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Chicken and cheese casserole with scoop out of a blue casserole dish.
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5 from 3 votes

Shortcut King Ranch Chicken Casserole

This shortcut version of the classic King Ranch Chicken Casserole takes just 10 minutes to prep with the same cheesy Tex-Mex flavors. Kid-friendly layers of chicken, cheese, cream soup, and tortilla chips - not corn tortillas!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 550kcal
Author: Kathleen Phillips | GritsAndGouda.com
Cost: 10


  • 8x8 or 9x9 Pyrex dish


  • 1 10.5-ounce can cream of chicken soup For an extra creamy chicken casserole, add 1/2cup chicken broth or another can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup.
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained (such as Rotel)
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped rotisserie or any cooked chicken
  • 3 cups tortilla chips
  • 2 cups pre-shredded Mexican blend, Colby Jack, or Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chili seasoning mix (such as McCormick or see NOTE to make your own)


  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Stir together cream of chicken soup, diced tomatoes and green chiles, and chili seasoning mix in a large bowl.
  • Coat a 13 x 9-inch casserole with cooking spray or grease with butter or oil.
  • Arrange half of the tortilla chips on the bottom of the casserole dish to cover the bottom of the dish. Gently press down to flatten but not finely crush.
  • Spoon or pour half of soup mixture over the chips.
  • Layer half of the chicken and half of the cheese on the soup mixture.
  • Repeat these layers with remaining chips, tomato mixture, chicken and cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.


Variations and Additions:
-1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained + 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, undrained can be used instead of diced tomatoes with green chiles
-For a spicy casserole, choose hot diced tomatoes with green chiles or add ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper. Instead of canned green chiles, chopped fresh jalapeno peppers or canned jalapeno peppers can also be used.
-If you love onions, cook ½ cup chopped onion in 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until almost translucent in place of the onion powder.
-In place of garlic powder, mince or press 2 cloves fresh garlic.
To make your own chili seasoning mix: Combine 2 teaspoons ground chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder. One fourth teaspoon salt is optional.
-Optional toppings: sliced green onions, sour cream, fresh cilantro sprigs
-Doritos would make a flavorful substitute for tortilla chips.


Serving: 1fourth | Calories: 550kcal