Joanna Gaines' King Ranch Chicken Recipe

Discover the mouthwatering magic of Joanna Gaines' King Ranch Chicken! Our Tex-Mex masterpiece is comfort food redefined.

Joanna Gaines King Ranch Chicken

    Joanna Gaines King Ranch Chicken

  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 450 calories

Joanna Gaines' King Ranch Chicken is a beloved Tex-Mex comfort food dish that has gained popularity thanks to the renowned designer, author, and television personality. This dish embodies the essence of Tex-Mex cuisine, known for its bold and flavorful combinations. It's a casserole-style recipe that combines tender shreds of chicken with a creamy, spicy sauce, all layered between soft corn tortillas and topped with melted cheese.

The prep and cook time for this dish is relatively manageable, making it a practical option for busy weeknights or family gatherings. It typically takes about 1 hour and 5 minutes from start to finish, and it yields 6-8 servings, making it ideal for sharing with loved ones.

The King Ranch Chicken recipe is a delightful fusion of flavors, with ingredients like diced tomatoes with green chilies, cream of chicken and mushroom soups, and a blend of spices like chili powder and cumin. The end result is a rich, cheesy, and slightly spicy casserole that's sure to satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings.

Whether you're a fan of the Gaines family's home design style or simply looking for a delicious and comforting meal, Joanna Gaines' King Ranch Chicken is a must-try dish that captures the heart and soul of Tex-Mex cuisine.


Indulge in the famous Joanna Gaines King Ranch Chicken recipe. A Tex-Mex delight that's creamy, cheesy, and full of flavor. Try it today!


  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can (10 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (10 oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying tortillas

Method Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. In a large skillet, heat a bit of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté until they are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes with green chilies, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir well and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  4. In a separate skillet, heat a little more oil and lightly fry each corn tortilla until it's soft, but not crispy. Drain them on paper towels.
  5. In a baking dish, start assembling the casserole. Begin with a layer of tortillas, followed by a layer of shredded chicken and a layer of the sauce mixture. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top. Repeat the layers until you run out of ingredients, finishing with a generous layer of cheese on top.
  6. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
  8. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

Recipe Video

Joanna Gaines King Ranch Chicken

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Recipe Tags: Joanna Gaines King Ranch Chicken, Joanna Gaines King Ranch Chicken Recipe, Recipe


Serving Joanna Gaines' King Ranch Chicken is a delightful experience. Here's how to do it:

  • Portion it: Use a spatula to carefully slice and portion out servings from the baking dish. The layers of tortillas, chicken, and cheesy sauce create a visually appealing dish.
  • Garnish: To enhance the presentation and flavor, you can garnish the dish with fresh ingredients like chopped cilantro, green onions, or sliced black olives. These toppings add a burst of color and freshness.
  • Sides: King Ranch Chicken pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides. Some popular options include a simple green salad with a zesty dressing, Mexican rice, refried beans, or a dollop of sour cream.
  • Serve Warm: This dish is best served warm. The cheese should be melted and bubbling, and the flavors will be at their best when it's fresh out of the oven.
  • Family-Style or Individual: Depending on the occasion, you can serve it family-style, allowing everyone to dig in from the same dish, or you can plate individual servings for a more formal presentation.
  • Enjoy: King Ranch Chicken is all about comfort and flavor. Encourage your guests to savor the layers of creamy sauce, tender chicken, and the slight crunch of the tortillas. It's a dish that's meant to be enjoyed slowly.


  1. Use Rotisserie Chicken: To save time, consider using rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted chicken. Shred it into bite-sized pieces for the recipe. This is a great way to add extra flavor.
  2. Adjust Spice Level: If you prefer a milder dish, you can reduce the amount of chili powder or use mild diced tomatoes with green chilies. For a spicier kick, go for the hot varieties.
  3. Tortilla Softness: Be careful not to over-fry the tortillas; they should be soft and pliable, not crispy. Fry them just enough to make them more manageable for layering.
  4. Customize the Cheese: While cheddar cheese is the classic choice, you can get creative with the cheese. Monterey Jack or a blend of different cheeses can add unique flavors.
  5. Vegetarian Option: You can make a vegetarian version by replacing the chicken with black beans or roasted vegetables for a tasty meatless alternative.
  6. Make Ahead: You can prepare the King Ranch Chicken in advance and refrigerate it before baking. This is perfect for busy days or when entertaining guests. Just remember to adjust the baking time slightly if the dish is cold from the refrigerator.
  7. Serve with Fresh Ingredients: Add freshness to your meal by serving it with fresh toppings like diced tomatoes, avocado slices, or a squeeze of lime juice.
  8. Storage: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat individual servings in the oven or microwave.
  9. Experiment: Tex-Mex cuisine is flexible and allows for experimentation. Don't be afraid to add your own twists, like adding corn, black olives, or jalapeños for extra flavor.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you're looking to make Joanna Gaines' King Ranch Chicken but need ingredient substitutions, here are some options for common substitutions based on dietary preferences or ingredient availability:

  1. Chicken: You can substitute the chicken with turkey, ground beef, or ground turkey for a different protein. For a vegetarian version, use cooked and seasoned black beans, chickpeas, or tofu.
  2. Tortillas: If you don't have corn tortillas, flour tortillas can be used as a substitute. They have a different texture but work well in a pinch.
  3. Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies: If you don't have canned diced tomatoes with green chilies, you can use regular diced tomatoes and add some diced green bell peppers and a pinch of cayenne pepper or chopped jalapeños for the desired heat.
  4. Cream Soups: Instead of cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups, you can make a homemade white sauce using butter, flour, and milk. Season it with your favorite herbs and spices. This will make the dish from scratch and avoid canned soups.
  5. Spices: If you're missing chili powder or cumin, you can adjust the spice mix based on what you have. Paprika or a taco seasoning mix can be good substitutes for chili powder. Cumin can be replaced with ground coriander or smoked paprika for a slightly different flavor.
  6. Cheese: Cheddar cheese can be replaced with Monterey Jack, Colby, or any other meltable cheese that you prefer.
  7. Vegetables: You can customize the vegetables to your liking. Use different types of bell peppers, add sweet corn, or incorporate sautéed mushrooms for variety.
  8. Gluten-Free: If you need a gluten-free version, make sure to use gluten-free tortillas and check that your canned soups are gluten-free, or make your own from scratch using gluten-free flour.


Get ready to savor the goodness of Joanna Gaines' King Ranch Chicken. It's a taste of Tex-Mex heaven, perfect for sharing with loved ones.

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