This very tasty ground beef casserole is keto and low carb. One of my easiest ground beef recipes, it's perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Whenever I'm not sure what to make for dinner, I make this tasty casserole. Making it couldn't be easier! Brown some ground beef, add cream cheese and spices, sprinkle with shredded cheddar and bake.
This ground beef casserole is keto and low carb, low calorie too if that's a concern for you. But most importantly, it's delicious!
Ground beef is so convenient
I always have vacuum-packed ground beef in the fridge. It's just so convenient. I use it to make many tasty recipes, such as these:
And I also use it to make this tasty and super-easy casserole. It's quickly become one of my favorite dinners to make for my family. It helps that everyone enjoys it - adults as well as kids.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients when making this tasty ground beef casserole. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Ground beef: I use extra-lean ground beef in this recipe. Normally I prefer lean, not extra-lean. But here, I drain the fat anyway, plus I add other creamy ingredients.
Salt and pepper: I use fine sea salt. If you use coarse kosher salt, you can increase the amount you use.
Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Cream cheese: I use reduced-fat, but full-fat is fine if that's what you prefer.
Shredded cheddar: I love using extra-sharp cheddar.
Parsley: Used mostly for garnish, but it also adds a nice layer of flavor.
How to make a ground beef casserole
This recipe is so easy! I included detailed instructions in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to quickly brown the ground beef with a few spices.
2. Now mix in some cream cheese and shredded cheddar.
3. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and sprinkle with a little more cheese, then bake until the cheese is melted.
I intentionally don't include chopped onion in this recipe, because it's very tasty with the onion powder and it's so much easier not to deal with chopping an onion.
Of course, you can add a medium chopped onion when browning the beef! Maybe you're not as lazy as I am. 😉
Why I'm using low-fat ingredients
I used to always buy lean ground beef (85% lean). But recently I've started experimenting with using extra lean ground beef (93% lean).
In many ground beef recipes, including this casserole, I end up draining the fat anyway. So it actually makes sense to use leaner ground beef.
I also find that reduced-fat cream cheese gives me excellent results in recipes, so I sometimes opt for using it.
So you'll see that in this recipe, I use extra lean ground beef, reduced-fat cream cheese and a relatively small amount of shredded cheddar, with excellent, tasty and creamy results. However, if you wish, by all means, use full-fat ingredients!
What to serve with ground beef casserole?
Any side dish, really. It's so very versatile. I most often serve it with an easy salad of tossed greens (this arugula salad is very good), or with a simple vegetable dish such as steamed broccoli or roasted asparagus.
What about leftovers?
This casserole makes excellent leftovers that taste even better the next day and can keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
I reheat the leftovers in the microwave, covered, on 50% power. Sometimes I freeze individual servings. They can be frozen for up to three months and reheated in the microwave.
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Keto Ground Beef Casserole
- Olive oil spray for pan
- 2 lb. extra lean ground beef (93% lean)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cubed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 2-quart casserole dish with olive oil and set it aside.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly spray it with olive oil.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces, until the meat is no longer raw, about 5 minutes. Drain the beef and return it to the skillet.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Mix the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne into the beef, then slowly and patiently mix in the cream cheese until fully melted and incorporated.
- Turn the heat off, and mix ½ cup of the shredded cheddar into the beef mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup cheddar on top.
- Bake the ground beef casserole until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.