The Best Keto Taco Casserole
Are you tired of same-ol’ tacos that always seem to fall apart and make a mess? Well, fear not, my friends, because the solution to all your taco troubles has arrived in this beautiful form- a taco casserole!
This taco casserole has all the delicious flavors of a traditional taco but is baked into a casserole, so it’s super easy to make and even easier to eat. If the article’s title has yet to reveal the secret, this recipe is keto-friendly so that you can reach for seconds even on a low-carb or keto diet. So, grab your oven mitts and prepare to spice up your dinner routine with this tasty keto taco casserole.
The Ingredients You’ll Need:
Although the spices listed in the ingredients are many, don’t be alarmed. They are on the list because they create our preferred taco seasoning customized to our flavor profile. The good news is that most of these spices you should already have in your kitchen cabinet. We advocate for making your own special blend especially if you don’t have a prepackaged sachet of taco seasoning handy. If you are like us and need control, doing this makes even more sense. However, if you don’t have this problem or want to avoid purchasing a bunch of individual seasonings, go ahead and buy a pre-packaged mix. Just be sure to check the label before you put anything in your cart, as some may include hidden starch and carbs.
Either way, store-bought or homemade, you need some ‘taco’ seasoning. This is a must-have and gives the authentic taco flavor to the casserole.
Tip: If you decide to use a store-bought taco seasoning, you can omit the spices listed in the recipe card and use about a 1/2 cup of the store-bought seasoning instead.
Ground beef is the main protein in this casserole and helps to make it filling and satisfying. You can use any ground beef you like; just make sure it’s fully cooked before adding it to the casserole.
Heavy cream is used in this keto taco casserole recipe to add richness and creaminess. It helps balance the spices and gives the casserole a velvety texture.
While you can use regular milk as a substitute for heavy cream in this recipe, note that milk has a lower fat content than heavy cream, and this would leave the casserole less rich and creamy. Also, if you use milk as a substitute, you will need to adjust the amount you use. Start with less milk than the heavy cream required, and add more as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
It’s also worth noting that regular milk has a higher carb content than heavy cream, so it may not be suitable for the keto diet, although it may be okay for a low-carb diet. If you are on keto and don’t want to use heavy cream, consider omitting it altogether and using additional eggs instead. Other possibilities include unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk, or cashew milk. These alternatives will give the casserole a different flavor and texture, but if you want to make this recipe, those should still work.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese is the most commonly used type of cheese for taco casseroles. Cheddar has a creamy, tangy flavor that pairs well with the spicy flavors of taco seasoning and ground beef. It also melts well and helps to hold the casserole together.
That said, you can use any shredded cheese you prefer in your taco casserole. Some other options to consider include Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, pepper Jack, or a blend of different types of cheese. Feel free to experiment and find the cheese that you like the best.
If you’re looking for a dairy-free or vegan option, there are many plant-based cheeses on the market. Some possibilities include shredded vegan cheddar, mozzarella, or pepper Jack. You can find these cheeses at many health food stores or online.
When using shredded cheese in a taco casserole, it’s important to note that the texture and melting properties may vary depending on the cheese you choose. Some cheeses may melt more smoothly and evenly than others, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the casserole as it bakes and adjust the baking time as needed.
Tip: If you can, shred the cheese yourself, do so and opt for block cheese. Pre-shredded cheese often contain additives that may affect the melting properties.
|2 tbsp Chili Powder|
|1 tbsp Paprika|
|1 tbsp Salt|
|1 tbsp Ground Black Pepper|
|2 tsp Ground Cumin|
|1 tsp Garlic Powder|
|1 tsp Onion Powder|
|1 tsp Dried Oregano Leaves|
|2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes|
|1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper, optional for added kick|
|1 pound Ground Beef|
|1 cup Heavy Cream|
|2 cloves of Minced Garlic|
|1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese|
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine all taco seasoning ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Bake the taco casserole for 35 minutes. It is done when the center is set and the cheese is lightly browned around the edges.
- To ensure the dish is cooked perfectly, you can check the center of the casserole with a toothpick or knife. If it comes out clean, the casserole is done. If there is still some raw mixture, bake it for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- For added flavor and texture, you can top the casserole with some diced avocado, fresh cilantro, or sliced jalapenos before serving.
- For leftovers, you can store the casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the oven or microwave before serving.
- Enjoy your delicious and keto-friendly taco casserole! Don't forget to share your own variations and toppings in the comments.
Variations and customization on Meat Base
- This keto taco casserole is a great way to use leftover ground beef from taco night. If this is you, skip the taco seasoning step and use the leftover seasoned beef instead.
- If you're not a fan of ground beef, you can easily make this keto casserole with ground turkey or chicken instead.
- For a vegetarian version of this taco casserole, try using crumbled tofu or diced vegetables instead of ground beef.
Variations and customization on Toppings
- Add diced onions, bell peppers, or sliced jalapenos for a little extra flavor. You can add some guacamole, sour cream, extra cheese, cilantro, or salsa. The world is your oyster, so let your creativity run wild with this one!
- Try topping this taco casserole with crushed pork rinds before baking for a little extra crunch.
- You can store the keto taco casserole in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you are doing the latter, thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Perfect Sides With Keto Taco Casserole
There are plenty of sides you could serve with this keto taco casserole.
- You could make these amazingly crispy Nut-Free Keto Nachos.
- You could make these Keto Tortilla Chips, or if you have low-carb tortillas, you could cut one into squares and fry them in a little bit of avocado oil to make homemade tortilla chips.
- If you are tired and want to use something ready-made, try these excellent corn and cactus low-carb tortilla chips. They are a little pricy and sometimes hard to come by, but trust me, they are incredible! They taste just like the real deal.
- If you’re up for the challenge, you could make Mexican cauliflower rice with your keto taco casserole! Use the same spices as you would make regular Mexican rice but use cauliflower rice instead! It’s a bit of extra work, but the payoff is worth it!
Thank you for following along! We hope you enjoy the spicy, savory flavors of this dish. We have made this a few times, and this is just the perfect recipe for a meal prep kind of week. It can be easily divided into individual servings and reheated for a quick and easy lunch or dinner throughout the week.
If we have not said this enough, this casserole is incredible! It is versatile, so you can customize it to suit your preferences or dietary needs. Whether you use a store-bought taco seasoning or make your blend, this casserole will surely be a hit with the whole family.
So do try it, and remember to share your variations and tips in the comments below. You can also share it on Instagram and use the hashtag #buttertogetherkitchen, and we may just feature your dish on our social media.
If you like this recipe, you will enjoy our Easy Low Carb Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole! It is just as tasty and easy to make.