Creamy, hearty and filling, my new keto low carb cheesy Cajun cabbage casserole hits every one of your must-have comfort food buttons at once, y'all. My trusty browned Cajun trinity base with garlic infuses the fall-apart skillet cabbage and ground beef with the perfect flavor and texture. The quick homemade red gravy with Rotel tomatoes adds supporting body and zestiness to each bite. And the baked-in, three-cheese sauce marries all of the flavors together, creating a creamy, bubbly skillet of yum-deliciousness that's just as 'no carbs' friendly as it is kid-approved. Yep and yay...
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Oh Cheesy Cajun Cabbage Casserole, You're the Keto Low Carb Comfort Food of My Dreams
Although I'm gluten free because I have to be, I don't claim to adhere to any other dietary lifestyle but the one that's totally off-limits to me. That said, I do not eat a gluten free replacement diet, either. All of those mixed flours and preservatives in boxed gluten free meals and snacks really did a number on my stomach after 8+ years living the gluten free life.
So here lately, I've found myself leaning towards a more keto/low carb kind of cooking style, with the occasional rice or pasta dish thrown in because I just can't personally live without any carbs. Nope.
But, what I ALWAYS have in common with my keto/low carb peeps is our mutual love of cheese. Ooey gooey cheese, y'all. The one universal food love ingredient that's sooo pronounced in the keto & low carb community that I somehow feel like I'm a honorary permanent member. Yep.
But Then I Love, Love, Love Cabbage, Too...
I also love cabbage just as much as I love cheese. It's really a toss up between which one of the two I love the most. On the one hand, cabbage never lets me down. It's always there for me to smother down into Dutch oven deliciousness with whatever meat I have on hand. Or to make the BEST soup in the world. Or to just eat all raw and crunchy and spicy straight off of the chef knife.
But, on the other hand is melty, creamy, over-the-top comforting cheese. Cheese has never, ever let me down either. It's there for me in all of my favorite dips, appetizers and entrees. Whether it's shredded, blocked, soft, hard or anywhere in-between, I can't for the life of me remember when ANY cheese anywhere ever really failed me.
So, when I had a simultaneous cheese and cabbage craving the other day, I knew that it was high time that my two true food loves finally met in my kitchen. And since I was (as usual) in the mood for south Louisiana sassified cuisine, I came up with this keto low carb cheesy cabbage casserole in like 2 seconds flat...
How to Make Keto Low Carb Cheesy Cajun Cabbage Casserole for Your Next Beefy Veggie Gotta-Have Cheese NOW Craving
To start the cheesy Cajun cabbage casserole, pour the tomato sauce, Rotel tomatoes and other spices into a small pot. Stir until well-incorporated, then let cook over low heat on a back burner of your stove.
Next, brown the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery in your well-greased 12-inch cast iron skillet. When halfway browned, add the ground beef and cook until all of the mixture is completely browned. Drain fat. Then, add garlic and let cook for about 1 additional minute.
While the trinity and garlic is browning, slice a raw green cabbage with a really sharp knife. Discard the hard white core of the cabbage. Season the cabbage slices liberally with SP&C.
Pour ½ cup of gluten free beef broth into the trinity/garlic mixture. Add half of the raw slices. Let cook until the slices wilt, about 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining cabbage slices.
Then, pour the red gravy into the skillet. Stir until well-combined, then remove from heat.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Make the cheese sauce for the Cajun cabbage casserole by stirring the tapioca flour into the melted butter. Once combined, add the milk and the cheeses. Stir constantly until melted.
Then, pour the cheese sauce into the casserole. Then, stir with a wooden cooking utensil until well-incorporated.
Finally, bake for about 20 minutes, or until the casserole is piping hot and bubbly and the cheese is fully melted.
And then prepare for taste bud takeoff, y'all!! Yep. The first thing you notice upon first bite is the ooey gooey cheese. Then, during the next bite you relish in the sweet, then salty, then sweet again wilted cabbage.
Then, the Cajun trinity/garlic flavor bomb erupts in your mouth, filling you up with old school south Louisiana flavor that warms you all the way down to your soul. Before you even know what's happening, the Rotel tomatoes burst right out of the red gravy finish...and your taste buds are literally flavor pop dancing all over your mouth.
Oh, and it just gets better and better with each bite. And, if you can stand to make-ahead it, next-day leftovers are even more tender and flavorful than first fresh night. Super yay!!
This Cajun cabbage casserole is the one to keep close on hand for just when you just need you some A+ comfort food y'all. Yep. Share with those whose body and soul really need to experience the true south Louisiana taste and texture that's tucked inside each beefy, cheesy bite. And see y'all on the yum side...
Keto Low Carb Cheesy Cajun Cabbage Casserole
For the Cajun red gravy
- 1 ½ cups gluten free tomato sauce
- 1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes (undrained)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
For the Cajun Cabbage Casserole
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil ( more if necessary)
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- ⅓ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ⅓ cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup gluten free beef broth, divided
- 1 head sliced cabbage, core discarded, seasoned liberally with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper
- salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
For the Grain Free Three Cheese Sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch, arrowroot starch or coconut flour
- 1 ¼ cup milk
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
For the Red Gravy
- Pour all of the Cajun red gravy ingredients into a small saucepan or pot. Stir until well-combined. Cook over low heat under ready to use, stirring occasionally.
For the Cabbage Casserole
- Brown the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over a medium-high fire.
- When it's almost browned, add the ground beef.
- Cook until the veggie/beef mixture is browned.
- Drain the fat.
- Return the veggie/beef mixture back to the skillet.
- Add the garlic, and cook for 1 additional minute.
- Pour half of the gluten free beef broth into the skillet.
- Add half of the raw cabbage slices. Cook down for about 10 minutes, or until cabbage wilts.
- Pour the other half of the gluten free beef broth into the skillet. Place the other half of the cabbage slices into the skillet. Cook down until wilted.
- Pour the red gravy into the skillet. Stir until well-combined. Reduce heat to low while you make the cheese sauce.
For the Cheese Sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F right before you make the cheese sauce.
- Melt the butter in a small pot, then stir in the tapioca starch. Cook for about 1 minute, or until well-combined.
- Pour in the milk and cheeses.
- Cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until all the cheese is melted and all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Pour the cheese sauce into the skillet.
- Stir until well-combined.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot and bubbly.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sauce thickens as it stands.
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