This easy 30-minute keto cheeseburger casserole is hearty, filling, and an excellent alternative to a classic cheeseburger.
You can make this recipe as written and serve it with a side of veggies, or mix in veggies such as cauliflower rice or spinach and turn it into a complete meal.
I love casseroles. They're so EASY. You place a few ingredients in a baking dish, put it in the oven, and dinner is ready 30-60 minutes later!
This cheeseburger casserole is delicious in a delightfully non-gourmet sort of way. Grownups and kids alike enjoy it. Like most casseroles, it's a forgiving and flexible recipe, so you can experiment with different mix-ins and spices.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Olive oil: My favorite oil to cook with! It's so flavorful. Other options include avocado oil and ghee.
- Extra-lean ground beef: I prefer to use extra-lean ground beef (93% lean) because I drain the rendered fat anyway. However, using lean ground beef (85% lean) is OK if that's what you have. As you can see in the photo below, I sometimes use it.
- Onion and garlic. Sometimes, when I'm lazy, I sub onion and garlic powders... but it's not the same.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt instead of kosher salt, reduce the amount you use by half.
- Mayonnaise: I prefer mayonnaise made with avocado oil.
- Ketchup: I prefer unsweetened ketchup.
- Mustard: I usually like Dijon mustard. But in this recipe, yellow mustard works too.
- Shredded cheddar: I like to use sharp or extra-sharp cheddar. It greatly enhances the flavor of this casserole.
The best thing about this recipe is how simple it is to make. But if you'd like to experiment a little, here are a few ideas for you:
- Add crumbled cooked bacon. I love the flavor it adds.
- You can make this recipe with ground chicken or turkey thighs. It won't be the same, but it's still good. I recommend using ground thighs and not ground breast, which is too lean.
- Add your favorite spices, even if they're not classic cheeseburger seasonings. Smoked paprika and chili powder are excellent in this recipe.
- Sometimes I mix sliced pickled jalapenos into the beef mixture before baking it.
Cheeseburger Casserole Instructions
The detailed instructions for making this recipe are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps:
- You start by cooking ground beef and onion in olive oil. (Photo 1).
- Add seasonings: Garlic, salt, and black pepper. (Photo 2).
- Off heat, you stir in condiments: Mayo, ketchup, and mustard. (Photo 3).
- Stir in shredded cheese. (Photo 4).
- The last step is to transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish and sprinkle it with more cheese. Bake the casserole for about 15 minutes at 400°F, then serve! (Photos 5,6).
If you'd like to turn this cheeseburger casserole into a complete meal, add 1-2 cups of uncooked riced cauliflower to the ground beef/onion mixture and cook everything together. If you do, you'll need to increase the olive oil by 1-2 tablespoons.
I use extra lean ground beef (93% lean). I use lean ground beef (85% lean) in most of my recipes, but when I cook it for a casserole, I drain the fat anyway.
Absolutely! One option mentioned above is to add riced cauliflower
to the beef/onion mixture.
You can also add two cups (about 2 ounces) of raw baby spinach leaves to the beef mixture when it's done cooking. Add the spinach right before adding the seasonings and mix it in until it wilts very slightly. Don't overcook it.
Yes! A classic casserole contains protein (meat, poultry), starch (rice, potatoes), vegetables, sauce, and cheese.
But one of the best things about casseroles is that they are flexible and forgiving, so you can adapt them to your needs and the ingredients you have on hand. Made as written, this casserole contains just protein, sauce, and cheese and is delicious.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave, at 50% power. You can also freeze individual servings for up to three months.
More Ground Beef Recipes
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Keto Cheeseburger Casserole
- Olive oil spray for the baking dish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lb. extra lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion finely chopped (6 oz)
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 teaspoon fine salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
- ¼ cup mayonnaise I prefer avocado oil mayo
- ¼ cup unsweetened ketchup
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 ½ cup cheddar sharp, shredded, divided (6 oz)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the beef and the onions. Cook, stirring to break up the beef until the meat is browned and the onion is soft, for about 5 minutes.
- If there are liquids at the bottom of the skillet, carefully drain the mixture and return it to the skillet.
- Stir in the kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 more minute.
- Turn the heat off. Stir in the mayonnaise, unsweetened ketchup, mustard, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, if your baking dish is broiler-safe, broil the casserole 6 inches below the heating element (not directly below) until the cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes.