King Ranch Casserole

King Ranch Casserole

14 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 1992

Usually made with creamy canned soups and several cups of cheese, the fat and sodium of this spicy, layered chicken casserole can be a nutritional nightmare. Our version has a tangy, creamy sauce made with nonfat milk, nonfat yogurt and reduced-sodium chicken broth, plus we use reduced-fat Cheddar. Add in lots of chopped fresh vegetables and you have a version of the Tex-Mex favorite that you can feel good about eating.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 1½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, or parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1½ teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced cooked skinless chicken
  • 10 corn tortillas, cut in quarters
  • ½ cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Whisk milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth. Add to the broth and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in yogurt, tomatoes, chiles, cilantro (or parsley), chili powder, oregano and cumin. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.
  4. Line the bottom of a shallow 3-quart baking dish with half the tortillas. Top with half the chicken and half the onion mixture. Spoon half of the sauce evenly over the top. Repeat layers with remaining tortillas, chicken, onion mixture and sauce. Sprinkle with Cheddar. Bake until bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 302 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 6 g fiber; 39 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 65 mcg folate; 43 mg cholesterol; 9 g sugars; 1,241 IU vitamin A; 36 mg vitamin C; 218 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 547 mg sodium; 672 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (60% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv), Calcium (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 14

March 22, 2016
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By: Ashlee Yap
Needs some spice! I was disappointed with this recipe, after having it saved in my to make list for a couple of years. With all of these flavorful ingredients, I would have thought it would turn out much better. I topped it with some hot sauce and a little pink sea salt and it was tasty enough. I'm kind of bummed I have a whole other one in my freezer now that I'll have to eat eventually. Pros: Easy to make, easy to freeze Cons: Bland
September 19, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Dressed it up a bit and you got it! First time ever making a casserole (i prefer to cook things separately), but hubbie loves them. mixed half mild/hot green chiles, used greek yogurt, used guajillo chili powder for extra umph! when done, squeezed lime over it before serving...and got a great meal.will add black beans and maybe corn next time. the greek yogurt actually gave the sauce a little more tangy taste, which i liked. made it a tad more complex. Pros: quick easy leftovers! Cons: prep time took longer than expected
January 22, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
I'm vegetarian, so I used quorn chicken cutlets and vegetable broth instead of chicken, though I think seitan would be a preferable alternative. I thought it turned out really well, though next time I will probably add lime juice. I also added zucchini, since I wanted a more vegetable based meal. I think black beans could easily replace the chicken if you'd like, and corn would be a wonderful addition too. I like that this recipe is easily changed to suite many different tastes, while still remaining fairly low calorie. I really thought I'd miss the extra cheese, but I didn't! I unfortunately couldn't find regular plain yogurt, so I had to use Greek style, which upped the calories a little, but didn't seem to negatively alter the taste. I also used fresh tomatoes instead of canned, since I always prefer fresh anything to canned! I agree with what others have said, the prep time is longer than expected since there is a lot of chopping! Pros: Great flavor, and easily adjusted to suite your tastes. Cons: Very long prep time if you use fresh veggies!
January 14, 2012
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By: haffastrider
Needs more spice This is a nice starter recipe, in my opinion. I added extra cumin, cilantro, red pepper, etc., but I think that a jalapeno wold have actually been the thing to do here. The family really liked it, and I'll make it again, with the tweaks. Pros: Easy to make, inexpensive, family friendly Cons: A little bland
February 05, 2011
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By: crtt63
Nothing Special The finished dish, fresh out of the oven was just okay. Nothing great. Oddly enough, the leftovers seemed to get more and more bland with each try. Won't be making this again. A generous two star rating.
July 27, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I actually forgot to add the yogurt to the sauce and it was still really good! I liked that it was very flavorful without being too rich. But the other commenters are right - it took a lot longer than 30 min to prep if the veggies and chicken aren't chopped and ready to go. I would definitely make this again. - Jenn, Dallas, TX
July 18, 2010
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By: thepapercup
Love this one and the portion sizes are very generous.
May 13, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Very good & very easy! I was very surprised at how delicious this is! :) Be sure you read the recipe all the way through before you start. I doubled the cumin & chili powder and used a red pepper instead of green. I would like to try it Jen's way with mushrooms added. I'll definitely make this again.
May 10, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
very easy and good! Seems like a lot of ingredients, but the prep work doesn't take much time at all! Convinced my family that you can eat good without sacrificing taste, will make again!
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