Finding new ways to prepare meat when you're on a low-carb diet can be a challenge. Casseroles easily add variety to dinner, but many contain high-carb ingredients such as noodles or shredded potatoes. Adapting hamburger casseroles to fit your low-carb lifestyle is easy. They're a cinch to put together and pop into the oven.
Use about 1/2 pound of raw meat for each serving in the casserole. For example, if you want to serve four people -- cook up 2 pounds of ground beef. When you calculate the carbs in each combination, consider the net carbs: the amount a food has when you subtract the fiber grams from the carb grams. Net carbs are the digestible ones that impact your blood sugar.
Low-Carb Cheesy Italian Casserole
Create a hamburger casserole that tastes like a bowl of Italian meat sauce. Serve it with steamed zucchini, which has 3 grams of net carbs per cup.
Saute ground beef in olive oil with a generous handful of dried Italian seasoning, which adds 0 carbs. Add minced onion, with 4 grams of net carbs per 1/4 cup cooked, and a few cloves of chopped garlic, each of which is just about 1 gram of carbohydrate. Stir in canned tomato sauce, with 3 grams of net carbs per 1/4 cup.
Spread the whole mixture into a casserole dish and top with shredded mozzarella cheese, which has less than 1 gram of carbs per ounce. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees and serve. Remember that the recipe's entire carb count is divided among multiple servings.
Taco-Style Hamburger Casserole
Harness the flavors of seven-layer dip -- without the carb-heavy beans and chips -- by quickly whipping up a Tex-Mex-flavored hamburger casserole.
Saute the ground beef in olive oil and add a mix of spices such as paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne. In total, they add about 1 gram of net carbs to the entire dish. Stir in canned, diced tomatoes for 2 grams of net carbs per 1/4 cup. Spread in a baking dish and top with shredded cheese. Place in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the beef mix bubbles.
Serve with full-fat sour cream with less than 1 gram of carbohydrate per 2 tablespoons, green onions with about 3 grams of net carbs per 2 tablespoons and guacamole, which is essentially carb-free.
Easy Low-Carb Cheeseburger Bake
If you miss cheeseburgers because you're avoiding the bun, this casserole is for you, and if you can afford a few extra carbs, make butternut squash fries as a side dish. Peel and slice the squash into long rectangles. Toss with olive oil and bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, flipping once.
Chop several strips of bacon into small cubes. Brown the ground beef and bacon with a generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Add onion powder and minced fresh garlic. Set aside when browned through. In a separate bowl, stir together two or three eggs with several tablespoons of tomato paste and heavy cream. Each egg has just trace carbs; tomato paste has 5 grams of net carbs per 2 tablespoons; and the cream carries about 6 grams of net carbs per cup.
Spread the beef mixture into a casserole dish and top with the egg blend. Stir gently to incorporate and sprinkle generously with cheddar cheese, which has less than half a gram of carbohydrate per ounce. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes and serve.
Beefy Green Bean Casserole
Add ground beef to a low-carb green bean casserole for a creamy, satisfying meal. Canned green beans make this a super-easy recipe.
Brown the ground beef in olive oil and add chopped onion and celery, which adds about 2 grams of net carbs for every half cup. Transfer to a bowl and stir in mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, garlic salt and pepper. Fold in drained, canned green beans and mushrooms, for 3 grams of carbs per cup and 2 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup, respectively. Place in a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.