Crock Pot King Ranch Chicken

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This King Ranch Chicken casserole made in the crock pot is a simple weeknight recipe that everyone will love. This cheesy casserole with Tex-Mex flavors is easy and delicious!

bowl full of king ranch chicken casserole

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Crock Pot King Ranch Chicken is best served with a simple side like oven roasted green beans but save room for mini cheesecakes for dessert!

You guys love crock pot chicken recipes. I hear you and I have a new one for you. These end of summer days where you don’t feel like turning on the oven, slow cooker chicken meals are my favorite.


The history of this chicken casserole is much debated and often thought to have been created in the famous King Ranch in South Texas. Although a popular Tex-Mex dish, this easy dinner casserole has no connection to the largest ranch in the US.

The ingredients, such as Ro-Tel, green pepper, chili powder, and corn tortillas, give this slow cooker casserole a great flavor that is similar to many dishes found in South Texas.

Traditional King Ranch Chicken is made in a casserole dish and baked to bubbly perfection. This slow cooker version keeps all the flavor of the original but with the added benefit of being made in the slow cooker.

To mimic the baked version, remove the slow cooker lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

overhead shot of chopped onions, peppers, rotisserie chicken on cutting board


Cooked chicken – The beauty of this recipe is that you can use leftover chicken or a rotisserie from the store. Both are a total time saver come dinner time. If you don’t have leftovers, I often make instant pot shredded chicken

Onion – Any type of onion will work in this recipe, although I prefer to use white.

Green pepper – Fun fact: male peppers have 3 bumps and females have 4 bumps.

Cream of Onion Soup – Or cream of chicken or mushroom. Use what you like or make homemade “cream of” soup.

Ro-Tel – I get the mild version but feel free to grab a spicier version of Ro-Tel if that’s what you like.

Chili Powder – For a little kick.

Minced Garlic – I always keep jarred minced garlic on hand. Fresh works too, of course.

Corn Tortillas – Flour tortillas will not work well in this casserole since they absorb more moisture than corn.

Shredded Cheddar – I used a mild cheddar but use what you like.

overhead shot of king ranch chicken in crock pot


The great about this slow cooker recipe is that the prep is easy and can even be done the night before. To start, you want to prep your vegetables and chicken.

Chop your onion and green pepper and then shred or dice your cooked chicken. Like I said, this could be done the night before and stored in the fridge until assembly time.

You can spray your slow cooker with cooking spray or even use a crock pot liner for easy clean up.

Slice your corn tortillas into approximately 1″ pieces. A pizza cutter worked beautifully for this, or just tear them.

Mix together the prepped vegetables and chicken, the cream of onion soup, Ro-Tel, chili powder, garlic, and some of your cheese in a large bowl.

Next, it’s time to assemble the King Ranch chicken. You want to place tortillas on the bottom of your slow cooker, add in some of the casserole mixture, place tortillas on top of the casserole mixture and repeat. You will layer the casserole in thirds and top with remaining cheese.

Cover and cook on LOW for 3 1/2 hours. The edges should be bubbly and golden. Then, remove the lid and cook for another 30 minutes. This will give the casserole an oven baked taste and texture.

closeup of cheesy king ranch chicken in white bowl


  • Slow cooker – Any Crock Pot will work but you know I love the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget because I can set the timer and after the allotted cooking time, it turns to WARM so it stays ready.
  • Mixing bowl – Use your favorite mixing bowl and spatula here. I highly recommend the mixing bowls with grippy bottoms.
  • Pizza Cutter – To make slicing the tortillas a breeze.
  • Cutting Board – To make cutting your veggies and clean-up easy.
  • Crock pot liners – These are great for easy clean up after the meal.


bowl of king ranch chicken casserole in front of crock pot


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bowl full of king ranch chicken casserole

Crock Pot King Ranch Chicken

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
This King Ranch Chicken casserole made in the crock pot is an easy weeknight recipe that everyone will love. Just a few minutes of prep in the morning and your dinner is ready in the evening.
4.70 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 330 kcal


  • 4 cups cooked chicken chopped
  • 1 large white onion chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 10 3/4 oz Cream of Onion soup
  • 1 10 oz Ro-Tel tomatoes & chiles
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 12 6" corn tortillas sliced into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the chopped chicken, onion, green pepper, soups, Ro-Tel, chili powder, garlic, and cheese.
  • Slice the corn tortillas into approximately 1" pieces with a pizza cutter (or just tear them).
  • Lightly spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray, or use a liner.
  • Layer one third of the tortilla pieces into the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with one third of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with additional cheese, if desired.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 3.5 hours.
  • After 3.5 hours, remove the lid and cook an additional 30 minutes for oven baked flavor and texture.


Serving: 1gCalories: 330kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 33gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 315mgPotassium: 344mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 650IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 291mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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