A Mexican casserole has been stuck in my head for weeks now. I saw photos in a magazine recently of a super cheesy, rice, tortilla and corn casserole that literally had me drooling onto the pages.

I knew I had to create something similar, except without cheese, rice, tortillas or corn…so really not similar at all. Welcome to the world of recipe creating on a restrictive diet.

I am really happy with how this casserole turned out, even without all of the ingredients included in most Mexican casseroles. This one is packed with cubes of butternut squash (which you could swap for sweet potato if you are Paleo), ground beef, peppers, jalapenos, cauliflower rice, chopped tomatoes and lots of scallions.

Everything is cooked in a cast iron skillet which means there is only 1 dish to wash at the end. Hallelujah!

The casserole is baked in the oven until the cauliflower rice is tender and the top because nice and crunchy.

If you are not on a restrictive diet feel free to add in other ingredients such as cheese or corn kernals. I served big scoops of the casserole with salsa, avocado, chopped tomato and chipotle sour cream. 

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite1) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Beef & Cauliflower Rice Mexican Casserole

3.94 from 16 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Diets Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Whole30, Nut Free, Refined Sugar Free, SCD Legal
Servings 6


  • 1 1/2 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper diced into small pieces
  • 1 red onion finely diced
  • 2 jalapeños finely diced
  • 400 grams ground beef
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup scallions/green onions chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower rice
  • 1 1/2 cup black beans optional (omit if Whole30/Paleo)

Optional Toppings

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add in the butternut squash and let them cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure they cook evenly and don't burn. 
  • Once the butternut squash cubes are tender, remove them from the skillet and set aside. 
  • Add the diced red pepper, red onion and jalapeño to the skillet and cook until the red pepper begins to soften. Add the ground beef to the skillet and break it up with a wooden spoon so that it is crumbly in texture. Add in the cumin, coriander, paprika, chili and salt and let everything cook for about 8 minutes until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink. 
  • Once the beef is cooked through, stir in the canned tomatoes and beef stock. Finally add in the cauliflower rice, butternut squash and green onions and stir so that everything is well mixed. If you are using black beans you can add them in at this point as well. 
  • Cover the skillet with tinfoil and transfer it to the oven to bake for 45 minutes until all of the liquid has evaporated and the cauliflower is soft. Remove the tin foil with 10 minutes left of cook time so that the top can lightly brown. 
  • Serve the casserole topped with chopped tomato, salsa, guacamole or chopped cilantro. 
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!