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A low carb creamed cabbage and ground beef casserole with bacon. The cream sauce uses Cajun spices that enhances the flavor and gives a Southern flare.
I don’t think you can possibly have enough casserole recipes featuring ground beef and a low carb vegetable. This ground meat is a staple in our home and we often make bacon burgers where the meat is mixed in with bacon before grilling or frying.
There is something magical about adding bacon to ground beef that really enhances the flavor of the meat. That’s why this creamed cabbage and ground beef casserole includes bacon. Cooking the ground beef in the same skillet as the bacon makes sure you get all the bacon flavor goodness.
At first I was thinking about making this creamed cabbage with bacon and ground beef in a crock pot. It would likely work out fine and you probably wouldn’t need to pre-cook the cabbage.
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However, I was too impatient to plan this meal out and wanted it for dinner that same night. I suppose you could prep everything the night before in the crock, and set it on low in the slow cooker to cook all day. This is something I may try later as I would like to make more use of my crock pots. Yes, I have more than one slow cooker so it’s surprising that I don’t cook in them more often.
To start things out, I coarsely chopped a full head of cabbage, then put it in a large casserole dish with salt and butter. I covered the dish and microwaved on high for ten minutes. The cabbage was softened at that point, but not fully cooked. It will soften up more while baking the casserole.
I used half of the cabbage as the first layer in the casserole. A 9×13-inch baking dish is the perfect size for this creamed cabbage and ground beef casserole.
The next layer is the cooked ground beef and then I sprinkled the chopped bacon on top of that. I kept the bacon pieces somewhat large, but you can cut them up smaller if you’d like. I topped the casserole off with the other half of the chopped cabbage.
Then, I worked on the cream sauce. I wanted to give this casserole a Southern flare so I used a Cajun seasoning mix. To thicken up the sauce, I sprinkled in some xanthan gum. You could use any low carb thickener you have on hand. I always have xanthan gum, but guar gum or a mix of both also works well.
Once the cream sauce was thickened, I poured it over the the top layer of cabbage and allowed it to drizzle down through the layers. To help the cabbage get fully cooked and not dry the dish out, I covered the casserole with aluminum foil and baked for half an hour. Here’s how it looked after baking:
I got six good portions out of this creamed cabbage and beef casserole. The total carbs for each serving is only 7.1 grams and if you subtract the fiber, the effective net carb count is 4.8 grams. The leftovers made great healthy lunches for me at work.
Creamed Cabbage Beef and Bacon Casserole
- 6 slices of bacon cooked and chopped
- 1 1/4 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon dry minced onion
- 1 head of cabbage cored and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 3 tablespoons cold butter cut into thin slices
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cook bacon in a skillet, drain, chop and set aside.
In the same skillet, saute the beef with the onion until brown. Remove and set aside.
Place the cabbage in a large microwavable casserole dish with cover, sprinkle in salt, tossing as needed.
Top cabbage with the thin butter slices, cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
Transfer half the cabbage to a 9x13 baking dish.
Top with the beef mix, then the bacon.
Place remaining cabbage on top.
Prepare the sauce by melting the 1/4 cup of butter in the skillet.
Add the heavy cream and water, sprinkle and whisk in the xanthan gum.
Cook on medium high heat until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.
Whisk in the Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Pour the white sauce over the top of the cabbage, beef, and bacon.
Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until casserole is hot and bubbly and cabbage is cooked through.
Makes 6 servings
Nutrition per serving: 415 calories, 33.2g fat, 605mg sodium, 7.1g carbs, 2.3g fiber, 4.8g net carbs 24.8g protein