Slow Cooker Healthy King Ranch Chicken Soup

This creamy King Ranch Soup is loaded with chicken, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, and CHEESE - no canned condensed cream soups in sight! Let it simmer all day in your slow cooker for a flavorful meal that comes together in minutes.

One of our most popular recipes on our blog is Slow Cooker King Ranch Chicken. It’s so simple to throw in a crock pot and let it slowly cook all day, then shred it up and serve for dinner.

I love the simplicity of the recipe, but wanted to try a version that didn’t use condensed soups. This recipe is made from scratch but is still very creamy and delicious. I threw in some extra vegetables, but my kids didn’t even notice.

This soup is a good-for-you comfort food that you can feel great about feeding your family!

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’s kind of funny that a famous chicken recipe would come from a cattle ranch!).

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

The basic ingredients in King Ranch Chicken are shredded chicken, grated cheese, tortilla chips, diced tomatoes with chiles, a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and a can of condensed cream of chicken soup – all the makings of a delicious casserole!

While this soup may not be an authentic version of King Ranch Chicken, it’s flavor is spot on.

Ingredients in King Ranch Chicken Soup

  • butter, flour, chicken broth and garlic (we are using this to make it creamy instead of condensed soups
  • chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper for flavor
  • chicken breasts
  • diced tomatoes with chilies (RoTel tomatoes)
  • jalapeno
  • green bell pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • onion
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • Serve with tortilla chips and fresh cilantro if desired!

How to make King Ranch Chicken Soup in the Slow Cooker

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the garlic and whisk for about a minute. Whisk in the flour for one more minute.
  2. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and then whisk consistently for a few minutes until creamy and smooth. Mix in the seasonings and set the creamy sauce aside.
  3. Add the chicken, jalapeno, bell peppers, and onion to the slow cooker. Pour the sauce on top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours (don’t overcook the chicken).
  4. Shred the chicken, stir in the cheese, and let the cheese melt for about 15 minutes in the slow cooker.
  5. Stir and serve with tortilla chips and fresh cilantro on top, if desired.

If you love easy and delicious instant pot soup recipes, be sure to try our delicious Instant pot creamy chicken enchilada soup. It’s absolutely amazing!

CHoosing the right slow cooker

For this recipe, you’ll need a good slow cooker.

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.

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What to serve with King Ranch Chicken Soup

Serves: 6

Slow Cooker Healthy King Ranch Chicken Soup

20 minPrep Time

4 hrCook Time

4 hr, 20 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (minced; seeded if would prefer less heat)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add in the garlic and stir for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in the flour (whisking continually for 1 minute so that it does not burn).
  4. Slowly pour in the chicken broth, whisking as your pour it in, and stir for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened up.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper; set aside.
  6. Spray the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  7. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  8. Top with diced tomatoes, jalapeño, bell peppers, and onion. Pour the sauce over the top.
  9. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours (or high for 2-3 hours), making sure to not overcook the chicken.
  10. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and stir the cheese into the slow cooker.
  11. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken and add it back into the slow cooker, stirring everything together.
  12. Let the slow cooker cook on low heat for 15 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt.
  13. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, if desired.



2470 cal


140 g


72 g


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

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Comment on this Recipe

17 Responses to “Slow Cooker Healthy King Ranch Chicken Soup”

  1. Paula Noll
    As to your statement about the origin of the name. There is a ranch in Texas named King Ranch and King Ranch Casserole is a famous recipe from the ranch. It’s similar to your soup as well. Ford even does a King Ranch Edition truck. Thought I would share
    • You would basically just need to be sure everything was heated through since your chicken would already be cooked. Maybe cook for 2 hours. The only problem I see is that your onions and bell peppers will not have cooked as long. So cook long enough that they are soft or at least cooked to your liking.

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