It’s hard to resist the familiar flavors of a good King Ranch Chicken Casserole! And that’s what makes this Dorito King Ranch Chicken Skillet version a true winner! The crunch and flavor of tortilla chips and easy one dish clean up, plus the pulled chicken, Rotel tomatoes and cheesy, creamy layer you expect will make this recipe your new go-to dish!
Why We Love This King Ranch Chicken Recipe
There are tons of King Ranch Chicken recipes floating around the Internet and found in every junior league cookbook across Texas, if not the entirety of the south. It’s a signature potluck dish and a dream for busy weeknights. So what’s so special about this version?
- Cooking it all in a skillet instead of prepping then baking in a 9×13 casserole dish cuts down the cook time and makes clean up easier!
- Tortilla chips instead of traditional corn tortillas give the recipe a little texture and crunch, not to mention a flavor boost!
- This skillet method also keeps the tortilla chips from getting soggy like a long cook time in the oven tends to make chips or tortillas.
- A quick from scratch sauce instead of thick canned soups makes for better flavor and a creamier, cheesier chicken layer!
Why Is It Called King Ranch Chicken
The original King Ranch Chicken recipe is a Tex Mex classic and shares its name with the famous Texas ranch, the King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the United States. And even though this easy savory chicken dish definitely has Texas-sized flavor, sadly, there really isn’t history connecting it to the ranch.
But cooked up in a skillet and served hot and tasty , it’s not hard to imagine it as hearty cowboy fare, earning its name with some of the biggest and best ranch house flavor on the range.
Easy King Ranch Chicken Casserole Ingredients
- shredded, or pulled, chicken– boil & shred your own or use rotisserie chicken
- nacho cheese Doritos
- colby jack cheese
- cream cheese
- canned green chiles & tomatoes (like RoTel)
- chicken broth
- green & red bell pepper
- yellow onion
- minced garlic
- ground cumin
- chili powder
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
How To Make King Ranch Chicken Casserole (with Doritos)
Prep Ingredients. Boil chicken in a large pot of generously salted water. Drain, cool and shred. While chicken is cooking, dice bell peppers and onions.
Make the sauce (no soups). Sautee diced peppers, onions and minced garlic in a large skillet until they begin to soften. Sprinkle flour over the veggies and stir until coated. Pour in the chicken broth and stir until all the flour has dissolved to begin making a gravy. Season with cumin and chili powder. Stir in canned chiles and tomatoes. Add cream cheese a little at a time. Lastly, salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer while stirring as sauce thickens.
Assemble the skillet casserole. Stir in shredded chicken and half of cheese. Fold in broken chips. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top. Let cheese melt or pop under the oven broiler for a faster melt. Garnish with cilantro or chives if desired and serve your Dorito King Ranch Chicken Skillet!
What to Serve With King Ranch Chicken Skillet Casserole
Or top your Dorito King Ranch Chicken Skillet with a little sour cream and sit down to a family style fiesta with one or more of these easy side dishes:
- Easy Charro Beans
- Green Chile Rice
- Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad
- Easy Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
- Green Salad with Creamy Mayo Vinaigrette
- Mexican Street Corn Foil Packets
Making It Ahead of Time
This easy chicken casserole is ideal for making the day before! Complete the recipe through Step 5 on the recipe card. BUT don’t add the chips or last bit of cheese just yet!
Instead transfer your chicken mixture into a lightly greased 9 x 13 casserole dish, cover and refrigerate. When you’re ready to cook, fold in your tortilla chips, top with cheese and heat in a 350 degree oven until warm and melty.
How to Freeze King Ranch Chicken
Follow the steps above if you want to make this recipe as a freezer prep meal! Cover tightly and freeze for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking, then add chips, cheese and heat in a 350 oven.
Other Tex Mex Casseroles You’ll Love
- Layered Beef Enchilada Casserole
- Authentic Tex Mex Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
- Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Cheesy Mexican Rice Casserole
- Ultimate Short Cut Mexican Cornbread
If You Make this Dorito King Ranch Chicken Skillet, I Can’t Wait To Hear About It!
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Dorito King Ranch Chicken Skillet
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large red bell pepper, diced
- ½ large green bell pepper, diced
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teasponn chili powder
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 10 ounce canned green chile & tomatoes
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
- 9.25 ounce bag nacho cheese tortilla chips (I use most of the bag.)
- Boil chicken in a large pot of generously salted water. Drain, cool and shred.
- While chicken is cooking, dice bell peppers and onions.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add diced peppers, onions and minced garlic. Sautee until vegetables begin to soften. Sprinkle flour over veggies. Stir until coated. Add broth and stir until all the flour has dissolved. Add cumin and chili powder. Turn down heat to medium low.
- Add cream cheese a little at a time. Stir until melted. Add canned chiles and tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer while stirring until sauce thickens.
- Stir in shredded chicken and half of cheese. Turn down heat to low. Fold in broken chips. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top. Let cheese melt. Garnish with cilantro or chives if desired and serve.