Hands-on Time
1 Hour
Total Time
1 Hour 35 Mins
Makes 12 servings


Hailing from an era when casseroles were king, this Tex-Mex dish still reigns supreme at church suppers and neighborhood potlucks. Though not an invention of the famed King Ranch--it's more likely the creation of a ladies' Junior League--the spicy flavors of chili powder, roasted peppers, and toasted cumin never fail to please.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.

Step 2

Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in broth, and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes and sour cream.

Step 3

Stir together chicken and cilantro in a large bowl; stir in vegetable mixture. Combine both cheeses in a small bowl.

Step 4

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Lightly brush each tortilla on both sides with oil. Cook tortillas, in batches, in hot skillet 1 to 2 minutes each side or until lightly browned and crisp on both sides.

Step 5

Line bottom of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 13- x 9-inch baking dish with 6 tortillas, overlapping slightly, to cover bottom of dish. Top with half of chicken mixture and one-third of cheese. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining tortillas and cheese. Lightly coat a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray, and cover baking dish.

Step 6

Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Chef's Notes

We tested with Swanson Natural Goodness 33% Less Sodium Chicken Broth.

United Tastes of Texas by Jessica Dupuy, copyright 2015, Oxmoor House.

Ratings & Reviews

February 13, 2017
I know other versions of this same dish have mentioned freezing in advance. Not sure if the freezing came before or after cooking. You might want to search for some of the other versions and see what is mentioned. Hope your luncheon turned out well!

Best King Ranch

February 28, 2016
This was a real crowd pleaser. I used a very large rotisserie chicken. I've only made KR casseroles with cans of cream of whatever so this one caught my eye. It has a fresher taste. Yum!!

Everybody loves this

January 26, 2018
Have made this many times and it is creamy and divine; it gets gobbled up anywhere you serve it.  Never used smoked chicken--always used leftover home rotisserie chicken.  I hate that there are so many steps to this recipe, but it is worth it in the end.  Great dish for a crowd.  Made no other significant changes.


May 16, 2016
The only change I made to the recipe was cooking the chicken with the vegetables. It turned out great with a perfect kick. 

Awesome Sunday Family Dinner

May 23, 2016
This is a great recipe. The only thing i added / changed was i roasted some green chilis and added and i used blue corn tortillas rather than yellow. Has a great flavor with the right amount of spice. Love it!  


September 15, 2016
Wow.  This was a great recipe.  I halved the recipe and used the rest of the 10 oz can of tomatoes over the 3rd row of tortilla and then added the cheese.  I used a small  rotisserie chicken.  This is definitely a keeper.

Everyone loved it!

September 29, 2016
Great recipe!  My husband and kids all loved it and want me to fix it again!  We had a salad with it, and it was an excellent week-night meal. Thank you!

Prepare Ahead?

November 15, 2016
I want to prepare this for a luncheon in a couple weeks.  Can anyone tell me if this recipe can be prepared the day ahead and cooked the day it is being served?  This would make my life a lot easier!  Thanks for any help.  It sounds wonderful!