Day 5 of #ketotogether introduces a Keto Casserole.
Sweet G doesn’t love a casserole, so I started calling these ‘bakes’. Girl saw right through me! You’d think she’d be smart enough to love a one-pot-wonder like this, but she doesn’t wash the dishes and she doesn’t cook. One day, when she does, I bet I’ll be eating casserole (or bakes) at her house.
What I love about a casserole is that they are somewhat comforting. They’re easy. They blend lots of great flavors together. Plus, casseroles provide a main, sides and fats all together in one masterful centerpiece. What’s not to love?
The easiest casseroles start with a protein that’s already cooked or with proteins that cook quickly, so now is the time to pull out the canned meats, such as chicken or defrost the seafood in your freezer.
If you’d like several casserole options, I have a few on YouTube and several in my books.
On YouTube, you can learn how to make a squash casserole (add chicken or some other meat for protein) or my super popular Rueben casserole, which can be made with chicken or any type of beef, even ground beef.
If you’d rather just create a casserole on your own with ingredients you need or want to use, then here’s how to start.
- Protein. Canned meats that are already cooked or leftovers (anything left from the grill from Day 3?) are ideal.
Just as I did in the video, consider how much protein you have and whether you’re adding cheese or bacon that would also add additional protein or fat.
Use the amount of protein to determine what size casserole dish you want to use such as a 9” square dish or a 9” by 13”.
- What can be added for texture? Usually that’s veggies, but it can also be other meats. Combining beef and chicken or different types of beef can work depending on the flavors.
Use veggies that not only taste good together, but that have similar cook times. Use either all raw or all cooked veggies if possible. For example, raw peppers and raw onions would cook at about the same rate. Cooked artichokes and raw cauliflower would not.
Remember also that riced cauliflower cooks in far less time than florets, so the size of the veggie matters.
Last, veggies can add moisture to a recipe. Zucchini is one example. Try to squeeze most of the moisture out before adding to a recipe, but for a veggie like zucchini keep moisture in mind when adding other ingredients and when considering bake time.
- What flavors do you want? The veggies will add some flavor, so let those compliment the dish. A little lemon juice or lemon zest gives a bright flavor to any dish with spinach, artichokes, broccoli, or tomatoes. A simple tablespoon of capers is fantastic in chicken dishes.
Use the seasonings described on Day 1 to create Southwestern or Italian flavors. Hearty, beef-based casseroles can be enhanced with some beef bouillon, onion, or Worcestershire sauce.
- Creamy or tomato-based? That is the question!
For a creamy casserole, try adding a small amount of cream cheese, heavy cream, and/or cheese. Sour cream or mayonnaise work well too. Mayonnaise is especially good as it creates a creamy, dairy-free option.
If you prefer a tomato-based casserole, use a small amount of tomato paste, tomato sauce, or a small can of diced tomatoes (you may need to drain these). Complement the tomatoes with Italian seasonings or pizza-flavors if you want.
- If you want a thicker casserole, adding powdered pork rinds, freshly grated Parmesan or an egg to the casserole can help.
You be sure to share your Keto Casserole as we #ketotogether for 10 days. Just post a picture on any of my social media channels with #ketotogether.