20-Minute King Ranch Casserole Recipe: The Famous Texas Casserole Got a Makeover by Donna John

20-Minute King Ranch Casserole Recipe: The Famous Texas Casserole Got a Makeover

Growing up in Texas, king ranch casserole was always a favorite. But when it's just the two of you, this Mexican casserole recipe can be overwhelming. Most king ranch casseroles are huge (layered in a 13x9-inch pan) and loaded with cans of cream of chicken soup.

Here's my version of a lighter, more manageable size king ranch casserole. It'll still feed a family, but we have leftovers for one night instead of for a whole week. And no long baking time! The chicken casserole is ready in about 20 minutes.

The easy king ranch casserole is made with onion, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, chicken broth, flour, cream cheese (adds the creaminess with the canned soup), shredded chicken, tomatoes with green chiles, corn tortillas, cheese and cilantro. The ingredients cook on the stovetop in a skillet instead of baking in the oven like the traditional recipe. This lighter version does not lack in flavor!

Serve this king ranch casserole with avocado slices or guacamole. Because you'll have so much time of your hands with this 20-minute recipe, make some refried beans or a salad for a side dish.

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Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 - 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used chicken breast)
  • 1 can (10 ounces) tomatoes with green chiles, drained
  • corn tortillas, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 - 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • fresh chopped cilantro

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Recipe Notes

  • You can use dark or white chicken meat for this casserole.
  • Use mild, original or hot tomatoes with green chiles based on your heat preference.

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet or cast iron skillet. Add the onion, red bell pepper, poblano pepper and jalapeno. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.
  2. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the broth and cook another minute.
  3. Add the cream cheese and cook until melted, then add the cooked chicken, tomatoes and green chiles and tortilla pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Top with the shredded cheese.
  5. Put the skillet under a preheated broiler and cook just until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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Gwen Johnson
I grew up eating king ranch casserole. That was the only time my mom bought the huge can of cream of chicken soup instead of the small, normal cans. :-) I always knew when she was going to make it. lol This recipe sounds yum. Trying it this weekend! Donna John
Elisa Schmitz
Wow, does this look good. I've never had king ranch casserole, Donna John . Thank you for introducing me to it - I know we will love it! #yum
Sounds yummy 😋
Janice Smith
Sounds good I’ll have to try it. I would also love to have the other recipe with cream of chicken soup in it. My family loves that .
Donna John
Cream of chicken is such a great recipe ingredient! If you search "cream of chicken soup" in the search bar at the top of this page, you'll see more recipes using this ingredient. Janice Smith
I made this tonight and my husband and son gave it a two thumbs up. It was very good. Thanks fir the recipe!
Donna John
So glad you enjoyed it, ElaineD15 !

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