Slow Cooker King Ranch Chicken Recipe

King Ranch Chicken has been around for years! This Slow Cooker version can be put together in just a matter of minutes and tastes delicious. A layered tortilla chips, chicken, and creamy soup mixture make this comfort food hard to beat.

We can’t begin to tell you how much we love using our slow cookers.  It’s so nice to throw all the ingredients in your slow cooker and have no dinner worries for the rest of the day!

Your family will go crazy over this King Ranch Chicken recipe with chicken, cheese, and tortilla chips. It’s so delicious!

Why is it called King Ranch Chicken

No one is exactly sure why it’s called King Ranch Chicken, but this Tex-Mex recipe has been around for years!

It’s rumored that its name comes from King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the United States, although no one has actually found a connection between the dish and the ranch.

It may be a mystery, but this chicken dish has been a favorite in Texas cookbooks and lunchrooms for a long time.

CHoosing the right slow cooker

For this recipe, you’ll need a good slow cooker. Did you know every one of us sisters uses a different slow cooker?

We’re all in different stages of life with different schedules, and because of that we need different things from our slow cookers!

Here are a few suggestions to take into consideration before selecting yours.

How big is your family? If you have a large family, we’d recommend looking at an 8 quart slow cooker so you can make sure your recipes fit all in one.

We love this 8 quart slow cooker. You can find it in a 6 quart size too!

What are your slow cooker needs? Do you need a self timer while you’re gone at the office all day? Or do the simple high and low settings work for your lifestyle?

Check out these self timer slow cookers and these manual slow cookers to see which one will work best for you.

How to Make King Ranch Chicken

Ready to have dinner done in just a matter of minutes? Here are the step by step instructions on making King Ranch Chicken in your slow cooker.

  1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread a layer of tortilla chips in the crock pot to cover the bottom. It’s ok if they are overlapping.
  3. In a medium sized bowl combine the chicken, diced tomatoes, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, garlic and onion.
  4. Stir until combined.
  5. Place half of the chicken mixture on top of the chips.
  6. Then top with half of the cheese.
  7. Repeat layers.
  8. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 3 hours.

Related recipe: love king ranch chicken? Try our favorite version- Ranch Chicken Casserole!


What to serve with King Ranch Chicken

Serves: 8

Slow Cooker King Ranch Chicken Recipe

10 minPrep Time

4 hrCook Time

4 hr, 10 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 14 ounces tortilla chips, white or yellow
  • 5 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drain slightly
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread a layer of tortilla chips in the crock pot to cover the bottom. (It's ok if they are overlapping.)
  3. In a medium sized bowl combine the chicken, diced tomatoes, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, chicken broth, garlic and onion.
  4. Stir until combined.
  5. Place half of the chicken mixture on top of the chips.
  6. Then top with half of the cheese.
  7. Repeat layers.
  8. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 3 hours.
  9. Serve with extra tortilla chips.



2116 cal


121 g


42 g


208 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info



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In this video we’re showing you how to make another one of our favorite Slow Cooker Chicken Recipes, Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches


