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

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  • 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.

Adapted and inspired from The Southerner’s Cookbook by the editors of Garden & Gun

All images and text ©

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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