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Easy King Ranch Chicken Casserole

This King Ranch Casserole is packed with chicken, cheese and spices leaving the whole family asking for it again and again.

king ranch casserole on a white plate with a silver fork
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A Rotel classic, King Ranch Casserole is one of those mainstays that lovers of Rotel have been depending on for years. However, instead of just following the plain recipe on the can, why not improve it by adding a few extra hits of flavor and making it your own?

Rather than buying precooked chicken to use in your casserole why not learn How To Make Rotisserie Chicken in Your Crockpot to use instead? Not sure what to do with leftover chicken, try making this Chicken Tortilla Soup for dinner the next day!

king ranch casserole on a white plate with a silver fork

Easy King Ranch Casserole

A long beloved casserole recipe made by Rotel, the king of canned tomatoes, this casserole combines a few different soups with a whole bunch of ingredients and flavorings to make for a quintessentially North American casserole.

However, there is nothing stopping you from adapting it a little bit and giving it a few more tweaks and flavorings to make something truly amazing.

king ranch casserole ingredients in small white bowls

What To Do If You Can’t Find ROTEL® Style Tomatoes

There are few easy ingredients more versatile than a can of Rotel-style tomatoes.  Capable of adding not only sweetness and acidity, but it also offers up that little bit of spice, as well as a good few kicks of other flavors like garlic, and even a few seasonings like cumin.

However, unless you happen to live in North America, you might struggle to find these cans on the shelves.

If this happens and you really want to get the same flavors, simply combine a can of diced green tomatoes with any amount of diced chilies, and that you can get your hands on.

If you want it spicier or more vibrant, use more chilies or go for a stronger variety, otherwise, just use what you would approximate to be in a can of Rotel.

You can also up the seasonings used in this recipe, as well as the garlic, but you should be playing around with the flavorings anyway to end up with something that’s perfect for your tastes.

king ranch casserole sliced vegetables in a pot

Why Use Two Different Flavored Soups?

This casserole recipe utilizes the tried and tested step of using some condensed soup to help add some much-needed savory flavors and salinity.

However, unlike many other recipes, this one uses two different cans of soup; cream of chicken and cream of mushroom.

This might seem a little weird for most people, the idea of not only combining two soups but also in combining mushroom and chicken.

However, the key thing that these condensed cans of soup offer are an intensity of flavor that just can’t be matched by any other ingredient.

Not only do you get the core flavors of these soups, but also a huge amount of raw unctuousness and flavor that serves to help enrich your casserole.

If you can’t be bothered to get two different kinds of soups, then feel free to just use the chicken soup, but having a can of cream of mushroom soup on hand is the perfect way to liven up almost any casserole imaginable, so they are great to keep in the pantry for when you need it.

king ranch casserole in a baking pan with a slice lifed out on a spoon

Try These Different Cheeses For The Topping

It is always fun to try and play around with the specific ingredients in a recipe, especially the ingredients that are typically added on at the very end, like the cheese for topping.

Instead of using regular Cheddar cheese as the topping in this recipe, why not try to play around with a few other types of cheese instead?

  • Tex Mex Cheese

Tex Mex cheese is a fairly non-descriptive name, but it generally refers to a blend of cheeses like Monterrey Jack, Cheddar, and a few spices to give everything a bit of a more flavorful kick.

  •  Oaxaca

Oaxaca is a bit of a hard cheese to source unless you happen to live near the Mexican border, or you have a good Mexican grocery nearby. However, if you can find it, it is the perfect mix of melty and flavorful, making for a really great topping cheese.

• Monterey Jack

Another classic cheese perfect for topping almost any casserole, Monterey Jack has a mild, yet subtly smoky flavor, making it perfect for use in this casserole.

Looking for more delicious Casserole recipes? Try these out:

Creamy Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Hamburger Hotdish Tater Tot Casserole

Pork & beans Cowboy Casserole

Happy Cooking

Love,

Karlynn

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This King Ranch Casserole is packed with chicken, cheese and spices leaving the whole family asking for it again and again.

Easy King Ranch Casserole

This King Ranch Casserole is packed with chicken, cheese and spices leaving the whole family asking for it again and again.
5 from 6 votes
king ranch casserole on a white plate with a silver fork
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Course
dinner recipes
Cuisine
American
Servings
8
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

  • One 3 pound cooked chicken (torn and shredded or cut into chunks)
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion (diced)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 10.5 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 10.5 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • One 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (such as RO*TEL®)
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 6 inch corn tortillas (cut into quarters)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Add in the chopped onion and bell peppers and saute until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add both cans of condensed soup, diced tomatoes with chile peppers, chicken broth, sour cream, oregano, cumin, ancho chile powder, and chipotle chile powder to the bowl with the cooked onion mix. Stir this until the sauce is well-combined.
  • In your 9×13 baking dish spread a few tablespoons of sauce in the bottom. Layer 1/2 of the chicken, 1/2 of the sauce, 1/2 of the Cheddar cheese, and 1/2 of the chopped tortillas.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the chicken over the tortillas. Spread all but 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce over the chicken, then top with another 1/3 of the Cheddar, and the rest of the tortillas.
  • Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce over the top, and sprinkle the remaining Cheddar cheese evenly to top it off.
  • Bake the casserole in the preheated oven until bubbling, about 40 minutes.
  • Let it rest for 10 minutes, garnish with chopped parsley and serve!

Recipe Notes

To add extra flavor you can also use Tex Mex cheese mix to top off the casserole.

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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    • Beverly Mendoza says

      I’m presuming it can be frozen, only because I see king ranch casserole in the freezer section at the grocery store

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