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Low Carb Taco Casserole

Low Carb Taco Casserole is a keto friendly, KID friendly, gluten free twist on taco night. Layer some seasoned roasted cauliflower with mildly spiced taco meat and tangy cheddar, for the perfect combo.

Happy Taco Tuesday! Although, every Tuesday is happy when there are tacos (or taco-related dinners) in store, right? While feeling tacos this week, I didn’t have any taco shells or tortillas in the house — how does this even happen? — but did have a cauliflower that was starting to go. This inspired me to throw together today’s low carb variation on taco night: Low Carb Taco Casserole.

low carb cauliflower and hamburger casserole

Roasting the seasoned cauliflower before incorporating it into the casserole adds so much flavor, balancing nicely with the mildly taco seasoned meat and tangy cheddar + sour cream. Satisfy all of your taco cravings, without all of the carbs! Or, just use this opportunity to sneak a veggie into your kids on taco night…

Low Carb Taco Casserole

Ingredients

– for the cauliflower

One small head of cauliflower (chopped into about 1.5 lbs of florets)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp seasoned salt

for the beef

1 lb 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef
2 tsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
Sea salt, to taste

– to assemble

1/2 cup sour cream
1.5 cups shredded cheddar, divided
3 green onions, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.

seasoned cauliflower florets on a sheet pan

Add the cauliflower florets to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil, and sprinkle with smoked paprika & seasoned salt. Stir to coat, then spread out into a single layer.

Cooked cauliflower florets on a sheet pan -- roasted with spices

Roast cauliflower at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender, stirring halfway through.

While your cauliflower is roasting, brown the ground beef and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat until beef is cooked through, breaking up as you go.

Drain the beef. Stir in chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and sea salt, along with 1/2 cup water. Simmer until liquid is almost entirely absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Once the cauliflower is roasted, spray a small casserole or baking dish with cooking spray. Remove the roasted cauliflower from the oven and transfer it to a large bowl. Stir in the sour cream and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar until the cheese is melted and everything is well-combined, then add the cauliflower mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Assembling the low carb taco casserole in layers of cauliflower, ground beef, and cheese

Spoon the cooked ground beef evenly on top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle the casserole with one cup of shredded cheddar, then top it with chopped green onion.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cheese is nicely melted. Serve your low carb taco casserole by itself, or with taco fixings of choice. (Me, I of course chose avocado!)

Note: You want a good sheet pan full of cauliflower, but if you have extra today, just save the florets. Steam them up & top with a little cheddar cheese for a simple side dish tomorrow.

Taco-bout your low carb goodness…

Low Carb Taco Casserole is a keto friendly, KID friendly, gluten free twist on taco night. Layer some seasoned roasted cauliflower with mildly spiced taco meat and tangy cheddar, for the perfect combo.

This mild & kid-friendly taco casserole isn’t spicy, but does sport a lot of flavor. You could easily kick yours up a notch with a little cayenne or taco sauce, because, like all good tacos, low carb taco casserole is customizable to your own taste — And, it’s both gluten free & keto friendly.

You could play around with the basic idea of this low carb casserole, too: Add a little red bell pepper for sweetness, or go with Italian seasoning/oregano/mozzarella instead of taco seasonings/cheddar, to change up the flavor profile. It’s OK to play with your food! 😉

Low Carb Taco Casserole, printable recipe

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5 from 4 votes

Low Carb Taco Casserole

Low Carb Taco Casserole is a keto friendly, KID friendly, gluten free twist on taco night. Layer some seasoned roasted cauliflower with mildly spiced taco meat and tangy cheddar, for the perfect combo.
Course dinner
Cuisine taco
Keyword cauliflower, cauliflower casserole, gluten free, keto friendly, low carb, low carb casserole, taco casserole
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

for the cauliflower

for the beef

  • 1 lb 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef
  • 2 tsp minced garlic about four cloves
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Sea salt to taste

to assemble

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar divided
  • 3 green onions chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
  • Add the cauliflower florets to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil, and sprinkle with smoked paprika & seasoned salt. Stir to coat, then spread out into a single layer.
  • Roast cauliflower at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender, stirring halfway through.
  • While your cauliflower is roasting, brown the ground beef and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat until beef is cooked through, breaking up as you go.
  • Drain the beef. Stir in chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and sea salt, along with 1/2 cup water. Simmer until liquid is almost entirely absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the cauliflower is roasted, spray a small casserole or baking dish with cooking spray. Remove the roasted cauliflower from the oven and transfer it to a large bowl. Stir in the sour cream and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar until the cheese is melted and everything is well-combined, then add the cauliflower mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  • Spoon the cooked ground beef evenly on top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle the casserole with one cup of shredded cheddar, then top it with chopped green onion.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until cheese is nicely melted. Serve your low carb taco casserole by itself, or with taco fixings of choice. (Me, I of course chose avocado!)

Notes

You want a good sheet pan full of cauliflower, but if you have extra today, just save the florets. Steam them up & top with a little cheddar cheese for a simple side dish tomorrow.

Recipes in the real world

weekly ALDI meal plans from Mashup Mom -- six complete dinners for four, $60 out the door! MashupMom.com, every Wednesday.

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

Be sure not to miss the free weekly ALDI meal plans, which show you how to use these easy family recipes to meal plan affordably and realistically for your family. Or, find more recipe ideas with the Recipe Search!

Recipe Rating




Jen

Thursday 16th of September 2021

I hate to be one of "those people" who comment when they totally changed the recipe around, but I wanted to say thank you so much for the inspiration and pass on the idea to others! I was planning to make this casserole yesterday with ground chicken since that's what I had. However, when I cut into my cauliflower it was rotten and unusable. I realized I had some potatoes that needed to be used up (and obviously we don't need low carb in our house!). I cut and roasted them just like the cauliflower and proceeded with the rest of the recipe. It was DELICIOUS! I'd still like to try it in the future with the cauliflower, although I imagine the potatoes will be the more popular option for my family. Thanks for the idea!

rachel

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

Well that does make perfect sense, since people use cauliflower as a potato substitute pretty often -- why not the other way around? ;)

Megan

Friday 31st of July 2020

I really liked this, it satisfied my taco craving. We used ground turkey instead because that's what we had on hand, it was good! Topped with some salsa for some more spice and a little more sour cream. Thanks for the recipe! And I agree, it makes for some good leftovers the next day.

Leigh

Tuesday 18th of February 2020

Delicious! Even better the next day for lunch IMO!

Elizabeth Bond

Monday 17th of February 2020

I wasn't too sure about it. But it turned out nicely.

Emily

Monday 17th of February 2020

This was AMAZING! My five year old turned her nose up at the cauliflower but we got her to eat some. My 10 year old wolfed it down and had seconds. Everyone raved!

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