

King Ranch Chicken Casserole. This creamy, boldly flavored #chicken #casserole feeds a crowd! A true southern classic that will WOW everyone. #southerncooking #dinner


One day I was shopping in one of my favorite stores in Lakeland, Scout and Tag. Not kidding when I say I go in there every time I’m in Lakeland. I oooh and aaaah over just about everything in the store. Lakeland is my hometown so I appreciate the homage Scout and Tag pays to it.  I also appreciate the extensive collection of craft-fully painted solid wood furniture, homemade pillows and Rafa Naturals scented wax. That stuff is da bomb, yo.

As I made my way to the checkout counter I spotted The Southerner’s Cookbook. MUST HAVE.

Not a surprise: I bought the cookbook. Later that day I flipped through the pages, practically drooling over the gorgeous shots of southern inspired recipes. I made a list of the recipes I would make stat. King Ranch Chicken was on the list.

King Ranch Chicken Casserole. This creamy, boldly flavored #chicken #casserole feeds a crowd! A true southern classic that will WOW everyone. #southerncooking #dinner


King ranch chicken is easy to make but ingredient heavy. However, don’t let that deter you from making the recipe. The time and minimal effort are totally worth the resulting creamy chicken casserole. Did I mention the casserole will feed a crowd? We fed both of us plus my mom and we had leftovers for 2 days afterwards. My mom took leftovers home with her. So whether you’re looking to feed a crowd for a night or feed a couple for a few days, this recipe fits the bill. :)

King Ranch Chicken Casserole. This creamy, boldly flavored #chicken #casserole feeds a crowd! A true southern classic that will WOW everyone. #southerncooking #dinner


  • I used chopped garlic instead of minced garlic
  • I didn’t use red bell pepper
  • I cooked the chicken in an instant pot (3 chicken breasts)
  • Use this tutorial for roasting the poblano peppers
  • Drain the Rotel tomatoes in a mesh strainer


King Ranch Chicken Casserole

King Ranch Chicken Casserole. This creamy, boldly flavored #chicken #casserole feeds a crowd! A true southern classic that will WOW everyone. #southerncooking #dinner

King Ranch Chicken Casserole

Yield: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour



  • 1/2 C butter (divided into: 5 tbsp, 3 tbsp)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/4 C fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a large baking dish.
  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 and chicken stock, 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. Set aside.
  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.
  1. Cover the bottom of the casserole dish with 1/2 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.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 437 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 14g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 93mg Sodium: 1036mg Carbohydrates: 31g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 27g

King Ranch Chicken Casserole. This creamy, boldly flavored chicken casserole feeds a crowd! A true southern classic that will WOW everyone.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love for you to leave a comment and a rating below! 

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11 comments on “King Ranch Chicken Casserole (from The Southerner’s Cookbook)”

  1. This looks AMAZING! In this cold season, it’s a comfort slice perfection! I will add the red peppers though.

  2. Looks really good and hearty – Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party!

  3. Great casserole – love the fresh, roasted poblano peppers. I know they can be hot sometimes so I would be sure to taste before adding. Thanks for sharing your King Ranch casserole with all the party goers at Fiesta Friday.

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  5. We would love your King Ranch Chicken, it looks awesome! Wishing you a bountiful Thanksgiving and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Our Party for this week will start Tuesday Morning at 8:00 am CST.
    Hope to see you then!
    Miz Helen

    Rating: 5
  6. Wonderful party dish! Thank you for bringing it to FF. My mouth is watering.

  7. Thank you for sharing your culinary skills! I love this recipe and am featuring this week in 12 Holiday Recipes for Easy Entertaining. Happy Holidays!

    Rating: 5
  8. Where does the two cups of chicken broth come in? No information in directions so I left it out .!havent cooked it yet so I hope it wasn’t needed. Was it to cook the chicken in wit the smart pot??

    • Hi Kathy,

      Apologies for not getting back to you sooner. The stock was to be added along with the milk. I am updating the recipe now. I hope your recipe still turned out good. Please let me know and I apologize for the error with the recipe on my blog.

      Take care,


  9. I made this recipe exactly as directed Except I used plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and I used canned chicken breast. It was absolutely delicious and so easy and quick to make! Regards Juliana

    Rating: 5
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