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Comment on this Recipe

68 Responses to “Slow Cooker King Ranch Chicken Recipe”

    • Yes, cook the chicken and dice it before putting it in the crock pot. You may be able to get by on less than six hours. Your onions need to be cooked through and the cooking time softens the tortilla chips. But they are also good when a little bit crunchy! :)
    • Jen, I was astounded by this as well! Glad to know I wasn't the only one. Putting already cooked chicken in the crockpot for 4-6 hours sounded like the results would be a dish with chicken the consistency of leather in it. I'm going to try it though because overall it sounds easy and tasty.
  1. I was wondering about the chicken too since it seems like a lot of time in the crock pot due to the fact that the chicken is already cooked. I'm sure the others just wanted to clarify as well. This sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it!!
  2. I was looking at the comments about cooking the chicken. I do a cream of chicken soup (3-4cans) depends, and the boneless, skinless chicken tenders(raw) and put in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours and it turns out delicious serve with egg noodles. So if you're cooking this for 6 hours I wouldn't see why you couldn't put the chicken in raw. That's just my opinion :) . But this looks delicious can't wait to try maybe this weekend :)
  3. I just made this recipe- had it cooking on low and only lasted 5 hours before I decided it had to be done. Everything had turned to mush and it had no taste. Are you really supposed to cook it for 6 hours? I feel like after a couple hours at the most it looked like your picture.
    • The tortilla chips will soften as they cook. The recipes says to serve with extra tortilla chips too. We liked the soft chips, similar to a casserole. Crock pots also vary slightly with temps and we have found the older they get the more off they are temperature wise. So 5 hours may have been enough with your crock pot. Thanks so much for stopping by Have a terrific weekend.
    • Erica
      I thought the same thing! What is the point in pre-cooking the chicken if you're going to put it in the crock pot for six hours? And if you have to cook and dice the chicken first, then it's definitely not a throw-all-the-ingredients-in-your-crock-pot-and-go kind of recipe. Too much prep and you lose the whole point in using your crock pot. Looks yummy, but I don't think I'll ever get around to trying it.
    • We have only made this using the recipe directions and have never had a problem. It's one of our favorite recipes. I know it seems strange to cook the chicken first then put it all into a slow cooker, but it sure turns out great. You could maybe get by on a little less cooking time. Just watch it closely. Slow cookers vary. Cyd (mom of the Six Sisters)
  4. I too ended up with complete mush, with very little flavor despite my seasoning the chicken before I cooked it. I have had zero success using the crock pot and my husband is threatening to throw it out! As a FT working mom, I'm desperate for some tasty meals to come out of the damn thing!
  5. Hi everyone! This is actually a very popular dish that I make very often, it is one of my favorite foods. The only shock to me is that you can make it in a slow cooker! I have always made it as a casserole. To make it in the oven you preheat it to 350 degrees and bake it for 20-25 minutes, with the chicken being previously boiled on the stove top until it is done. This always tastes way better if you use Doritos instead of regular Tortilla chips also. I will have to try to make it in the slow cooker to see if it works. I am going to use raw chicken cut into cubes though.
  6. Ok so did i do something wrong?? This turned out to be a goopy mess. All chips were basically gone and mush. Seemed more like a dip in the end........ kinda gross to be honest. Cooked 6 hours on low, had to half the recipe.....but that's the only change i made....
  7. Terry
    We have this all the time! It's perfect for cooking in my motor home while we're traveling, then we have a meal ready when we stop. I use raw chicken cut in small chunks and it comes out great. I also use tortillas torn into a few strips instead of chips, and no chicken broth. Maybe the broth is what makes it "mush" as other reviewers noted.
  8. I like the flavors of this recipe, but the chips were just either burned to the side of the crock pot or useless mush. I would rather just skip the chips and serve yummy crunchy chips at the table. Treat is more as a nachos-style dip. Still yummy though!
  9. I make this in a casserole in the oven as well. I will definitely try to make in the crock pot. We prefer yellow corn tortillas torn up so you do not get mushy salty chip taste like ^ previous commenters were talking about. Also, the broth could be what is making it mushy since I don't use broth to make this recipe. It depends on if you want it more of a dip or an actual meal I guess. I have always eaten it as a casserole. Also, remember that times vary due to the size of the crockpot and each one is different. Crockpots are kind of a trial and error thing if you cannot be there to watch it and test the timing with a new recipe especially one that has a few different ways of making it.
  10. This looked so yummy I just had to try it. It is in the crockpot now for dinner tonight. I did add some cumin and sprinkled some fresh cilantro between the layers. It's been on for a couple of hours and already smells amazing! Going to serve it with Mexican/Spanish style rice and a nice green salad with my homemade Honey Cilantro Lime dressing. I have sour cream, green onion, cilantro and salsa on hand to serve with it as well. Thanks so much!
  11. It was tasty. We liked it. But this is probably the 4th different recipe of King Ranch I have made. Short of getting an Abuela to make fresh corn tortillas for it, they turn to mush and dissolve in to the casserole. I have tried dipping them in to hot oil like when you make Enchiladas, I have use corn chips, and Tostada shells. They all dissolve. Any one have and suggestions?
  12. I have made this recipe for years, and we all LOVE it! I'm actually in Texas, close to the actual King ranch, so I've had many, many versions of King Ranch casserole. This recipe is the one that I return to time and again for my family, and for potlucks. If you don't want your tortillas mushy, there are several options. You can use real corn tortillas and layer as you would in a baking dish, or use hearty/thick tortilla chips. Also, cut down your cooking time. I prefer to use the thick, restaurant style tortilla chips. It's just easy and quick! If you use Doritos, (such as Nacho cheese flavor), it changes the flavor of the dish (still good, but not the true flavors of King Ranch casserole). I only have to cook in my slow cooker for a about 3 hours, because the chicken is only getting heated through, not actually cooked. 2-3 hours is long enough to heat through, melt your cheese, and soften your tortillas. When I take it to work, I throw all the ingredients into the crock pot, and plug it in no later than 9 AM. It's perfect for our noon luncheon. Thank you Six Sisters for this "keeper", that has become one of my most requested recipes!
  13. Made this King Ranch Chicken this evening, for the first time. I used cooked chicken, opted to leave out the chicken broth, and added Doritos instead of tortilla chips. I also made plain white rice to add to the finished mix. It was amazing!! Thank you for sharing, we needed something different on the menu. 🤗

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