July 02 2016

Layered Taco Casserole

By Worker Bee
24 Comments

PrimalThis layered taco casserole is comfort food without a helping of regret. There are still layers of everything that make taco casserole great: tortillas, seasoned ground meat, chile peppers, cheese, and a mile-high topping of shredded lettuce, fresh tomatoes, avocado and green onions. But the tortillas are Primal- and Paleo-approved, the ground meat is grass-fed, and the cheese is high-quality aged Cheddar.

Traditional taco casserole can be heavy and bland, relying too much on doughy flour tortillas and greasy melted cheese for flavor. To avoid this, Primal taco casserole calls for light and airy homemade tortillas and a just a sprinkle of sharp Cheddar. The tortillas are really easy to make and versatile. Use them for all your favorite Mexican dishes that need a Primal tortilla to scoop things up.

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Primal

  • 1 3/4 pounds ground beef (795 g)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (5 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (a pinch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (2.5 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika (2.5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (5 ml)
  • 2 Anaheim peppers or one 4.5-ounce/128 g can chopped green chiles
  • 1 cup grated high-quality sharp Cheddar (90 g)

Garnishes: 1 heart of romaine lettuce, shredded, 2 avocados, chopped, 2 green onions, chopped, 2 tomatoes, chopped, plus other toppings like salsa and sour cream

Tortilla Ingredients (makes 8 small tortillas):

Primal

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (30 g)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour (15 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (a pinch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (2.5 ml)
  • 1/2 cup water (120 ml)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil (45 ml)

Instructions:

In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and sauté the onion until soft, 5 minutes. Add the ground beef. As it cooks, season with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, sweet paprika and salt. When the meat is almost cooked, stir in the tomatoes. If using canned green chiles, stir them in now. Turn off heat and set aside.

If using fresh Anaheim peppers, set the peppers over the flame of a gas stove, or under a broiler. Cook the peppers, turning as needed, until the entire pepper is blackened. Put the peppers in a sealed bag or container to steam and cool; rub the blackened skin off with your fingers. Chop, then mix in with the meat.

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, tapioca flour, cumin, chili powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the water, eggs, and oil. Slowly add the coconut flour mixture to the wet ingredients, whisking constantly to eliminate clumps.

Heat a tablespoon of avocado oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Pour a little less than 1/4 cup/60ml batter in the hot pan. Let the batter sit untouched for one minute then put a lid on the pan and cook one minute more. Flip the tortilla and fry for 1 to 2 more minutes. Continue frying tortillas until the batter is used up, making sure there is always a thin layer of warm avocado oil in the pan.

Preheat oven to 375 °F/190 °C.

Coat the bottom of a 2-quart/2 L square or round baking dish with a little oil. Add a layer of 4 tortillas. Cover with half of the ground meat. Add another layer of tortillas. Cover with more ground meat and the grated cheese.

Bake 30 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting. Garnish and serve.

Taco Casserole 2

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24 thoughts on “Layered Taco Casserole”

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  1. Looks great – I’m always searching for a “better” Primal tortilla – one that can hold up when packed with filling, and doesn’t fall apart with moist ingredients.

    I haven’t found a great one yet (though I’ve tried several that are pretty good), but these definitely look worth a try.

    1. The best I’ve tried is a nice leaf of romaine…… saves me from chopping the lettuce ……. however, still not the same as a tortilla.

  2. I would call it an enchilada pie but whatever. I’m still not giving up (traditional, organic) corn tortillas. Core comfort food for me. I mostly eat “fresh mex” now, “taco salad” with a couple corn tortillas and maybe some refried beans. But I love classic greasy, cheesy Tex-Mex and plan to go on eating it once in a while.

    1. Early on in primal I was kind of a fascist about grains and carbs and other things. Years later I’m far more relaxed. I make my own tortillas and even the occasional loaf of bread. I eat enough quality, nutrient dense food and work out enough that it’s just not a big deal.

      And tortillas are delicious. There is no substitute.

      I’ve mostly ditched primal baking and substitutes because I don’t know that they’re a whole lot better than what they’re replacing and rarely as satisfying. (Except for sweet potato and avocado brownies. Those things are awesome in their own right.)

      1. Joshua do you have a recipe for those brownies? Sounds like an interesting mix.

      2. You are describing the primal me in the past with better words
        I my previous life I would have used low carb tortillas
        Now I use the corn tortillas without remorse

        1. editing typo:

          You are describing the primal me in the past with better words
          In my previous life I would have used low carb tortillas
          Now I use the corn tortillas without remorse

      3. sounds like a good strategy. i also became too crazy, driving myself crazy and developing a lot of food fears and perfectionism about food.

        1. Understanding nutrient density is huge. I love bread. In fact I love it more now than I did before I adopted a lot of the Primal Blueprint. However, it’s no longer a staple as evidenced by my current waistline and health.

          I do think beginning in very restricted manner at the start is key. I presumed a lot of issues I that vanished early were the result of dropped gluten and carbs. As it turns out, the nasty fats (like soybean oil) were what I really had a hard time with. I still generally keep under 100g of carbs per day because it has a ton of benefits, but if there’s a tortilla in there I’m not sad about it. (As long as it doesn’t have parabens in it anyway.)

      4. Thanks for reminding me that it’s okay to not always go 100%. I so love making sourdough pizza and hot pretzels and loath the idea of giving them up. Moderation, moderation, moderation is the key for me.

  3. Yeah, I am just way too lazy to actually make the tortillas out of coconut flour. But the recipe sounds amazing!

  4. I think I’m too lazy to make tortillas too! I did try some flaxeed ones once, but they really weren’t very nice. The rest looks good, though. I love proper corn tortillas, but they don’t love me back.

  5. Try Siete’s Almond Flour or Coconut tortillas in the refrigerated section. In the DC area, they are sold at Mom’s Organic Market. They are great!

  6. Hi Carrie, I am in the UK, so not sure if I can get those here. I will have to research primal friendly ones.

  7. Looks nice! I am not a fan of beef. Is there any other ingredient that I can substitute for beef? My wife is a vegan and she never touches anything that involves animals. Would you suggest some other ingredient that provides the same nutritious values as beef?

  8. So good! This is now a staple in our house. Everything is really quick and easy to make. Thank you!