This Southwest Paleo Casserole is loaded with veggies AND flavor. Two kinds of meat and lots of spices make this casserole family-pleasing!
I'll be honest, it was really hard trying to make a casserole without any cheese. But I knew if I wanted my dish to truly be a paleo casserole, then dairy was not an option.
But.... gosh, cheese. Cheese is the great unifier, it literally and figuratively binds us together.
Casseroles like this easy gnocchi recipe or white chicken lasagna are pasta-based meals that my family calls comfort food. Gooey cheese-filled dishes held the keys to our hearts and nothing else could come as close.
Then I made this paleo casserole and everything changed.
Turns out that cheese isn't the pathway to our hearts, it's FLAVOR! This casserole has a lot of flavor for sure!
The base of the casserole is fresh zucchini noodles that I purchased (I have not yet invested in a spiralizer). Feel free to make your own, and my only advice is whether you use store-bought or fresh zucchini noodles, be sure to drain the noodles completely so that you do not end up with a watery mess. Zucchinis have quite a bit of moisture.
The sauce for this paleo casserole consists of ground beef and ground and crumbled Italian sausage. Yes, I know this is more of a southwestern dish, but the Italian sausage adds a little zest to the sauce with minimal effort on my part.
Seasonings and flavored canned tomatoes finish off the sauce. Once you combine your noodles and your sauce, you bake the casserole, so the noodles can absorb all that flavor!
My family and I learned that a casserole can be amazing without pasta OR cheese. What matters most is preparation, the seasoning, and of course, the people you share your meal with!
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