This keto cheeseburger casserole is an easy, one-pot dinner that takes seconds to prepare! Made with real low carb macaroni and full of crispy bacon, it’s a healthy, family favorite dish!
If you are the kind of person who prepares dinner at the last minute, one-pot casseroles are always a winner. Casseroles are always my fallback dish, and there are tons of options out there.
When I first moved out of home, I’d like a huge casserole that would last an entire week. I never got sick of it, and the leftovers actually tasted pretty good.
While I have a few favorites up my sleeve, my go-to is always a cheeseburger casserole. I grew up eating this casserole as it was my mom’s take on healthy fast food. Inspired by hamburger helper, she’d make her own homemade version but add all the cheeseburger flavors. Since starting a keto diet, I’ve made some minor adjustments to her original recipe, but I can confirm it tastes just as good…if not better.
This cheeseburger casserole recipe is the kind of dish you can prepare on a busy weeknight and have everyone begging for a second helping. It takes seconds to prepare and uses a handful of simple ingredients.
As the name suggests, this dish comprises traditional cheeseburger or hamburger ingredients, but swaps out the buns for pasta. It’s cozy, comforting, and incredibly satisfying. Full of cheese, ground beef, and plenty of bacon, you won’t believe it is actually healthy.
The secret to the perfect cheeseburger casserole is to use keto macaroni in it. Similar to my pasta salad and mac and cheese, I used store bought low carb macaroni noodles. They look and taste like real pasta, minus the carbs!
How to make a keto cheeseburger casserole?
- Low carb macaroni– Use your favorite low carb macaroni. I used the low carb bread company macaroni, but you can make your own.
- Olive oil– Any oil will work.
- Onion– Finely chopped onions are a must for a good burger.
- Bacon– Thick cut bacon, finely chopped. Bacon takes any cheeseburger or hamburger to another level.
- Ground beef– Try to use lean ground beef, as it cuts down on the added fat and also does not add excess liquid.
- Tomato sauce– Also known as tomato passata.
- Worcestershire sauce– A pinch adds an extra layer of flavor.
- Cheddar and mozzarella cheese– A combination of both cheeses gives the casserole that stretchy cheesy texture, while adding plenty of flavor.
- Cheeseburger toppings– Optional, but you can top the casserole with some chopped pickles, mustard, keto ketchup, or bbq sauce.
Start by cooking the macaroni as per the package instructions. Set that aside and work on the cheeseburger filling. In a non-stick pan, add the oil and place it over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the bacon, then the ground beef, and cook them all together until the beef is no longer pink.
Next, add the tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce, and let everything simmer for a few minutes. Add the cooked pasta and half of each cheese and stir until combined.
Now, transfer everything into a greased baking dish. Top with the remaining cheeses and bake the casserole for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is bubbling. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it sit for five minutes. Add the toppings and serve immediately.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Prepare this dish up to 4 days in advance. Simply keep the dish completely covered in the refrigerator, then bring it to room temperature before cooking.
- Finely grate the cheese instead of using the pre-shredded kind. It not only adds better flavor, but it also gives the casserole a much better texture.
- If you find the mixture to be a little too thick, you can add 1-2 tablespoon of the pasta water to it to thin it out.
- For a keto hamburger casserole, omit the cheese and add extra sauces.
Ingredient swaps and substitutions-
- Meat– Instead of ground beef, you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even vegetarian ground beef substitute.
- Cheese– Add more flavorful cheeses, like parmesan, Red Leicester, or pepper Jack.
- Vegetables– Amp up the pasta filling by adding sliced mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, or even spinach.
- Spices– Add a spicy or smoky hit, by adding some red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, or even taco seasoning.
- Macaroni- Use homemade keto pasta, zucchini noodles, or shirataki noodles.
Storing, freezing, and reheating instructions
- To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week.
- To freeze: Place portions of the casserole in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Reheating: Microwave portions in 30-second spurts until warm. You can also preheat it in the oven.
More keto casserole recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe is definitely a healthy and wholesome dish. It’s full of healthy fats, high in protein, and fiber. You can reduce the fat by using lower fat cheese and adding extra vegetables to the filling.
This entire recipes yields just 5 grams of net carbs for a huge serving. If you skip the low carb noodles, there are just 2 grams of net carbs.
Keto Cheeseburger Casserole
- 8 oz keto elbow macaroni * See notes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 16 oz tomato sauce passata
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese grated
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease an 8-inch baking dish and set aside. Cook the keto macaroni according to the instructions.
- In a non-stick pan, add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped bacon and cook for a further minute. Add the ground beef and break apart and cook until no longer pink.
- Add the tomato sauce and cook for a further minute. Drain the pasta and add it into the beef mixture. Stir through half the cheeses and stir until combined.
- Transfer the mixture into the greased baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit for ten minutes, before serving.