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Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken Recipe

The Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken is a take on this classic recipe I’ve come back to time and again for its hearty layers and zesty flavors.

My tip for this dish is to use freshly grated cheese—it melts better and gives the casserole that irresistible gooey texture.

What I love about this recipe is the way it combines familiar ingredients in such a comforting, satisfying way.

There’s a certain joy in assembling the layers, knowing that each one contributes to the final, deliciousness you’ll soon enjoy!

How to Make Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken

Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken Recipe

Ingredients List

  • Cooked shredded chicken (you can use chicken breasts, thighs, or rotisserie chicken)
  • 16 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder, or more to taste
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheese blend (a mix of Monterey Jack, cheddar, and Mexican cheese)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • Cooking oil (such as olive oil or vegetable oil)
  • Optional: jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, and cilantro leaves for garnish

Step-by-step Process

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a medium skillet, heat a tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.

Sauté the diced onion until it’s soft and golden brown.

You can also add finely chopped bell pepper or jalapeno peppers for extra flavor and spice.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked shredded chicken, chili powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.

To this mixture, add the sautéed pepper and onion as well as the canned green chiles.

Step 2

In a separate bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, and Greek yogurt (or sour cream).

Stir in a cup of cheese from the shredded cheese blend.

To assemble the casserole, begin by spreading a thin layer of the soup mixture at the bottom of the baking dish.

Then, create a single layer using the torn tortillas.

Step 3

Next, add half of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, followed by another layer of tortillas.

Pour half of the soup-cheese mixture over the tortillas, making sure to spread it evenly.

Repeat these layers once more until all the main ingredients (tortillas, chicken mixture, and soup-cheese mixture) are used up.

Finally, top the casserole with the remaining shredded cheese blend.

Step 4

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 60 minutes or until the casserole’s cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to achieve a crispier top layer, if desired.

Allow the King Ranch Chicken to cool slightly before serving.

If you’d like, garnish the casserole with fresh cilantro leaves and more jalapeno or bell pepper slices.

Side Dishes For Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken

King Ranch Chicken is a hearty dish that can be served as the main course for a perfect dinner.

To complement this rich casserole, you need side dishes that enhance its flavors and provide a diverse yet cohesive dining experience.

Here are some delicious options to consider when preparing your King Ranch Chicken dinner:

Mexican Rice

Mexican rice is a colorful, flavorful side dish that pairs wonderfully with the Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken.

The fluffy rice absorbs the casserole’s sauce, providing a beautiful balance between the dish’s creamy texture and the rice’s seasoned goodness.

You can make it as mild or spicy as you like, depending on your preference.

Guacamole

A fresh and zesty guacamole can add a cool contrast to the warm and creamy King Ranch Chicken.

Made from ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime juice, this simple dip brings a burst of freshness to your dinner table.

You can serve it with tortilla chips or use it as a topping for your casserole.

Ingredients Substitutes

Corn Tortillas

You can substitute corn tortillas with flour tortillas if you prefer a softer texture in your King Ranch Chicken casserole.

Just keep in mind that flour tortillas may become a bit more soggy compared to corn tortillas.

Greek Yogurt

If you don’t have sour cream available or you’re looking for a healthier alternative, you can opt for Greek yogurt instead.

This will still impart a creamy tanginess to the dish without compromising on flavor.

Chili Powder

Feel free to adjust the chili powder amount according to your spice tolerance.

If you prefer a milder dish, reduce the quantity, or if you love a good kick, add more to taste.

Feel free to adapt the recipe as you see fit, and enjoy!

How To Store Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken

To ensure that your delicious King Ranch Chicken casserole stays fresh and retains its flavor, it’s important to store it properly.

Here are some effective methods to store your casserole, both in the refrigerator and freezer.

Before storing the casserole, allow it to cool down to room temperature.

Do not leave it out for more than two hours.

Refrigerator

Store your leftover King Ranch Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This method works best for enjoying your leftover casserole within 3-4 days.

To reheat, simply place the desired portion in the microwave or oven until warmed through.

Freezer

If you’d like to save your casserole for a longer period, it’s possible to freeze it as one large dish or in individual portions.

To store the casserole as a whole, use disposable pans or a freezer-safe glass dish.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and place it in a resealable freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

To freeze in individual portions, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and place them in a resealable freezer bag.

Label the bags with the date and contents, and they can be stored for up to three months.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen King Ranch Chicken, allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then bake it in the oven until heated through.

If your dish contains cream of chicken soup or chicken broth, the consistency might change slightly after thawing, but the flavor should remain delicious.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Overcooking the Vegetables

When sautéing the onions, bell pepper, poblano, and jalapeño, make sure to do it over medium-high heat for about 8 to 9 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.

Overcooking can lead to a mushy texture and a loss of flavor.

Skimping on Olive Oil

When heating up your skillet to cook the vegetables, use a tablespoon of olive oil to ensure proper cooking and prevent sticking.

Using too little oil can cause the vegetables to stick to the pan and not cook evenly.

Miscalculating the Heat

Always make sure to pay attention to the heat levels when preparing King Ranch Chicken.

When sautéing the vegetables, use medium-high heat, and when adding the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt, lower the heat to medium.

This way, you prevent burning your spices and overcooking your ingredients.

Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken Recipe

Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken Recipe

When you think of comfort food, there's a good chance the Pioneer Woman King Ranch Chicken Recipe comes to mind.
This King Ranch Chicken recipe not only creates an incredibly flavorful meal but also serves as a perfect make-ahead freezer casserole.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Equipment
  • 1 baking dish
  • 2 large mixing bowl
Ingredients
  
  • Cooked shredded chicken you can use chicken breasts, thighs, or rotisserie chicken
  • 16 corn tortillas torn into pieces
  • 1 large white or yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder or more to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder or more to taste
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheese blend a mix of Monterey Jack, cheddar, and Mexican cheese
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • Cooking oil such as olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Optional: jalapeno peppers bell peppers, and cilantro leaves for garnish
Instructions
 
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
    In a medium skillet, heat a tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.
    Sauté the diced onion until it's soft and golden brown.
    You can also add finely chopped bell pepper or jalapeno peppers for extra flavor and spice.
    In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked shredded chicken, chili powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.
    To this mixture, add the sautéed pepper and onion as well as the canned green chiles.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, and Greek yogurt (or sour cream).
    Stir in a cup of cheese from the shredded cheese blend.
    To assemble the casserole, begin by spreading a thin layer of the soup mixture in the bottom of the baking dish.
    Then, create a single layer using the torn tortillas.
  • Next, add half of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, followed by another layer of tortillas.
    Pour half of the soup-cheese mixture over the tortillas, making sure to spread it evenly.
    Repeat these layers once more until all the main ingredients (tortillas, chicken mixture, and soup-cheese mixture) are used up.
    Finally, top the casserole with the remaining shredded cheese blend.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 60 minutes, or until the casserole's cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
    Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to achieve a crispier top layer, if desired.
    Allow the King Ranch Chicken to cool slightly before serving.
    If you'd like, garnish the casserole with fresh cilantro leaves and more jalapeno or bell pepper slices.

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