King Ranch Casserole from Scratch

King Ranch Casserole from Scratch

Ditch the cans for this version of the classic Southern Texas chicken casserole, full of bright peppers, shredded chicken, and topped with melty cheese.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 casserole


  • 3 cups shredded chicken (About 1 rotisserie chicken's worth)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 14 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz canned diced green chilies, drained
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tbs chile powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese, grated (About 2 cups)


  • Preheat oven to 375 F and lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Toss the shredded chicken in the chile powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Set aside. Sprinkle on some fresh lime juice if desired.
  • Melt about 2 tbs butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the onion, bell pepper, poblano, and jalapeño then cook until softened and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and flour and cook for 1 minute longer.
  • Add canned tomatoes with their juices and the drained green chilies. Stir well and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 1 minute to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and stir in chicken and sour cream. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Add about 1/4 cup of the juice from the chicken mixture to the bottom of the baking dish, just to give the tortillas something moist to rest on. Then layer 3 to 4 tortillas on the bottom of the pan. Spread about 1/3 of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, then 1/3 of the cheese. Add another layer of tortillas and continue until all has been used up. Just make sure there's cheese on the top for the final layer.
  • Bake until casserole is completely heated through, about 30 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.