Low Carb Taco Casserole:Cheesy Family Pleasin’ Tex-Mex

Easy, low carb taco casserole has all the Tex-Mex flavor you’ve been hungry for but with just 3 net carbs per (very generous) serving. A creamy, spicy queso covers taco seasoned ground beef and 0 carb dumplings to give the dish that chewy, carb-loaded experience. It takes under 30 minutes to make and, while I don’t recommend freezing, it will stay delicious in the fridge for several days.

For this recipe you’ll need: cooked ground beef seasoned with 0-carb taco seasoning, onion, Hatch chiles, tomatoes with green chiles, cream cheese, heavy cream, cilantro, eggs, gluten flour (no substitutes please – this is only 1/4 teaspoon and will not cause problems unless you are allergic to gluten or have celiac), cumin

A plate with low carb taco casserole on it, topped with cheese and sour cream - title image

If anything is going to lure me off of my eating plan it’s going to be Mexican food. I love the warm spices, the heat of the chiles, the textures, the flavors… I love it ALL. Sadly, there aren’t many cuisines that have the high carb counts that Tex-Mex does. Oh, and don’t point out that in Mexico they eat fresh fish. Tex-Mex and Mexican are two different things and… I have to admit… I do not like fish – no, not even very fresh fish… not even your grandmother’s recipe for fish… nada. nope. nothing. Ew.

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What I do like are brisket tacos, creamy chicken enchiladas, tostadas… you know… all that carby stuff. I’m constantly trying to recreate, not just the flavors, but the textures as well.

I’ve been working on low carb chicken and dumplings – it seems like forever. In fact, that’s how the chicken pot pie soup came about. The last dumplings I came up with weren’t right for chicken and dumplings BUT I thought they were perfect for Tex-Mex casseroles.

So this happened.

closeup of low carb taco casserole with a dollop of sour cream and a fork in the background

Let’s Talk about the Gluten Factor

So awhile ago I made some bomb low carb egg noodles AND they are SO noodley! Then everyone saw that they had 1/4 teaspoon…ONE FOURTH TEASPOON of gluten in it and lost their minds. Don’t lose your mind.

The gluten will not kick you out of ketosis. It will not cause you to gain weight or have cravings. 1/4 teaspoon of gluten divided between two servings has 0 carbs. None. Nada. The only reason it might cause you a problem is if you have celiac or an allergy to gluten – most of you do not.

You can leave the gluten out OR you can substitute xanthan gum. It will not be the same. It will not be as good. Trust me on this.

A silver fork is scooping up some of the low carb taco casserole. The tex mex casserole is on a vintage white plate with flowers on it. a greenish colored napkin is under the plate

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Gluten will last forever in your freezer. You’re not going to use much but it really is perfect for noodles and for my low carb yeast bread. I prefer Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten – it’s reasonably priced and it’s the one I’ve always used.

Low Carb Taco Casserole Recipe

A horizontal image of low carb taco casserole on a vintage white plate that's placed on chippy white wood background-feature image

This low carb taco casserole recipe has all of that enchilada/taco/Tex-Mex flavor that you love but the carbs are cut way back by using these dumplings instead of tortillas or macaroni. Pepper Jack works well in this as a substitute for the Cheddar if you like things a little spicier.

You could also spoon it into a casserole dish, top with a little more cheese, and bake it for 20 minutes if you like.  The texture is a little different and I think it makes the cheese gooey-er but it’s usually not worth the time it takes to do it for me. Try it and see if you like it better than way.

I wouldn’t freeze this but it will last, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for several days. If you like this recipe please give it a 5 star rating. Remember you can change the serving sized and the measurements will change to match.

Low carb taco casserole closeup of this tex mex recipe in a square format - recipe image
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Low Carb Taco Casserole

Easy low carb taco casserole has just 3 net carbs and is full of cheesy Tex-Mex flavor. It's a simple dish that will satisfy Mexican food cravings! Best of all it only takes about 30 minutes.
Course main dish
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 635kcal
Author Marye

Ingredients

Dumplings

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon vital wheat gluten , no substitutions - really - I'm serious
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cumin

Casserole

  • 1 cup ground beef , seasoned with 0-carb taco seasoning, measured after cooking
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon diced Hatch chile
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes with green chiles I use Ro*Tel
  • 2/3 cup water , may not need all of it
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese , grated
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro , chopped

Instructions

Dumplings

  • Preheat the oven to 325F.
  • Add the eggs, cream cheese, gluten, salt, and cilantro to a blender.
  • Blend until very smooth - about 1 minutes.
  • Place Silpat or parchment in the bottom of a 9x9-inch baking pan.
  • Lightly oil with olive oil.
  • Pour in the egg mixture and bake for 10 minutes or until very firm but still spongy when you press down on it.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Cut into small squares.

Taco Casserole

  • Melt the butter in a high sided frying pan with a lid.
  • Add the onions and peppers - saute until soft.
  • Add the meat, tomatoes, and 1/3 cup of the water.
  • Bring to a simmer and add the dumplings.
  • Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. You may need to add more water - don't let it go dry.
  • Uncover - the dumplings will have puffed up. 
  • Simmer until the water is almost all evaporated.
  • Add the cream cheese, heavy cream, and cheddar. (If you want a creamier, smoother sauce you can heat the cream cheese and cream together in the microwave, stir until smooth - then stir in the cheese until melted)
  • Stir in the cilantro. Serve hot topped with more cheese, avocado, sour cream, or whatever you like.

Nutrition

Calories: 635kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 335mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 27% | Vitamin C: 16.4% | Calcium: 23.7% | Iron: 18.7%

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Last Updated 02/08/2019

11 Responses to “Low Carb Taco Casserole:Cheesy Family Pleasin’ Tex-Mex”


  1. Tex Mex food gets a bad rap sometimes, but it is so tasty and usually pretty easy to cook. My kids were raised on Tex Mex and I bet they would love this as much as I did… And hubby who is not low carb. It was really really good I did use pepper jack as that is what I had in the fridge and I had some gluten left over from my old vegan days. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you for sharing this with us ❤️

    Reply
    • I am so glad you like it!

      Reply
      • Marye,
        I am new to the site and loving it! However this recipe has me confused where is the recipe for the no carb taco seasoning?

        Reply
        • I don’t know that I have a recipe on the blog for it. You can buy 0 carb taco seasoning – just read the label carefully.

          Reply

  2. Fellow Texan here, and yup, have to have my Tex Mex. This was great, please keep making recipes. I appreciate your talent! I used chicken as that’s what I had, it’s similar to King Ranch Chicken. Quite tasty. Can’t wait to try with beef as well.

    Reply
    • I was going to try a King Ranch chicken recipe with this! Good to know

      Reply
  3. Marye, this looks terrific. Could not agree more about the gluten mania. For those who need to avoid, of course they should. But for the rest of us, should be a non issue. Just protein. Chinese vegetarians have been eating it for centuries.

    Will be back to rate this after I have made it. Have high hopes as it looks very promising. Yum.

    Reply
  4. What the dumplings be like without the gluten? I have an actual allergy but this is the most appetizing taco/Tex Mex casserole I’ve seen for low carb?keto.

    Reply
    • You could try xanthan gum or just leaving it out. It will have a different texture but the flavor should still be there.

      Reply
  5. Is Vital Wheat Gluten Flour the same as Vital Wheat Gluten?

    Reply
    • Yes it is. 🙂

      Reply

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