Healthier King Ranch Chicken (from Eating Well)

Scroll down to content

King Ranch Casserole

(Healthier from Eating Well)

King Ranch Chicken Casserole was one of the first ‘dishes’ I really began to make on a regular basis when I was learning to cook. When I was a student teacher, my mentor teacher bought me a Campbell’s cookbook.  This dish had a lot of cans you could open up, stir it all together, and bake it.  As my cooking skills and preferences have evolved, I try to not use processed items like Cream of Chicken, etc.

This recipe has been lightened up and the sauce was homemade.  It even has 300 fewer calories and 2/3 less fat than the original recipe! 

Added bonus? it’s great for freezing, so you can defrost it and bake it for a busy night. 


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat 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 diced green chiles, drained
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in half
  • 1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe black olives
Preheat oven to 375°F. (you need two 8×8 dishes, or one 13×9 baking dish.) 
Place the chicken 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. 
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, 10  to 12 minutes.  
Add garlic and chili powder; stir for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. (You are looking to cook the flour slightly so it’s not raw tasting.) 
Add broth and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. 
Stir in tomatoes, sour cream, chiles, salt and the chicken. 



To assemble the casserole: Spread 1 cup filling in each 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.


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.)
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).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: