This Beefy King Ranch Casserole recipe is one of our favorite dinners! Layers of ground beef, cheese, tortillas make a dish the whole family will enjoy.

So, what exactly is King Ranch Casserole? The details are a little fuzzy, but we know that this casserole recipe originated in Texas at the famous King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the world. It’s thought that the dish is a way to use up common Tex-Mex leftovers, including tortillas, cheese and peppers. Regardless of how the classic King Ranch Casserole started, it has become the staple Texan casserole dish to bring to a potluck! 

a photo of a slide of King Ranch Beef Casserole on a black plate

The original recipe is more of a King Ranch Chicken casserole recipe, layering cooked chicken, tortillas, cheese, peppers, onions and seasonings. The seasonings are typical Tex Mex flavors like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and paprika! And, one of the most important casserole layers in the original recipe is the creamy sauce, which is typically made of canned soup, sour cream and chicken broth. The sauce brings it all together! 

This King Ranch Beef Casserole recipe makes a few modifications, namely substituting ground beef for the chicken. But otherwise, it stays pretty true to the flavors of the original recipe. Each year, we buy a quarter beef, so I am always looking for ways to use the beef that we have in the freezer! I knew that beef would be delicious in this casserole. 

a photo of a spoonful of ground beef king ranch casserole

Recipe Substitutions 

I think the best recipes allow for substitutions! I love to use what I have on hand at home when I can. 

  • Instead of cream of mushroom soup, feel free to use cream of chicken soup. Any mild variety of condensed soups will be fine (Cream of Celery, etc).
  • Instead of the flour tortillas, use layers of corn tortillas, tortilla chips or Doritos. 
  • Substitute ground chicken or ground turkey for the beef, or you could even use leftover shredded rotisserie chicken! 
  • Instead of the canned tomatoes and green chile, substitute Rotel tomatoes. 
  • I like to use Mexican blend cheese, but shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or mozzarella are all fine substitutions!  

Recipe Additions

Want to make this King Ranch Casserole your own? Here are a few suggestions!

  • Add a few pinches of taco seasoning to the creamy sauce. 
  • Add layers of refried beans or black beans to the mix. 
  • Add some heat to the cream sauce with a few shakes of hot sauce, or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Topping with crushed Doritos takes this casserole to the next level! 

Serving Suggestions

I think this Tex Mex casserole is awesome for church suppers, potlucks, or any occasion that you need to feed a crowd! 

If you’re making it for family dinner, remember that this is a super hearty meal! Add a green salad on the side, or a hearty vegetable dish like my Mexican Calabacitas

a horizontal photo of a beefy king ranch casserole

Saving Leftover King Ranch Casserole

Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Or, you can store individual pieces in an airtight container. 

a photo of a baked beefy  king ranch casserole
a photo of a slide of King Ranch Beef Casserole on a black plate

King Ranch Beef Casserole

Yield: Serves 9-12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This Beefy King Ranch Casserole recipe is one of our favorite dinners! Layers of ground beef, cheese, tortillas make a dish the whole family will enjoy.


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup green bell pepper and/or red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 10 flour tortillas (8-inch), quartered
  • 3 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese or cheddar cheese

For the creamy sauce:

  • 1 10- ounce can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup with Roasted Garlic
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4.5-ounce can diced green chilies
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Optional garnish:

  • diced green onions, black olives, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, crushed Doritos


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. To a large skillet, add the ground beef and diced onions. Sauté for 7-8 minutes, crumbling the beef as it cooks. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the bell pepper and salt, and continue to sauté until the meat is completely cooked through and the peppers have started to soften. 
  3. Transfer the meat mixture to a paper towel lined plate to drain the grease. 
  4. Next, make the creamy sauce. To a saucepan, add condensed soup, sour cream, chicken broth, drained tomatoes, diced green chiles and seasonings. Heat over medium heat, whisking frequently for 3-4 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from the heat.
  5. Next, assemble the casserole. Spray a 9x13’’ casserole dish with cooking spray. 
  6. Place half of the tortilla pieces in the bottom of the baking dish. It is okay if they overlap a bit.
  7. Top the tortillas with half of the cooked ground beef and pepper mixture, then half of the cream sauce.  Then, sprinkle half of the cheese over the top.
  8. Make a second, final layer by placing the remainder of the quartered tortillas, the ground beef mixture, the cream sauce and finally the rest of the shredded cheese. 
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and starting to brown. 
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. 
  11. Serve topped with optional garnish; diced green onions, black olives, diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and/or a dollop of sour cream. 
Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 503Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 106mgSodium 756mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 34g

The nutrition for this recipe is calculated by an app and may be incorrect.

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