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King Ranch Hen | Cookies and Cups

This creamy, tacky King Ranch hen casserole is brimming with juicy shredded hen layered with corn tortillas, peppers, and melted cheese. It’s the proper consolation meals for weeknights and potlucks!

Love Tex-Mex-inspired hen casseroles? Strive my fiesta hen casserole, too!

A serving of King Ranch chicken topped with sour cream on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This King Ranch Hen Recipe

At this time, we’re making the unofficial, official state casserole of Texas: King Ranch hen. Each creamy, tacky chew is bursting with zesty Tex-Mex flavors! This recipe has shredded hen, corn tortillas, veggies, and cheese, all layered in a 9×13” casserole dish and baked till gooey and bubbly. Right here’s why you’ll adore it:

  • Hearty. Craving consolation meals? King Ranch hen is a Southern favourite. It’s excellent for busy weeknights, household dinners, and potlucks, with tacky layers packed filled with juicy seasoned hen.
  • Adaptable. My King Ranch hen recipe is gentle, but it surely’s simple to adapt the substances to provide this Tex-Mex casserole extra kick. Take the warmth up a notch with spicy chilies and additional seasoning.
  • Make-ahead pleasant. This simple hen casserole might be assembled and/or baked upfront and saved within the fridge or freezer. Cook dinner as soon as, eat it twice!
A slice of King Ranch chicken is lifted from a casserole dish.A slice of King Ranch chicken is lifted from a casserole dish.

What Is a King Ranch Hen Casserole?

King Ranch hen is a savory Tex-Mex casserole made with seasoned pulled hen layered with veggies, cheese, and corn tortillas, a bit like Mexican chilaquiles. Like different retro casserole recipes from the Fifties, it’s made with canned soup.

It’s a little bit of a thriller as to the place the identify “King Ranch Hen” comes from. Some say it’s named after the most important ranch within the US, King Ranch, in Texas. There are such a lot of variations on the market. And, I could be biased, however I feel this one’s the perfect!

Ingredients for King Ranch chicken with text labels overlaying each ingredient.Ingredients for King Ranch chicken with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

Components You’ll Want

Right here’s what you’ll have to make this flavor-packed King Ranch hen. Scroll to the recipe card for a printable checklist of substances.

  • Olive Oil and Butter – For sauteeing. I like to recommend a superb high quality olive oil and unsalted butter, this manner you’ll be able to higher management the general flavors.
  • Onion and Bell Pepper – Yellow onion works nice right here, as does any colour of pepper. I go for chopped pink bell peppers for the sweetness, however yellow, inexperienced, or orange peppers all add scrumptious crunch.
  • Garlic – Freshly minced garlic makes every thing higher.
  • Cream of Hen Soup – Would it not be a retro casserole and not using a can (or two) of condensed soup? You should utilize cream of hen or cream of mushroom soup out of your favourite canned model. 
  • Hen Inventory – Low-sodium hen inventory or broth is finest. Even higher, use home made hen inventory when you’ve got a batch readily available. You can even use vegetable inventory.
  • Shredded Hen – I like to make use of rotisserie hen, however any cooked, shredded hen does the trick, whether or not it’s cooked at dwelling or store-bought. See under.
  • Seasonings – This recipe makes use of a Tex-Mex mix of chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. You’ll be able to substitute the person spices with taco seasoning or fajita seasoning.
  • Corn Tortillas – You’ll want about 12 corn tortillas for this casserole. Corn tortillas are sturdier than flour tortillas and gained’t flip soggy as shortly.
  • Cheese – Grated cheddar, or a Mexican cheese mix. Different good choices are Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or Asiago cheese. For the meltiest outcomes, grate the cheese from the block (moderately than shopping for pre-shredded cheese).

What Type of Hen Ought to I Use?

King Ranch hen historically requires shredded roasted hen, however on the subject of the hen you employ for this casserole recipe, there are just a few choices:

  • Rotisserie Hen – My fave! Choose up a rotisserie hen out of your native deli or grocery store. This selection is nice in the event you’re brief on time. All it’s important to do is carve it and shred it.
  • DIY Hen – Boiled hen is a fast and straightforward solution to cook dinner hen for shredding. Alternatively, you’ll be able to cook dinner hen breasts, hen thighs, or an entire hen within the oven or on the grill to make use of on this recipe.
  • Leftover Hen – I like utilizing leftovers in hen casseroles. If in case you have leftover baked hen or grilled hen, go forward and shred it on your King Ranch casserole. 

Make King Ranch Hen 

Let’s get began! This simple casserole comes collectively in just a few fast steps. Scroll right down to the recipe card for printable directions.

