Big Mac Casserole is an easy and yummy low carb and keto cheeseburger casserole that your family will adore! You definitely won't miss fast food after making this. It cooks up in only 20 minutes and you can garnish with your favorite fast food burger toppings.
If you've been wondering what the best keto cheeseburger casserole recipe is, this is it!!
We've been on an enormous casserole kick lately! Just in the past few months we also created chili verde chicken casserole, taco casserole, crustless taco pie, and a creamy chicken broccoli casserole recipe.
Casserole variations of popular kid-friendly are always a hit at our house. How about you? My husband might be going crazy at my latest keto casserole obsession, but it gives him tons of leftovers, low carb casseroles freeze well, and they're perfect for meal prep too.
And if you love our low carb cheeseburger casserole, then you'll also want to try our Big Mac in a Bowl! It's a great option to meal prep for weekday lunches.
Big Mac Casserole
Ahhh I sure have fond memories of eating Bic Mac's back in the day! I'm going to crazily reveal when I was 16 years old, my best friend and I would drive to McDonald's after school and get a Big Mac.....every. single. day. Yikes! How I stayed semi-thin back then is still a mystery.
Those days are long gone and current me avoids fast food as much as possible. When you have food sensitivities or are on a special health plan, knowing exactly what's in your meal is tough when you're eating out. There are so many quick and easy meals to make that can be prepared in under 30 minutes at home.
This Big Mac Casserole recipe is definitely one of them and it only takes 20 minutes to cook!
What's so amazing about this low carb keto cheeseburger casserole recipe, is that your family will feel so spoiled getting to eat fast food tasting meals at home whenever they want. Bonus, you know exactly what's going in your meal and it makes it much easier to stick to a ketogenic, low carb, or gluten-free lifestyle.
You can also change up the ingredients to adapt to your personal preferences. Don't want special sauce? Skip it add and ketchup and mustard. Bacon obsessed? Feel free to add a sprinkle of chopped, cooked bacon! Don't like vegetables?? Don't add them as a garnish. This is such an easy casserole to make swaps to.
Ingredients for Keto Cheeseburger Casserole
- 2 lb ground beef
- 4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 lb riced cauliflower
- ½+ cup chopped yellow onion + more as garnish
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese - from a block, not pre-shredded
- Garnishes- shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes, pickle slices, sesame seeds, special sauce
RECIPE NOTE: For the Big Mac Casserole "special sauce" you can either make your own (here's a no-sugar version in our Big Mac in a bowl post OR you can purchase something like Sir Kensington's low carb Burger Sauce. I found it at my local Albertson's and Whole Foods carries it also.
A printable recipe card for the whole recipe is at the bottom of this post!
How to Make Low Carb Cheeseburger Casserole
After making numerous Mexican inspired casseroles with taco seasoning and salsa, at first, I wasn't sure the best way to make sure a cheeseburger casserole (low carb of course!) had tons of flavor. I've seen so many that basically aren't seasoned and didn't get the best reviews for flavor.
So how did we kick up the flavor? By using our full of flavor burger recipe ingredients we use at home to make beef burgers, turkey burgers, and fish burgers, of course. It makes sense that a tasty keto cheeseburger casserole with actually have well-seasoned beef as it's base.
Mix the ground beef with the sea salt, ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and minced garlic in a medium-sized bowl.
With a burner on medium heat, add 1 additional tablespoon of olive oil and saute the diced onions for about 3 minutes, or until lightly cooked.
Add the seasoned ground beef mixture to the onions and cook until all the way cooked through, which took about 5 mins.
Prep the other chopped ingredients and garnishes while the meat cooks.
Drain off some of the grease, if desired. We like to leave 1-2 tablespoon in the dish and drain off the rest. Add the ingredients to a medium-sized bowl.
A Note About Cottage Cheese
Add 16 oz cottage cheese and mix in with the seasoned ground beef. It's perfectly fine to cut back on the cottage cheese if you're making a keto cheeseburger casserole and are trying to make this as few carbs as possible. The cottage cheese I buy at Trader Joes has 5 carbs per serving, so while it isn't as low in carbs as the cheddar cheese, it's still an amazing casserole addition that adds an incredible amount of flavor and creaminess to your low carb gluten free cheeseburger casserole.
