All of your taco favorites combined into one healthy and comforting beef taco casserole! Great for a satisfying meal, meal prep, and paleo and Whole30 approved!
This recipe first appeared on Instagram in partnership with Cece’s Noodle Co.
Who else is a fan of casserole 😏😁 to be honest, I don’t think I really knew what a casserole was until I really started getting into cooking and was looking at different recipes every day on the computer.
My mom never really made them (at least not that I can remember, but I do have the worst memory ever). But I now love them! It’s a hearty and cozy meal, all packed into one big baked dish. So today I’m taking one of our favorite meals (tacos!) and sharing a paleo and Whole30 approved beef taco casserole!
How to make Whole30 Beef Taco Casserole
The beauty of casseroles is you literally mix all the ingredients together, place them in a large baking dish, and let the oven bake them together until all the flavors are melded together. It usually has some kind of binding agent to help it hold together so you can cut into it like a pie (probably the wrong analogy, but that is what my brain can think of at the moment ha).
This beef taco casserole does just that, and you only need less than 10 ingredients! Here is what you need:
- ground beef
- yellow onion
- cherry tomatoes
- taco seasoning
- sweet potato noodles
- salt & pepper
We start off my sautéing the ground beef until slightly browned. Then we add in the onion and some taco seasoning and sauté for a couple more minutes. Next add the peppers, kale, the remaining taco seasoning, and some salt and pepper, and cook for a couple more minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the sweet potato noodles and cherry tomatoes and transfer to a greased baking dish. Make the binder by mixing together the mayo and some of the salsa. Distribute over the taco casserole and mix to combine. Then we just bake until firm and crispy on top!
I love topping it with avocado, more salsa, cilantro, and hot sauce, but whatever you like will work! If you find it a little runny (more on that below), you can eat it out of a bowl!
How to meal prep/prep in advance
Beef taco casserole is a great dish to prep ahead of time or meal prep for the week! There are a few different ways you can meal prep it:
- Make the beef and veggie mixture and just store it in the fridge. Then, when you are ready to assemble, just put it in a large glass baking dish, make the salsa and mayo mixture, and bake.
- Bake it on Sunday and store in the fridge for a quick meal during the week. Either reheat it in the oven or microwave depending on your setting.
If you have leftovers, just store it in the fridge in a tightly sealed glass container. It saves well and should be good for up to a week.
Can you freeze Beef Taco Casserole
Yes! Depending on how you want to serve it, you can freeze two different ways:
- Bake it and then freeze the whole casserole. You will need to defrost the whole casserole when you are ready to eat, but makes a great option for a family.
- Bake it and then cut it into serving portions and freeze them individually. Then you just need to defrost each serving when you are ready to eat.
To defrost, just place in your fridge the night before and it should be ready to heat up the next day. To reheat, you can either put it in the microwave for a quick option or bake it in the oven until warmed through.
Can I use a different meat?
Yes, any meat will really work! You can substitute ground chicken or ground turkey and I think even shredded chicken will work just find. You just won’t have to cook shredded chicken beforehand.
Tips to avoid a runny casserole
A few factors play into how this casserole will turn out. The goal for it is to stay together and not be runny. You will have a little excess liquid, but don’t want too much.
To avoid a runny beef taco casserole, try to use a chunky salsa. If it is has too much liquid, it will transfer over when you bake it. If you can only find a more liquid salsa, add more mayo for a binder.
Second, make sure you drain all the liquid from the beef before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients. I use a slotted spoon to transfer it over.
More Easy Paleo Recipes
Beef Taco Casserole (Paleo/Whole30)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups/175 grams)
- 2 large bell peppers, diced (4 cups/500 grams)
- 3 packed cups kale, roughly chopped (90 grams)
- 1 package Cece's Noodle Co. Sweet Potato Noodles (or 4 cups sweet potato noodles/300 grams)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (300 grams)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning, divided
- 1 1/4 cup salsa, divided
- 1/2 cup mayo
- optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, salsa, hot sauce...
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large baking dish.
- In a large sauté pan, add beef and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly browned. Add onion and 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add peppers, kale, remaining taco seasoning, and salt and pepper and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Turn off heat and mix in sweet potato noodles and cherry tomatoes. Transfer mixture to the baking dish, leaving behind the grease.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup salsa and mayo. Pour over sweet potato and beef mixture, evenly distributing. Use a fork to make sure it is evenly spread throughout the casserole. Top with more salsa if desired and bake for 35 minutes until firm and crispy on the top. Let rest for 5 minutes to firm up some more. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
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