Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole


This Whole30-friendly Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole uses cauliflower rice, ground beef, and salsa to make a delicious one-pan grain-free meal your whole family will love!

A closeup shot of Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole, a Whole30-friendly one pan meal that you can make in a cast iron skillet.

This simple and delicious Mexican-inspired recipe is straight from the pages of our second cookbook, Ready or Not, and many Nomsters have declared it one of their favorites from the book. In the spirit of sharing some indispensable recipes from our sunny yellow cookbook (e.g. All-Purpose Stir Fry Sauce and Potsticker Stir-Fry), Im posting my Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole on the blog because you need it in your kitchen arsenal. Its family-friendly, gluten-free, packed with easily modifiable ingredients, perfect for meal prep, and you end up dirtying just one skillet!

A collage of the cooking steps to make Whole30 Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole!

Can you use another protein instead?

Yes! This paleo version of a taco casserole can be made with your favorite ground meatbeef, chicken, turkey, pork, bison, you name it. But as Ive said before, dont use super lean ground meat in this recipeit wont taste as good.

Can you adjust the spice level?

The spice level is totally modifiable! If spicy foods dont agree with you, just leave off the jalapeo slices and use a mild tomato salsa instead. For those of you who LOVE hot and spicy food, you can crank up the heat by using serrano peppers (or your favorite mouth-scorching variety), adding crushed red pepper flakes, and/or mixing in a super spicy salsa.

What can you serve this with?

This one-skillet dinner already includes a healthy portion of protein and veggies, so you really dont need to bother making a side dish. But if you want to add more veggies, you can serve this casserole with a big green salador add more fat by spooning on a dollop of guacamole.

Can you bake this in a casserole dish?

Of course! If you dont have an oven-proof 12-inch skillet, you can transfer everything to a greased casserole dish that holds at least 2 quarts. You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the depth of the container.

How can you save the leftovers?

Transfer the slices to a sealed container and store in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. I love eating leftover slices of this casserole for breakfast or lunchthey taste great cold or heated up in the microwave or toaster oven.

Time to make Whole30-friendly Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound riced cauliflower
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cups roasted tomato salsa
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, thinly sliced crosswise (optional)
  • cup fresh cilantro, lightly packed (optional)

Equipment:

  • All of my recommended kitchen tools are listed here.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F with the rack in the middle. Heat a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef when the pan is hot.

Close up shot of raw ground beef in a skillet to make Tex-Mex Beef and Cauliflower Rice Casserole.

Break up the meat with a spatula and cook, stirring occassionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until its no longer pink.

Frying ground beef in a cast iron skillet and stirring it with a gray silicone spatula. The beef is fully cooked and no longer pink.

Mix in the onion and bell pepper and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until softened.

An overhead shot of a cast iron skillet filled with ground beef, diced onions, and red bell peppers.

Stir in the riced cauliflower and minced garlic.

Adding cauliflower rice to a skillet to make the filling for Whole30, paleo, and low carb Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole

Next, mix in the salsa, oregano, and chili powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Someone adding a spoonful of oregano to a cast iron skillet filled with ground beef, cauliflower rice, salsa, red peppers and onions.

Remove the skillet from the heat, and pour in the whisked eggs. Gently stir to incorporate, and smooth the top of the casserole with a spatula.

Pouring whisked eggs into a cast iron skillet filled with ingredients to make Whole30 and keto Tex Mex Beef and Rice Casserole.

Top with the sliced tomatoes (cut-side up) and hot pepper, if using.

Adding halved cherry tomatoes and sliced jalapeo peppers on top of paleo taco casserole with ground beef and cauliflower rice.

Put the skillet in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the eggs are set and browned on the edges.

Someone putting a cast iron skillet filled with Nom Nom Paleo's Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole, a grain-free one pan dinner.

Rest the casserole for 5 minutes, and top with cilantro if desired.

An overhead shot of a cast iron skillet filled with paleo, keto, and Whole30 Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole, a grain-free, one-pan dinner!

Slice and serve or save the slices for packed lunches!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to myRecipe Index. Youll also find exclusive recipes onmy iPhone and iPad app,and in my cookbooks,Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans(Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) andReady or Not!(Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!

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PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole (Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)

This Whole30-friendly Tex-Mex Beef and Rice Casserole uses cauliflower rice, ground beef, and salsa to make a delicious one-pan grain-free meal your whole family will love!

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 pound riced cauliflower
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 cups roasted tomato salsa
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (salt-free)
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs (whisked)
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (or serrano pepper, thinly sliced crosswise)
  • cup fresh cilantro leaves (lightly packed (optional))
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F with the rack in the middle. Heat a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef when the pan is hot.

  2. Break up the meat with a spatula and cook, stirring occassionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until its no longer pink.

  3. Mix in the onion and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until softened.

  4. Stir in the riced cauliflower and the minced garlic.

  5. Next, mix in the salsa, oregano and chili powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  6. Remove the skillet from the heat, and pour in the whisked eggs. Gently stir to incorporate, and smooth the top of the casserole with a spatula. Top with the sliced tomatoes (cut-side up) and hot pepper, if using.

  7. Put the skillet in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the eggs are set and browned on the edges.

  8. Rest the casserole for 5 minutes, and top with cilantro if desired.

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