Recipe: Easy Taco Pie Casserole – Paleo/Gluten Free

Once a week, I cook lunch for my coworkers.  I email the menu ahead of time and they tell me if they are interested.  Then I plate and serve them over the noon hour.  According to their opinions, I’ve made mixed greens exciting; I’ve made spaghetti squash taste as good as regular pasta.  It bring me a lot of joy when I can serve people food that is good for them and hear them say “This is soon good, I can’t believe it’s healthy.”  I don’t believe food should be one or the other – it should be both!

So this week, I served ‘Taco Pie’ – it’s like Shepherd’s Pie but for people who crave Mexican Food.  I’m one of those people, pretty much all the time.

So many great things about this casserole: it comes together quickly, especially if cauliflower mash is prepared ahead of time, it’s full of flavor, it stores/freezes well, and you can cook it in a crockpot (which is what I do when I bring it to work)!

A couple notes….
***I would call this Paleo-ish.  The taco sauce isn’t exactly the best ingredient but it does add a lot of flavor.  You can always substitute a combination of hot sauce, vegetable broth and tomato paste to achieve a similar texture a little more ‘cleanly’.
*** Take care to chop all of your vegetables to the same size – it means that everything cooks evenly which will give the meat mixture a great texture in the end!

  • Taco Pie Casserole

    1 head of cauliflower, prepared as ‘Mashed Potatoes’, blended to a very smooth consistency,
    3 TBS olive or coconut oil
    1 large yellow onion, chopped
    4 celery stalks, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, seeds and core removed, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, seeds and core removed, chopped
    1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeds and core removed, diced
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2.5 lbs grass fed ground beef
    1/4 cup taco seasoning (I use homemade)
    3 TBS arrowroot
    1 can (4oz) diced green chilies, drained
    1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
    1 jar (10 oz) taco sauce
    1 egg
    1 TBS chili powder
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    Recommended Garnish:
    diced green onions
    fresh chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large dutch oven or saute pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, bell and jalapeño peppers and garlic; sauté until vegetable become tender and onions are translucent.  Add beef and continue cooking until no pink remains.  Add arrow root and taco seasoning to meat mixture, stir until well combined.  Add tomatoes, chilies and taco sauce.  Stir until well combined.  Remove from heat, set aside.

IMG_7025In a mixing bowl, combine egg and chili powder; fold in cauliflower mash until well combined.  Set aside.

In a 9×13 pan, spread an even layer of meat mixture. Next, top with an even layer of cauliflower mash.  (The meat layer should be approx 2/3’s the depth of the casserole, the mash 1/3.  DO NOT overload the pan.  You may have extra meat mixture, which is great for topping on a taco salad or as filling for an omelette.)  Sprinkle cheese on top of the cauliflower layer.  Place pan on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until outer edges bubble and start to brown.

Sprinkle with garnish of choice.

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Serves 8-12 – which is a great thing, because you will want leftovers! 🙂

When I made this for my office, I served it with a salad, with a light vinaigrette and avocado, and a Paleo Lemon bar.    Will you try this recipe?  Tell me what you think!

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