I’ve also found that some cottage cheese brands have more liquid in them than others. I highly recommend draining the cottage cheese or else you could potentially end up with cheeseburger casserole that makes its own gravy on the bottom. (which is what happened with the very first big mac casserole I attempted!) After draining the cottage cheese for 10-15 minutes, I was able to pull out a ½ cup of liquid.
I repeat, make sure to drain the beef and cottage cheese well or your casserole will end up with gravy on the side (which isn't a bad thing, just making you aware!)
Spread the meat mixture into a 1 ½ quart casserole dish. (the link is for the one we have)
Next, add ¼ cup of chopped pickle and sprinkle it over the top of the casserole. While some might not want pickle in their casserole (and that's ok!), making a keto cheeseburger casserole with pickles is simply amazing and truly gives it more of that Big Mac taste.
Top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until cooked heated through, bubbling, and the cheese is melted.
Let the low carb keto cheeseburger casserole sit for 10 minutes. It could be a little saucy on the bottom of the casserole dish (especially if the cottage cheese didn't get drained), the sauce thickens upon standing.
Big Mac Casserole Topping Ideas
- shredded iceburg lettuce
- chopped tomatoes
- sliced pickle
- minced white onion
- burger sauce
- sesame seeds (or Everything Seasoning in a pinch)
Again, our favorite pre-purchased low carb burger sauce is Sir Kensington's Special Sauce. It does list organic sugar on the ingredient list, yet still only has 1 net carb per 1 tbsp. serving. Just making you aware if that's an important factor for your health plan.
You can also skip the burger sauce and use ketchup and mustard instead. Just use whatever you'd typically want on your favorite cheeseburger!
Bacon would also make a great addition to turn this into a keto bacon cheeseburger casserole. You can either sprinkle it on top at the end or add with the pickles layer before baking. Our favorite way to cook bacon is in the oven.
Serve and enjoy!!
Cheeseburger Casserole Questions
Is Big Mac Casserole Keto Friendly?
The entire low carb cheeseburger casserole recipe has 6 net carbs per serving without any extra (and optional toppings). Most people following a ketogenic diet keep their net carbs for the day to 20 or less. What my husband does at home is to shoot for 1 no-carb meal per day and then having 2 other meals with 10 net carbs or less.
I've received a few comments telling me cottage cheese isn't keto when actually it CAN be keto as LONG AS you buy a low carb brand. Low fat cottage cheese is probably not keto and cheap cottage cheese brands might have extra fillers in them that increase the carb count. What this means is that it's possible your USUAL brand of cottage cheese might not be keto-friendly. Make sure to read the labels!
And about the Sir Kensington's Burger Sauce.... again, it DOES have organic sugar on the ingredient list, yet it still has just 1 net carb per 1 tablespoon serving (we also used a drizzle that was much less than 1 tbsp). So you decide if this is ok for you.
Can I Freeze Cheeseburger Casserole?
You can definitely freeze low carb cheeseburger casserole! Prepare and cook the recipe all of the way and let it cool completely. Do not add any toppings and cover it with foil. It should last in your freezer up to 6 months.
Be sure to bake the keto cheeseburger casserole from frozen to reheat it. Just pop it back into the oven on 375 until it's heated all the way through and bubbling. It's possible there will be some liquid on the bottom of the pan, but it will all still taste delicious!
Other Recipes You'll Love
- Green Chili Chicken Casserole
- Crustless Taco Pie
- Low Carb Taco Casserole
- Low Carb Chicken Divan Casserole with Broccoli
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Do you recommend large or small cute cottage cheese?
Angie D says
I’m not a huge fan of cottage cheese & rarely buy it.. can you use Cream cheese instead of cottage cheese? I’m sure you can lol I think the better question is has anyone tried swapping out the two? Do you think it would alter the taste?
Hi Angie, cooked cottage cheese tastes WAY better than cold, I don't eat it cold myself but we add it to casseroles to increase bulk. I wouldn't swap the cream cheese 1:1 for the cottage cheese, but maybe you could try 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese mixed in and also annd cooked cauliflower rice?