This easy keto cheeseburger casserole is hearty and filling and makes a wonderful low-carb alternative to a classic cheeseburger. You won't miss the bun!
This casserole is so delicious, in a delightfully non-gourmet sort of way. Grownups and kids alike always enjoy it. And the younger one - the Picky Eater- often asks for seconds! So now you know I tend to make it often for my family. 🙂
You can make it as written, you can vary the spices you use, and you can add veggies. Like most casseroles, it's a very forgiving and flexible recipe. See specific suggestions below.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty keto cheeseburger casserole. 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 leaner beef here because I end up draining the rendered fat anyway.
Onion and garlic. Sometimes when I'm feeling extra lazy I sub onion and garlic powders... but it's not the same. So I try not to be lazy!
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. Sir Kensington's is a good brand.
Unsweetened ketchup: You can find it at Whole Foods and on Amazon.
Mustard: I usually like Dijon mustard. It's creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard. But in this particular recipe, yellow mustard works too.
Shredded cheddar: I like to use sharp or even extra-sharp cheddar. It really enhances the flavor of this dish.
How to make keto cheeseburger casserole
This casserole is a wonderful option if you follow a keto or a low carb diet. You get all the wonderful flavors of a cheeseburger without the bun.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. The basic steps for making this casserole are super easy:
You start by cooking ground beef and onion in olive oil.
Next, you add garlic, salt, and black pepper.
Off heat, you stir in mayo, ketchup, mustard, and shredded cheese.
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!
What beef to use
I use extra lean ground beef (93% lean). I've got nothing against lean ground beef (85% lean), but when I cook it for a casserole I end up draining the fat anyway. So it makes more sense to use leaner meat that doesn't require much draining.
You can add veggies for a complete meal
I really like casseroles. They're just so EASY. You place a few ingredients in a baking dish, place it in the oven, and 30-60 minutes later, dinner is ready!
If you'd like to turn this casserole into a complete meal, you can add 1-2 cups of uncooked riced cauliflower to the meat and onion and cook everything together. You might need to increase the olive oil a little if you do.
How to serve keto cheeseburger casserole
To balance out the richness of this dish, I definitely recommend skipping the starches and serving it with a side veggie, such as simple steamed green beans, roasted asparagus, or a green salad (this arugula salad is excellent).
Variations and substitutions
The best thing about this casserole is how simple it is to make. But if you'd like to experiment a little, here are a few ideas for you:
- As mentioned above, you can add riced cauliflower to the beef/onion mixture.
- Add crumbled cooked bacon.
- You can try making this recipe with ground chicken thighs or with ground turkey thighs. It won't be the same, obviously, but it's still good. I do recommend using ground thighs and not ground breast, which is very lean.
- Add your favorite spices, even if they're not classic cheeseburger seasonings. Smoked paprika and chili powder are very good in this recipe.
- Mix some sliced pickled jalapenos into the beef mixture before baking it.
What about leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave, on 50% power. You can also successfully freeze individual servings for up to three months.
More ground beef recipes that you might enjoy
I actually have several that I really like. You should definitely try this very flavorful ground beef meat pie! And these baked hamburgers are the easiest recipe I have ever found for making burgers. Baking is so much easier than frying.
Never miss a recipe!
I typically publish a new recipe once or twice per week. Want the new recipes in your inbox? Subscribe!
Keto Cheeseburger Casserole, Hearty and Cheesy
- 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 minced fresh garlic
- ¼ cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- ¼ cup unsweetened ketchup
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar divided (6 oz)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 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, about 5 minutes.
- If there are liquids at the bottom of the skillet, carefuly drain the mixture and return it to the skillet.
- Stir in the kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring, 1 more minute.
- Turn the heat off. Stir in the mayonnaise, unsweetened ketchup, mustard, and 1 cup 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, about 15 minutes. Or, 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.