Ground Beef Casserole is packed with fresh spinach, beef, and cheese, then combined with cauliflower rice and baked. A low-carb and Keto casserole the whole family will love.
Cheesy Ground Beef Casserole with Cauliflower Rice is one easy and delicious dinner! Casseroles make everyone’s lives easier, and this one is a true timesaver. This is a fusion of lean ground beef and light, fluffy cauliflower rice, all baked to bubbly perfection. It requires minimal prep, and then you just pop it in the oven and forget about it for the next 30-ish minutes. It’s low-carb and Keto, too. Swapping traditional rice for cauliflower rice significantly lightens the dish, making it not just tasty but also waistline-friendly.
Get ready to explore a meal that’s perfect for a cozy family dinner or as a meal prep solution, packing nutrition, convenience, and a whole lot of yum into one dish!
Why You’ll Love This Casserole
- This casserole is the epitome of comfort food but without guilt. The lean ground beef provides a protein boost, and the cauliflower rice offers a low-carb alternative to traditional grains.
- The recipe is quick, making it a perfect choice for busy weeknights. This casserole can be on the table in 30 minutes.
- A great way to add some extra veggies like spinach for added sustenance.
- Only uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients you’ll likely spot in your pantry and fridge.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Olive Oil
- Onions & Garlic
- Lean Ground Beef
- Seasonings: Italian seasoning, sweet paprika, salt, and pepper
- Baby Spinach
- Cauliflower rice
- Sour Cream
- Dried Basil
- Shredded Cheese
How to Make Ground Beef Casserole With Cauliflower Rice
- Preheat: Set your oven to preheat to 375˚F.
- Saute: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
- Brown: Add the ground beef and season it with Italian Seasoning, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until the beef is completely browned.
- Add: Add in the spinach. You might have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your skillet. Stir frequently for 1 more minute or until the spinach is wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat, drain liquid from the skillet, and set it aside.
- Combine: In a baking dish, combine cauliflower rice, sour cream, butter, and dried basil. Stir and mix until everything is completely combined and creamy. Add the prepared beef mixture to the baking dish and stir until everything is incorporated. Then, top it all with shredded cheese.
- Bake: Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until the juices are bubbly and cheese is melted.
- Serve: Remove the dish from the oven and let stand for several minutes before cutting and serving.
Tips for the Best Cauliflower Casserole
- Be sure you let your casserole stand for at least 7 minutes before serving. This will allow the casserole to firm up and will make it even prettier and more yummy on your plate. Trust me, it’ll be worth the wait.
- Resist the urge to cover this casserole with foil before baking. I know, that’s like casserole blasphemy, but since everything is already cooked and warm, it’s really not necessary. Baking it uncovered will allow the cheese to get bubbly and melty, which I really like!
- More veggies? No problem. If you want to add more veggies to this casserole, you could throw in some diced and sauteed carrots, or some frozen peas or corn.
- Meat options. You can opt to use ground turkey, ground pork, or sweet Italian sausage in place of the ground beef, if you prefer.
- Make A Day Ahead: Prep this casserole in the morning or the night before, and tightly cover it. Keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. For even cooking, take the casserole out of the fridge about 15 to 20 minutes before it goes into the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes and No. I have tried this casserole with both methods, and it works either way, but you should thaw the cauliflower if frozen because it’s easier to work it in the sauce. However, I prefer to precook it because it’s much easier to get a creamy consistency when the cauliflower is warm.
This casserole can definitely be modified to be vegetarian. My favorite way to do that is by using mushrooms in place of ground beef. Mushrooms have a hearty meat-like flavor, and I bet you won’t even miss the meat! Another option is to make a lentil-based ground meat substitute. This is commonly done as a taco meat substitute and could work easily here.
This, or any casserole, makes for a great freezer meal. I love to make it for my new mom friends or where a parent has just undergone surgery. This is also a great freezer meal idea for meal prep, making weeknight dinners a little easier for you. This casserole can stay in the freezer for about 3 months. All you have to do is defrost it and bake it in the oven when ready.
How to Store Leftovers
- Once the casserole is baked, your leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, allow the casserole to reach room temperature, then heat it at 375˚F until warmed throughout. For individual portions, scoop your desired amount into a bowl and microwave, stirring midway, until hot.
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Cheesy Ground Beef and Cauliflower Rice Casserole
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 10 ounces frozen cauliflower rice, cooked according to the directions on the bag
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, if needed
- 8 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese, or any other shredded cheese that you have/prefer
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Heat olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
- Add ground beef; season with Italian Seasoning, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Continue to cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, and cook until beef is completely browned.
- Add in spinach – you might have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your skillet – cook, stirring frequently, for 1 more minute or until spinach is wilted.
- Remove from heat, drain liquid from the skillet, and set aside.
- In a 9×13-inch baking dish, combine cooked cauliflower rice, sour cream, butter, and dried basil; stir and mix until completely combined and creamy. If sour cream and butter aren’t melting completely, stir in some milk. The cauliflower rice should be warm enough to melt the butter.
- Add prepared beef mixture to the baking dish; stir until everything is completely incorporated.
- Top with shredded cheese.
- Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and let stand for 7 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Let the casserole sit for about 7 to 10 minutes before serving.
- Avoid covering the casserole with foil before baking to let the cheese melt and bubble up.
- Feel free to add more veggies like sauteed carrots or frozen peas.
- Swap ground beef with turkey, pork, or Italian sausage if desired.
- Prep a day ahead, store in the fridge, and bring to room temperature 15-20 minutes before baking.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.