King Ranch Chicken- from scratch

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins

This recipe is a potluck favorite. I like it better than the usual recipes I find that use creamed soups. They do not compare to this version! It takes some time to prepare so give yourself at least an hour for that but it is well worth it for a special meal or potluck. You make this recipe once and you will never make it the 'quick' way again.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish or 3-quart casserole.
  3. A cast iron dutch oven is best.
  4. Make the Sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
  5. Add the garlic and chili powder, and sauté for a minute or two.
  6. Raise the heat to medium.
  7. Quickly sprinkle in the flour and stir to mix.
  8. Pour in a small amount of the chicken broth, stirring constantly to remove lumps and allowing the flour to"cook" briefly.
  9. Gradually add the remaining chicken broth, add the buttermilk and continue stirring until sauce has thickened, 3 or 4 minutes.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Sauce may be prepared in advance and refrigerated.
  12. Make the Filling: Warm a heavy skillet over medium heat, add the butter or olive oil, and sauté the chopped onion, green pepper, poblano, mushrooms, tomatoes and pimientos until onion is transparent, about 4 or 5 minutes.
  13. Fold into the mixture the diced chicken, olives and green onions, combining well.
  14. Remove from heat.
  15. Assembling the Dish: In a small skillet, heat about about half an inch of canola oil.
  16. Using tongs, dip the tortillas in the hot oil one at a time, for just a few seconds, so that they are softened.
  17. Cover the bottom of your baking dish with 4 of the softened tortillas.
  18. Layer the remaining ingredients in the following order: Half of the chicken/vegetable mixture Half of the grated cheese Half of the sauce The remaining 4 softened tortillas The remaining chicken/vegetable mixture The remaining grated cheese The remaining sauce Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F until casserole is heated through and bubbly.
  19. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Most Helpful

This was a wonderful recipe, and would have been a 5 star one, but I had to make one major modification which was to double the sauce. As I was looking over the recipe before starting I had a feeling it would end up being too dry if I made it as written, and I'm glad I trusted my instincts. Other than that, though, this recipe was really good, I would encourage others to give it a try, and I know I'll be making it again!

Cat Berner December 03, 2008

Love this recipe. The sauce from scratch is really better. Thanks for posting.

Queen Dragon Mom April 15, 2010

Excellent, I used the "Unboiled" chicken for the filling and made the chicken broth from the picked over chicken carcass. It was a hit at a SeniorNet function

D J December 11, 2004