serving up a spoonful of keto taco casserole

keto taco casserole + avocado cilantro sauce

This keto taco casserole with avocado cilantro sauce is a simple weeknight dinner full of flavor and healthy ingredients! I’m always in search of easy keto dinners and this has it all: spiced taco meat, Spanish cauliflower rice, and crisp veggie toppings. Smother it with a five-minute avocado cilantro sauce for the perfect combination of citrus and spice that lightens up the dish. A summer-forward comfort food, if you will. And I’m all about it!

Overhead of keto taco casserole with fresh vegetable toppings

why you’ll love this keto taco casserole

Besides the fact that it’s a delicious, low-carb spin on Taco Tuesday, there’s so many other reasons why I know you’ll love this keto taco casserole!

  • Light and fresh– Unlike other keto casserole recipes out there, this one doesn’t overdo it with meat and cheese! Cauliflower rice, along with shreds of crisp cabbage and fresh radishes lighten up this casserole. And if you choose to bake it with cheese for a layer of gooey, melted goodness, that’s cool too.
  • Good for you- There aren’t too many casseroles that you can actually call “healthy,” but this keto taco casserole is full of nutritious, whole ingredients!
  • Low maintenance– It’s an easy keto dinner that’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, and the perfect next-day lunch (because casserole = leftovers, of course)!

let’s make it!

Want to see how quickly you can make a keto taco casserole? Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • grass-fed ground beef
  • avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • yellow onion
  • ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • chipotle powder
  • garlic powder (fresh works too)
  • tomato paste, or a small can of diced tomatoes or diced green chiles
  • frozen cauliflower rice
  • fresh jalapeños
  • toppings: fresh cabbage, radish, cilantro, avocado, and lime

Perhaps my very favorite thing about this meal is you can make it your own. Want more heat? I hear ya! Toss in a can of diced green chiles. Or more jalapeños. Need some cheese in your life? Go ahead and layer it on. Don’t like cabbage? Swap in shredded lettuce instead! Add on salsa, sour cream, cotija cheese, etc. This keto taco casserole is stupidly easy to make and customize, which makes it the best of kind of recipe!

the process

  1. Start on the stovetop. Heat the oil, add the diced onions, and cook for a couple of minutes in a skillet or pan. Add the ground beef (grass-fed when possible!), salt, pepper, and spices. Cook until the meat is brown, then spoon out the meat (set it in a bowl) and discard any excess liquid. Return to the stovetop and cook the frozen cauliflower rice, tomato paste/diced tomatoes for about 5 minutes. Stir the meat back in and remove from heat.
  2. Bake. Top with sliced jalapeños (if you want cheese, now’s the time to add it) and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes (if you’re not using a cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan, first transfer the mixture to a baking dish). The bake time will cook the cauliflower rice and remove some of the excess moisture.
  3. Top. Go for it! Shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, chopped cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges. More jalapeño, optional. But that avocado cilantro sauce is not… 😉

how to make avocado cilantro sauce

Ooooooh, that magic green sauce. It’s a good-on-anything kind of sauce, and I really mean that. But it’s especially delicious with this keto taco casserole, and makes the perfect creamy, non-dairy topping (bonus: extra fat if you’re trying to stay in ketosis)!

Here’s what you need for this avocado cilantro sauce:

  • avocado
  • avocado oil or olive oil
  • chopped cilantro
  • fresh lime juice
  • fresh garlic
  • water
  • small bit of jalapeño (optional)

Blend it all up until it’s smooth and creamy, then taste and adjust as needed. Top the keto taco casserole with spoonfuls of this magic green sauce, for a keto casserole at its finest!

a plate of keto taco casserole topped with avocado cilantro dressing

Dig in and enjoy! This summer-y, keto taco casserole is soooo good and a low-carb meal the whole family will love.

THE END.

Except, LEFTOVERS. Here’s hoping you have some!

p.s. If you try it, please rate the recipe below and make sure to tag me @stemandspoon on Instagram! I LOVE seeing all the deliciousness.

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keto taco casserole + avocado cilantro sauce

keto taco casserole + avocado cilantro sauce

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A light and fresh keto taco casserole, smothered with a creamy avocado cilantro sauce for ALL THE FLAVOR! Spiced meat, cauliflower rice, and crisp veggie toppings make this the perfect summer-forward casserole that's also dairy-free, gluten-free, and low-carb.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 20 ounces frozen riced cauliflower (2-1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (or 1 cup diced tomatoes)
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced

avocado cilantro sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 large avocado (or 1 whole small avocado)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • small piece of fresh jalapeño (about 1 inch, use more if you want it spicier)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

keto taco casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large pan or cast iron skillet, warm the avocado oil over medium heat. After 30 seconds to a minute, add the diced onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion turns translucent.
  2. Add the ground beef, 1 teaspoon of salt, and other spices, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the meat is brown. Stir often. Transfer the meat to a bowl using a slotted spoon and discard any remaining liquid in the skillet. Set the meat aside.
  3. Return the pan/skillet to the stovetop on medium heat. Add the frozen riced cauliflower, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and stir in the tomato paste/diced tomatoes, cooking for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add in the ground beef and stir to combine. (If you're not using an oven-safe skillet, transfer everything into a baking dish at this time).
  4. Top the meat and cauliflower rice mixture with the jalapeño slices. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 20 minutes. This bake time will roast the jalapeño slices and continue to cook the cauliflower, drawing out any excess water.
  5. While the keto taco casserole is baking, make the avocado cilantro sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until it's smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust, adding more jalapeño for spice and more water to thin, if needed.
  6. Remove the keto taco casserole from the oven. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes, then top with the fresh cabbage, radish, cilantro, and lime wedges. Spoon on the avocado cilantro sauce and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can substitute half of the ground beef for ground chorizo.
  • If you want to top the casserole with cheese, add a layer of Mexican blend cheese prior to baking (and the jalapeño slices on top of the cheese).
  • For a spicier casserole, stir 8 ounces of diced green chiles into the cauliflower rice at the same time you add the tomato paste.
  • To substitute the frozen cauliflower with fresh riced cauliflower, check the casserole after 10 minutes. The fresh cauliflower won't have as much moisture as frozen, and may not need to bake as long.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 3gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 24g

This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.

2 Comments

  1. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! That avocado cream is decadent! I didn’t have any regular jalapeños, so used some jarred/tamed ones which was awesome. I loved the radishes on top too- wouldn’t have thought of that on my own!

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