EatingWell King Ranch Casserole

September/October 2013

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This healthy Tex-Mex King Ranch casserole recipe is typically made with cans of cream-of-something soup. We’ve lightened up this casserole recipe considerably by making a homemade cream sauce and loading it up with veggies at the same time. You’ll never guess that a serving of our version of King Ranch casserole has 300 fewer calories and two-thirds less fat than the original. This recipe makes enough for two 8-by-8-inch casseroles (four servings each)—have one for dinner tonight and freeze the other for a night when you don’t have time to make dinner.

Makes: 2 casseroles

Serving Size: 4 servings each (about 1 1/4 cups)

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 7-ounce can or two 4-ounce cans diced green chiles, drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in half, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe black olives, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat two 8-inch-square baking dishes with cooking spray.
  2. Place chicken in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Dice when cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the mushroom liquid has evaporated, 7 to 9 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder; stir for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add broth and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes, sour cream, chiles, salt and the chicken.
  4. To assemble: Spread 1 cup filling in each prepared baking dish. Layer on 4 tortilla halves and top with 1 cup filling. Repeat 2 more layers of tortillas and filling, ending with the rest of the filling. Sprinkle cheese and olives on top.
  5. To serve: Bake until hot and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze: Let unbaked casserole(s) cool to room temperature. Tightly wrap with heavy-duty foil (or freezer paper) and freeze. (To prevent foil from sticking to the cheese, coat with cooking spray first.)

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4, cover and freeze (unbaked) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 2 days. Uncover and bake at 375°F for about 50 minutes.


Per serving: 356 calories; 13 g fat (5 g sat, 4 g mono); 81 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 33 g protein; 5 g fiber; 698 mg sodium; 662 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (52% daily value), Vitamin A (27% dv), Calcium, Magnesium & Potassium (19% dv), Zinc (16% dv), Iron (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1/2 medium fat meat, 1 fat

More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

8 or more
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

Type of Dish
Main dish, poultry
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
More than 1 hour
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