This low carb taco casserole is full of flavor, and it will be a hit with the whole family—even cauliflower haters won't be able to say no to this casserole. The cauliflower rice takes on the bold taco flavors and blends nicely with the ground beef, salsa, and cheese.
Feel free to change it up with the ingredients you have on hand. If you don't have salsa, use diced tomatoes, or make it with ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef. Pepper jack or a Mexican blend of cheeses may be used in place of the cheddar, or use a colby cheese and Monterey Jack blend.
- 1 (12-ounce) package frozen riced cauliflower (about 3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 (1.25-ounce) packages taco seasoning (about 4 tablespoons)
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Optional garnish: chopped cilantro
Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 350 F.
Put the thawed riced cauliflower on a few doubled sheets of paper towel or a kitchen towel and squeeze out any excess moisture. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and bell pepper and continue to cook until the meat is browned.
Add the taco seasoning and stir until well blended.
Layer about half of the beef mixture in a 2-quart baking dish or casserole; top with about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Top the ground beef and cheese with the riced cauliflower and another 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Top with the remaining beef and another 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Spoon the salsa evenly over the second ground beef and cheese layers.
Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of shredded cheese and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted, about two minutes.
Pour the cream and cheese sauce mixture over the salsa layer. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
Bake the casserole for 30 to 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.
Serve the casserole with toppings, such as extra salsa, chopped green onions, avocado slices, guacamole, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, jalapeño pepper rings, or sour cream.
Glass Bakeware Warning
For premade casseroles or leftovers that are in a glass baking dish and have been refrigerated, do not place directly into a hot oven as the glass can shatter. Instead, place any cold glass bakeware into a cold oven to warm up while it preheats. Or, allow the bakeware to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to reach room temperature while the oven preheats.
- To reheat the whole casserole, take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes ahead of time. Cover the baking dish tightly with a lid or foil and bake it at 325 F to 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it registers at least 165 F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.
- For a spicier casserole, add a few tablespoons of minced jalapeño peppers to the ground beef mixture or replace the chopped bell peppers with a can of chopped green chili peppers.
- Ground turkey or ground chicken can be swapped in to replace the ground beef.