  • Cook dinner the veggies. First, you’ll need to saute the onion and bell pepper in a big skillet with olive oil and somewhat butter. Afterward, stir within the garlic.
  • Mix. Subsequent, stir in two cans of cream of hen soup, about half of the inventory, after which the seasonings.
  • Add the hen. Dump in your shredded hen. Stir to coat, and let that come to a simmer.
  • Assemble the casserole. Take the pan off the warmth. To a greased 9×13” casserole dish, add the remainder of the hen inventory. Tear the tortillas in half and organize these over high, adopted by ⅓ of the hen combination. Repeat, layering the tortillas between the hen filling till every thing’s used up.
  • End and bake. Lastly, sprinkle on the cheese, cowl the casserole tightly with foil, and bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes. Let the casserole relaxation for 10 minutes earlier than slicing.
Baked King Ranch chicken in a casserole dish.Baked King Ranch chicken in a casserole dish.

Ideas and Variation Concepts

Listed below are some remaining tricks to benefit from your King Ranch hen, plus some simple variation concepts.

  • Completely different veggies. Make this casserole with broccoli, candy corn, or spicy jalapeños. Black beans, pinto beans, or chipotle in adobo would additionally style wonderful!
  • Add a can of Rotel. To make extra of a basic King Ranch hen casserole, toss in a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies. You should utilize scorching or gentle.
  • Assemble in two casserole dishes. As a substitute of utilizing a 9×13” casserole dish, make this casserole in two 8×8” (or 9×9”) baking dishes. Bake one now, and freeze the second for later! See under for simple make-ahead directions.
Two plates of King Ranch chicken next to a casserole dish.Two plates of King Ranch chicken next to a casserole dish.

What To Serve With King Ranch Hen Casserole

I like to complete my King Ranch hen with a dollop of bitter cream and a garnish of contemporary cilantro. Sliced inexperienced onions are additionally tasty. With its tacky hen and a great deal of veggies, this casserole doesn’t want a lot else! It’s scrumptious served by itself or with a aspect of cornbread, home made garlic knots, or a easy inexperienced salad.

Overhead view of a serving of King Ranch chicken topped with sour cream on a plate, next to a second serving and a casserole dish.Overhead view of a serving of King Ranch chicken topped with sour cream on a plate, next to a second serving and a casserole dish.

Can I Make This Casserole Forward?

Completely. Unbaked King Ranch hen is nice to freeze and reheat for last-minute dinners down the street. Put together the casserole as directed, after which cowl it with plastic wrap adopted by a layer of foil. If you’re prepared, take away the plastic wrap and bake the casserole beneath foil for 1 hour at 350ºF (if baking from frozen).

A fork cuts into a serving of Kinch Ranch chicken topped with sour cream on a plate.A fork cuts into a serving of Kinch Ranch chicken topped with sour cream on a plate.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

  • Refrigerate. Retailer any leftover King Ranch hen in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 5 days.
  • Reheat. Heat the casserole within the oven beneath foil till it’s scorching all through. You can even reheat particular person servings within the microwave.
  • Freeze. You can even freeze leftover cooked King Ranch hen for as much as 1 month. I like to recommend portioning the leftovers into servings to make them fast and straightforward to reheat. Freeze the casserole in freezer-safe hermetic containers or double-wrapped in plastic wrap, and defrost within the fridge earlier than reheating.

Extra Hen Dinner Concepts


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This creamy, tacky King Ranch hen casserole layers juicy shredded hen with corn tortillas, peppers, and melted cheese. It’s the proper weeknight consolation meals!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced pink bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans cream of hen soup
  • 1 cup hen inventory, divided
  • 3 cups cooked and shredded hen (I like to make use of rotisserie)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon floor black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 Corn Tortillas
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Flippantly coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, and put aside.
  2. In a big skillet, warmth the olive oil and butter on medium warmth. 
  3. Add within the onion and pink bell pepper and cook dinner for 7 minutes or till delicate and translucent. Add within the garlic and cook dinner for 1 minute. 
  4. Stir within the cream of hen soup, 1/2 cup of the hen inventory, chili powder, cumin, pepper, cayenne and salt. Combine within the hen and stir to coat. Deliver the combination to a simmer and take away it from the warmth.
  5. Assemble: Add the remaining 1/2 cup of hen inventory to the ready baking dish. Tear 4 tortillas in half and organize them evenly on the hen inventory within the pan. Unfold 1/3 of the hen combination over the tortillas. Repeat this course of 2 extra instances utilizing all of the combination and all 12 tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese on high and canopy tightly with aluminum foil. 
  6. Bake coated for 40 minutes. Take away the casserole from the oven and permit it to take a seat coated for 10 minutes earlier than serving.


  • Retailer hermetic within the fridge for as much as 5 days.
  • Make forward directions: Prep and assemble the casserole because the recipe states. Cowl tightly with cling wrap after which with foil. Freeze for as much as 3 months. If you’re able to take pleasure in, take away the cling wrap and get well with the foil. Bake for 1 hour at 350°F from frozen.

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