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Keto Chile Relleno Casserole takes just 15 minutes to assemble and 45 minutes to bake. This easy authentic tasting Mexican meal is a crowd pleaser and also perfect for Low Carb, Primal (dairy + Paleo) and the GAPS diet.Jump to Recipe
Authentic Mexican Food
Growing up close to Mexico meant having authentic Mexican cooking in our home, as a way of life. It meant holding poblanos over the gas flame to char them, boiling nopalitos and mixing them with tomatoes, raw onion and cilantro; it meant albondigas soup.
(It never meant an easy Keto, Paleo, GAPS Mexican dinner casserole, by the way; but we’re getting there!)
It meant chile rellenos on Friday nights.
Some were stuffed with meat, and some cheese. They were spicy and refined, silky and rich, surrounded by a bath of unadorned, smooth, hot tomato sauce.
Chile Rellenos were my dad’s favorite Mexican food. And they felt at once mysterious/other and like home.
Chile Relleno Casserole
Canned green chilies are one of the few prepared foods I still buy. For a busy mom that would NEVER at this stage in my life roast poblanos, their flavor brings me back to the comfort foods with which I grew up.
This casserole is spicy, by the way, so get mild chilies and mild salsa if you don’t want heat.
It has all the classic elements of an old favorite, but in casserole form — which means an easy assembly: It can be made ahead of time if that’s helpful, it has a quick kitchen clean-up, then pop it in the oven.
I love casseroles! They’re down home, yet special.
Serve topped with sour cream, fresh cilantro and olives.
Keto, Low Carb, GAPS, Paleo, (egg-free) Mexican casserole
This casserole is Keto, Low Carb, GAPS, and Paleo/Primal. Such a lovely dinner for all these diets.
You’ll see the few variations below in the recipe, to make sure it’s right for you on the wellness diet you’ve chosen.
One other detail to be aware of: The meat that goes into this casserole is raw. The meat cooks as the casserole bakes. A very light textured meat results because the casserole contains a bit of grain-free flour and leavening.
The raw meat also means one less step: This casserole is fast to make and assemble! The cooking happens in the oven. 🙂
Keto Chile Relleno Casserole is a cheesy comfort food casserole that's easy to assemble and delivers big on authentic Mexican flavor.
- 2 pounds ground beef , preferably pasture-raised
- 3 small onions , diced, or 2 large (OR less, for stricter Keto, depending on personal preference)
- 1 cup water , filtered
- 14 ounces (or about 1-1/2 cups) red salsa , fresh pico de gallo or jarred (homemade or store-bought)
- 8 ounces cheese , grated (aged cheddar)
- 8 ounces whole green chilies , canned, cut along one line and opened so they can be splayed
- 8 ounces diced green chilies , canned
- 1 7-ounce jar tomato paste
- 1/3 cup coconut flour ; for Paleo/fruit-free version 2/3 cup cassava flour also works
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon baking soda , sifted
- fresh cilantro , minced, for garnish
- freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large casserole dish, like a 9" by 13".
In medium size bowl combine salsa, tomato paste and cumin, stirring well. Measure out 1 cup. Set aside.
Combine in small bowl: coconut flour, baking soda and optional cream of tartar. Set aside.
In large mixing bowl add the following: raw beef, water, the 1 cup portion of thickened salsa, onions, diced green chilies, apple cider vinegar, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add the coconut flour mixture to the large mixing bowl, and stir well again.
Spread meat mixture into greased casserole. Top with remaining salsa. Lay whole green chilies (spread out) over the surface.
Bake in preheated oven about 45 minutes, until bubbly around edges and slightly puffed all over. Remove from oven.
Top casserole with grated cheese. Return casserole to hot oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is well melted, but not crispy (it should be soft and creamy on top).
Serve with salad, sour cream and olives. Top with fresh cilantro.
Keto fruit-free variation: Use 2 Tablespoons psyllium husk powder (like this) in place of the coconut flour. (Do not use husks.)
An easy and delicious dinner! Are you ready to make this?
Looking for more great Keto, Low Carb, Primal and GAPS casseroles? Here are a few other favorites: